Photos courtesy Merillat and Sony 

When the market gets tough, the tough start marketing. Wood manufacturing firms did so this year. Whether positioning for green leadership (Steelcase, Kimball); launching Websites (JK Concepts); rebranding (Stow); joining social media (Paul Sturch NY Times blog); or going online ( - marketing is the new middle name for woodworking businesses.

Top Marketers
Paul Downs Custom Tables, Bridgeport, PA
Custom furniture maker sees bids up 267%
Q1 as he pours his heart out as New York
Times small business bloggist.>>

Craftsman Tables, Port Perry, ON
This manufacturer of solid wood custom
dining room tables grew last year, in part,
because of its complete custom service in
terms of style, size, color and type of wood,
owner Bob DeFlorio says.

Eureka Woodworks, Dallas, TX
A provider of turnkey woodworking business
opportunities, Eureka expanded its sales
efforts into other markets with an aggressive
ad campaign and by staying on top of internet
marketing trends.

Keystone Wood Specialties, Lancaster, PA
This component manufacturer launched an
aggressive marketing program, added new
products, including items made with thermal
, and expanded its budget to increase
exposure in the downturn.>>

Black Hills Molding, Rapid City, SD
This wood manufacturing and wholesale business
became a sales rep for Dakota Panel and is
developing closer relationships with its vendors.

The Simple Furniture Co., Brownsburg, IN

Its environmentally friendly children’s product
line is on the cutting edge of latest modern styles
and a flexible marketing strategy allows the
company to switch focus on its diverse product
line when needed.

Clingerman Doors, Clearville, PA
This custom wood garage door manufacturer
uses its marketing strategy to differentiate itself
from competitors as a high-end product.

Miller Woodcrafts, Rancho Cucamonga, CA
A wallbed and home office company, Miller grew
sales by increasing internet marketing and looking
for new marketing opportunities.


a unit of Masco Cabinetry, launched its first-ever marketing campaign aimed at consumers, using television, online, events and publications to drive demand from end users up to its dealers. Susan Dountas, Merillat brand and communications manager says this lets Merillat show off its cabinets. “We’re determined to let homeowners know, ‘Merillat has the tools to help make . . . living in your kitchen easier.’” The campaigns feature TV cooking hunk Curtis Stone rifling through drawers and cabinets from Merillat’s Tolani cabinet line in a white Maple Chiffon, on a set built by Merillat. Ads run on HGTV, FoodNetwork, DIY, and the Cooking Channel, in magazines and online.

An online kitchen planner also ties in with Stone as a talking guide to consumers visualizing virtual renderings of kitchens that can be shared with their Merillat dealer. “Our research also tells us that homeowners don’t always think about how they are going to use their kitchens before making the investment to build or remodel,” says Susan Prater, Merillat director of marketing services. “Merillat wants to educate homeowners.”

Merillat also tied into the TV show “Today’s Homeowner” with Danny Lipford dream makeover contest (cabinets from Merillat, of course). The company found more than 50 percent of homeowners who remodeled kitchens wished they’d included more storage features. >>

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