Final Coat: NWFA Vision for 2020


As the wood flooring industry moves toward the year 2020, it’s a good time to think about how to keep a crisp and clear vision for the future. Success in the coming year will depend on being able to be very precise in seeing opportunities for growth and improvement.

The wood flooring industry is ever- changing. New technologies in product development today have brought words like water resistance and waterproof into day-to-day discussions…something that didn’t even exist a few short years ago.

If one thing is clear today, it’s that the consumer is buying into the idea of waterproof flooring—and while hardwood flooring remains the aspirational product for residential consumers, they also are confused about what is, and what is not, real wood.

That’s the primary reason NWFA launched is “Real Wood. Real Life” campaign: to clarify for consumers how to identify real wood products. But for the campaign to work, we need to rally as an industry to promote the benefits of real wood products.

Throughout 2019, NWFA activities revolved around the theme “Make Your Mark,” which provided a call to action for hardwood flooring
companies to come together as an industry with a unified marketing campaign: “Real Wood. Real Life.” This call to action was heard by the entire hardwood products industry and sparked new flames to promote the hardwood industry as a whole.

It was also a call to NWFA members to make their mark with their own company branding and within their industry.

The association also furthered its mark on the industry by establishing the first flooring apprenticeship approved by the U.S. Department of Labor. Later in 2019, the tile industry followed suit. Now we both work to make the hard surface flooring industry a professional career to attract new talent and a solid career path for existing professionals.

Looking to 2020, NWFA will follow the “Make Your Mark” year with a new call to action: “Make It Happen.” This may bring up images of Harley Davidsons heading out on the highway to Steppenwolf’s Born to Be Wild. I hope so, as we will be going to Harley’s home in Milwaukee for Expo 2020 where a trip to the Harley Davidson museum, a look at their new electric motorcycle, and a meeting with a family leader, will spark innovation for our industry.

We will be asking you to Make It Happen: HERE ARE THREE WAYS

  1. Use the “Real Wood. Real Life.” campaign elements to promote hardwoods over look-alike products. We’ve made it as easy as putting a campaign logo sticker on your samples or boxes. Download the kit here: https://www.nwfa. org/consumer-outreach.aspx and make sure to mark your online posts with #realwoodreallife so the industry can see your efforts.
  2. Launch your first apprenticeship program by bringing on an apprentice. Call Stephanie Owen (800.422.4556) at NWFA to understand the requirements in your state and how NWFA’s tools, including a new app, can make the process simple.
  3. Commit to attending Expo for education and networking April 28-30 in Milwaukee. In a market that is facing both supply chain disruptions with trade wars and marketplace displacement with fake wood products, it’s time to come together and fight for wood.

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