CF to simplify marketing message to focus only on retailers
The Carpet Foundation is to simplify its consumer marketing message to: Buy from a Carpet Foundation retailer.
For the past few years the organisation has in effect been trying to persuade consumers to buy a carpet made by a Carpet Foundation supporting manufacturer from a Carpet Foundation retailer, and it has decided that this approach needs to be simplified.
The change comes as it tries to widen its manufacturer support with a new Patron Member status, which it is hopeful of increasing the number of manufacturers backing it. The organisation has historically been financially backed by subscriptions from Brintons, Brockway, Cormar, Ryalux, Ulster, Victoria, Westex and a sales levy on sales of their products through retail members, which was later replaced by a flat subscription fee.
‘The reality is that for the last five or six years, we have had to balance the message of promoting independent retailers as the carpet experts and people to go to with trying to give our manufacturer supporters a bang for their buck. We have been saying buy a CF manufacturer carpet from a CF retailer: it has been a bit of a challenge,’ says Andrew Stanbridge, Carpet Foundation chief executive.
In a letter to Carpet Foundation retailer members he says the focus is now on them. ‘Now the message is simple, clear – and there is only one, and that is: “Buy from a Carpet Foundation retailer”. It is all about you, and you alone, from now on.
‘The Carpet Foundation manufacturers are all lining up behind this to demonstrate their continued support for independent retailers. They recognise that to grow, they need you to sell more carpet. They are also, I must stress, maintaining their financial support.
‘What will it mean for you? Simply, a more sharpened and focussed message, signposting you as the people to buy carpet from. Over the coming months we have several initiatives planned, including a redesign of our website to reflect this, and we will update you regularly on what we have done and have planned. Exciting times lie ahead.’
John Duncan, Carpet Foundation chairman held talks with potential new manufacturing Patron Members at The Flooring Show and Interiors Monthly understands about half a dozen have agreed to join the new scheme with others very keen.
In a letter to potential Patron Members he says: ‘Going forward, with the full blessing of our manufacturers, we will be focussing entirely on our retailers, while maintaining manufacturer support. Indeed, our manufacturers are adamant that they want to see the Carpet Foundation continue, and to be part of it. They are keen to demonstrate their support to the independent retailer and, as importantly, ensure that our industry has a trade body that can represent it.’