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Wools of New Zealand Upgrades Fiber Branding Strategy

Wools of New Zealand has implemented a new strategy that is poised to reposition this brand's fiber as a premium product.

This new initiative, which will become effective July 2008, calls for fiber sales capabilities to be supported by new creative marketing, public relations and sales training. From now through this summer when this new entity is expected to be up and running, the U.S. office of Wools of New Zealand will remain open and accessible as usual.

During this transitional period, brand partners — or rug companies that license the Wools of New Zealand brand and product — will continue to be able to use the Wools of New Zealand brand through 2008 and access space in the New Zealand Wool area of Surfaces 2009.

The organization spearheading this initiative is The Wool Industry Network, which was formed in July 2006 by Meat and Wool New Zealand and New Zealand Trade and Enterprise, intended to secure a more sustainable future for the New Zealand strong wool sector. The development of their strategy is guided by four priorities: grower unification; consolidation of the wool clip; industry collaboration; and innovative marketing, the organizations said.

"The Network very early on identified the key problem as being that New Zealand strong wool is a niche product which continues to be traded as a commodity," said Sue Sheldon, chairman of the Wool Industry Network. "This means its true value is neither recognized by the market nor realized in financial terms."

Added Mike Jones, ceo of the Network: "One of the fundamentals to the success of the strategy will be unification of woolgrowers. The importance of a united grower group behind a strong, market-led company supporting their fiber is imperative for the wider wool sector to thrive. Through the implementation of this strategy, New Zealand strong wool will be firmly repositioned as a premium fiber."

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