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Mohawk refines message

SUGAR VALLEY, GA — Mohawk Home is overhauling its marketing strategy with a new set of retail-specific logos, labels and packaging designs, as well as revamped advertising initiatives and an upgraded Web site — all set to launch at the New York Home Textiles Market later this week.

"Every aspect of our marketing plan has been created to reflect our new attitude," said Bill Kilbride, president. "We want Mohawk Home to be synonymous with words like 'comfortable,' 'warm,' 'inviting' and 'simplified.' The homes we furnish now more than ever are sanctuaries and safe havens from daily concerns, and that will not change."

A soft launch of the company's new logos and product labels took place this past July at the Atlanta International Area Rug market. Products carrying the new labels began shipping this month.

It will take several months, Merle Johnson, vp, marketing, told HTT, before products are rotated and the new label rollout is complete at store level.

"The first thing to change was the way we label the products because shelf appeal is how our products talk to the consumer," she added. "Our new labels give us the synergy we need to bond our products together on the shelf. They reflect a new personality to the consumer through better, cleaner graphics, true color and a simple message."

The new corporate logo has been updated to reflect "a softer, more feminine feel to go with the decorative characteristics of our products," Johnson said.

The second logo represents the company's new icon, an "MH" within a circle, combined with Mohawk Home in small letters.

The distinction between the two labels is essentially pricing and, as a result, distribution channels. The round logo will appear at specialty and upstairs retailers, with the corporate logo used at mass merchants.

"There are subtleties that transcend the channels of distribution mirroring how customers now move freely between them," Johnson said. "The line has many options for the retailer to pick and choose, but the labels and logos are channel-specific. We have found that price points automatically give us two lines."

The company's new advertisements, which incorporate lifestyle photography and images of product swatches, are primarily designed for both trade and shelter publications, but "alternative marketing programs"— such as direct mail — are also being explored, Johnson said.

At the market, the rollout will begin in trade magazines for this fall.

Mohawk Home's redesigned web site,, will launch Oct. 1.

It has been upgraded to include flash photography of new products in lifestyle shots, tips on decorating from well-known designers and answers to frequently asked questions about the company's products. There are also Web links to retailers selling Mohawk products but no direct sales to consumers at the site.

The next wave of marketing initiatives will consist of a stronger cross-merchandising effort across all of Mohawk Industries' product divisions.

"We've found statistically that a large portion of people who purchase our hard-surface flooring will purchase an area rug to go on top of it within one month's time," Johnson said. "We want to capture that customer at her first Mohawk purchase and introduce her to other product categories that we make."

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