Paul Holmes 15 Apr 2001 // 11:00PM GMT
In early 2000, GCI Group was charged with ongoing support of DuPont Stainmaster carpet as well as management of the product introduction of DuPont Tactesse fiber, DuPont SpillNet protective liner and DuPont FiberLoc technology. A strong emphasis on trade media relations helped maintain and grow GCI’s relationships with the media in ways that strengthened the DuPont Stainmaster brand and helped put DuPont Stainmaster carpet into the hands of consumers.
Communicating complicated, technologically sophisticated information to trade audiences that generated enthusiasm and buy-in for new products;
Balancing dual objectives – creating carpet manufacturers’ acceptance of new products while also generating retailer interest to create a cohesive pull-through of product demand from mills to the retail floor; and
Timing product launches to ensure retailers’ awareness and “readiness” corresponded effectively with consumer media efforts conducted by GCI.
- Introduce new DuPont Residential Nylon Flooring products, such as the DuPont Tactesse fiber and DuPont SpillNet liner, and build awareness of these new products among retailers and mills.
- Increase perception among retailers and mills that DuPont Stainmaster carpet and products of DuPont Nylon Flooring provide the best overall marketing value.
- Promote interest in and sales of the DuPont SpillNet protective liner and other new products among retailers.
- Generate “buzz” surrounding the new, softer carpet fibers that now are available through DuPont Tactesse innovations and other new fiber technologies.
- Increase retailer knowledge of DuPont Stainmaster carpet and value of the brand.
- Residential Specialty Stores (owners, sales personnel)
- Residential Contract (home builder, store owners, sales personnel, design consultants)
- Residential Home Furnishings (owners, sales personnel)
- Residential Home Centers (store/department managers, sales personnel)
- Residential Direct Sales
- Carpet Mills
- DuPont Field Managers
- Territory Managers
- Regional Field Managers
- Communications Managers
Surfaces 2000: The flooring industry’s largest trade show is an annual focus for DuPont Residential Nylon Flooring, where new products are introduced to retailers and orders are placed. Surfaces 2000 was significant with the introduction of two innovations, new DuPont Tactesse fiber and DuPont SpillNet. GCI developed and distributed a comprehensive press kit with information and graphics on all of DuPont Stainmaster’s new products to trade media at the show. GCI also coordinated media interviews throughout the show for DuPont representatives to speak with trade media about the new products. Giveaways distributed to media at DuPont’s booth further reinforced the DuPont Stainmaster brand.
Tactesse Fiber Introduction: The technologically intricate construction of this fiber produces a carpet that is tangibly softer than other carpet styles and proved more durable in tests than any other competing brand in the marketplace. Media efforts positioned DuPont Tactesse as proof again that sophisticated technologically superior product improvements consistently come from DuPont Residential Nylon Flooring.
DuPont SpillNet Introduction: Retailer response to DuPont SpillNet—a unique, protective, cloth-like barrier installed beneath the carpet to prevent spills from seeping into the carpet cushion and subfloor -- was so encouraging that communications efforts were stepped up to meet consumer inquiry coming in to retail store and DuPont’s call information center. Retailer orders continue to be placed and GCI has developed a marketing slick to prepare retailers for consumer inquiries and requests. The four-page, four-color slick provides an overview of DuPont SpillNet and highlights recent media coverage.
Floor Radio: Dalton, Georgia, has a radio program dedicated to information about the flooring industry due to the number of carpet manufacturers based in the area. GCI Group utilized this resource, scheduling a long-term series of interviews with the host and DuPont Residential Nylon Flooring communications manager, Gary Johnston. Interviews position DuPont Stainmaster and other products as the best overall brand value for manufacturers and retailers.
FiberLoc Technology Introduction: GCI positioned this new fiber technology as an innovation that will set a new standard within the carpet industry. As a departure from traditional fiber structure, DuPont FiberLoc has a unique shape that interlocks with itself to maintain tuft strength and integrity. This patented innovation brings a new level of performance to every carpet style, even improving texture retention and long-term appearance. DuPont FiberLoc was initially launched to trade media at the annual product launch show for Mohawk, one of the world’s leading carpet manufacturers. GCI developed press kits with graphics and distributed those media attending the show and those not able to attend. Additionally, GCI contacted all trade media regarding DuPont’s new product introduction at the event. DuPont FiberLoc will be officially launched to all retailers and carpet mills at Surfaces in January 2001.
Overall: As of June 2000, every flooring industry media outlet targeted had published articles incorporating messages about DuPont Nylon Flooring products, resulting in 22 individual placements. Media outlets include Floor Covering Weekly, Floor Covering News, Floor Focus, National Floor Trends, Flooring, Home Furnishings News and “Floor Radio.”
Surfaces 2000: Seven trade media editors conducted interviews with DuPont representatives during Surfaces. Trade media included “Floor Radio”, Floor Focus, Floor Covering News and National Floor Trends. Additionally, six trade publications published information about DuPont Stainmaster’s new products in pre- and post-Surfaces issues.
Tactesse Fiber Introduction: More than seven trade publications covered the introduction of the new Tactesse fiber, including National Floor Trends, Textile World and Floor Covering News.
DuPont SpillNet Introduction: Publicity surrounding the market introduction of DuPont SpillNet generated more than 20 million media impressions in newspapers, consumer magazines, trades and television outlets combined. Only two months after the national launch, all targeted flooring industry media outlets published articles incorporating messages about DuPont SpillNet. Media outlets include Floor Covering Weekly, Floor Covering News, Floor Focus, National Floor Trends, Flooring, Home Furnishings News and “Floor Radio.” Retailer sales of DuPont SpillNet was aggressive following the Surfaces 2000 trade show. (Sales figures are not disclosed by DuPont.)
Floor Radio: One DuPont interview already has aired and is available for download on wwww.flooruniverse.com. The remaining interviews are scheduled to air soon.
FiberLoc Technology Introduction: Because the product is being promoted as of this writing (Dec., 2000), media results are pending. However, all trade editors GCI has contacted thus far have expressed interest in featuring the product in their respective publications. GCI also has confirmed that DuPont FiberLoc will be featured in Flooring Magazine’s January 2001 issue – a placement perfectly timed for the Surfaces 2001 trade show in January, where sales of DuPont FiberLoc will be further encouraged.