With the acquisition of VersaShield in 2016, GCP Applied Technologies is focused on creating a complete portfolio of flooring products for moisture mitigation. This portfolio of products will be sold under the Kovara brand name.
Development of the Kovara product portfolio is a strategic business focus for GCP, according to Mark Chichak, GCP Applied Technologies general manager of specialty flooring. The company, based in Cambridge, Mass., is dedicated to advancing products and technologies used to solve moisture problems for floor assemblies.
Chichak said VersaShield products will transition to the Kovara brand name in early 2018, and there will be no changes to the VersaShield products; it is a brand name change only. Customer and market communication plans will begin in Q4 2017 for a smooth transition. Floor Trends recently connected with Chichak to discuss the rebranding strategy.
FT: Why did GCP decide to rebrand the VersaShield to the Kovara brand name?
Chichak: When GCP acquired Halex Corporation and the VersaShield® product last year, we saw an opportunity to expand a category-creating product into a complete product portfolio. However, we felt that the VersaShield name itself was limiting to the realm of potential opportunities in moisture mitigation. The Kovara™ brand evokes the strength of our products today, as well as the vision of the new products and technologies that we are developing to help solve moisture issues in the future.
FT: How will you communicate this messaging to the consumer for a smooth transition?
Chichak: Our plan has been to communicate early and often. Our sales team is beginning to talk with our distributor flooring supply, and contractor partners to explain the coming changes so that they know what to expect. We will be reaching out to as many customers as possible through digital channels toinform them of this transition. Over the coming months, customers will see stickers on each VersaShield roll reminding them about the upcoming name change. We plan the official name change for early 2018.
FT: You mentioned growth outside of North America. Can you talk about where you are taking these products and what opportunities these markets represent?
Chichak: GCP has customers in over 100 countries and we plan on using our presence and partnerships around the world to expand the Kovara flooring underlayment business. In most countries today, installers are still using costly and time-consuming moisture mitigation methods to protect their floors. We feel that there is a gap in the market for quicker and cleaner products, and the Kovara™ portfolio can help fill those gaps.
FT: How does Kovara fit into GCP’s portfolio of flooring products for moisture mitigation?
Chichak: The two core products that make up the Kovara™ product line today, Kovara 95 and Kovara MBX, are just the start of what will become a complete portfolio of moisture mitigation products. In addition to these products, GCP also offers a range of concrete admixtures and additives to create more durable concrete subfloors. Our STRUX® synthetic macro reinforcement and Eclipse® liquid admixtures reduce cracking of the concrete subfloor and help to maintain beautiful exposed concrete floors for years to come. Together, our flooring products help accelerate building construction and create longer-lasting floors that require minimal maintenance.
FT: Are there other product technologies flooring installers and specifiers can look forward to in the near future?
Chichak: We have focused and will continue to focus on reducing the cost, complexity, and disruption caused by moisture mitigation. Installers and specifiers can expect to see products that continue to be quicker and more efficient to install. GCP has a very large and world-class R&D team with deep expertise in a wide range of construction materials and we plan on leveraging this expertise to create products that bring value to not only to the contractors and installers, but also to the building owners, architects and occupants.
For more information, visit https://gcpat.com.