The International Design Guild (IDG), the luxury division of CCA Global Partners, and the nation’s largest flooring cooperative, held its 2018 IDG Summit in Las Vegas in January. The two-day meeting, themed “Dare To Be Different Together,” offered the luxury flooring retailers in North America an aggressive three-year plan for growth. Part of that plan was the appointment of Nancy Hill-Anderson to IDG as the group’s new managing director, a newly formed position to help propel the group forward.
Hill-Anderson has a broad range of retail experience and is passionate about bringing the group together and engaging the membership in new ways. We recently connected with her to learn more about her plans to work with this group of savvy business owners and drive their business to new heights.
FT: Tell us about your retail background.
Hill-Anderson: I have a bachelor’s degree in fashion merchandising and retailing with a focus in art. I also have a certification in interior design. I have sold luxury large ticket retail goods and have been a visual merchandiser in the past. I grew up with Pier 1 Imports moving from assistant store manager to regional manager. I moved back to the East Coast and was an operations director for Macy’s department stores for seven years. I joined CCA Global Partners eight years ago, and for the last five years I was a training and development specialist for the University. I traveled across the U.S. and Canada training sales professionals, designers, managers and owners on building relationships, increasing sales and profitability, color and design, and in general, working smarter, not harder.
FT: Why did you join IDG?
Hill-Anderson: Ever since I started at CCA, I have admired this group. I believe that my entire professional background has been grooming me for this position. It gives me the best of what I love: design, fashion and moving the needle forward in business with smart business owners.
FT: What are some of your key goals for 2018?
Hill-Anderson: Build the IDG brand through co-branding initiatives with our members, re-energize the membership. Our 2018 Summit was a brand new start for IDG. Execute the three-year plan that was created in partnership with the IDG team and the Advisory Council. Lastly, my goal is to visit every member. This group is so diverse, fiercely passionate and driven in their business, and I look forward to having the opportunity to work alongside them.
FT: What is most exciting about the potential of the luxury market right now?
Hill-Anderson: Most exciting is the increase in consumer spending and the attraction to the luxury brand experience. The future of luxury brands lies in capturing the most valuable aspirations of our consumers. This is in line with IDG’s philosophy on building our brand recognition. Our new marketing campaign for IDG evokes emotion and tells a story about our members creating a one-of-a-kind experience for the consumer.
FT: How has the luxury market changed in recent years?
Hill-Anderson: Consumers’ wants and needs have shaped the luxury market. Luxury is no longer only about buying the most beautiful, exclusive thing. Consumers are now craving experiences that define luxury. They want something that is personalized and meaningful to them. The millennial state of mind is guiding luxury retailers to celebrate consumers’ passions and to allow the consumer to speak about them, instead of them constantly speaking about themselves. The years of user generated content and consumer advocates have arrived and will continue as we move into the future.
FT: How are IDG members needing to strategize to capture this market?
Hill-Anderson: Our new strategy enables our members to deliver the experience for luxury-leaning millennials. Providing a personalized experience for every customer to get them talking about us and feeling they’ve received a one-of-a-kind experience. We’ve also recently launched new websites that bring a more customized and pleasant digital experience to our customers, along with dynamic social media strategies. Ultimately, we are thinking more along the lines of experiences and emotions to drive repeat business and customer loyalty.
FT: What qualities do high-end flooring retailers have that help them stand out in the marketplace?
Hill-Anderson: That is an easy one. These entrepreneurs are true experts in their field. They have passion for the industry and the knowledge to back it up. Most of our members have been in luxury flooring their entire lives. And luxury flooring is its own stand-alone business. IDG members and their showrooms stand out because of their history in their markets, the unique stories behind their products and their exceptional customer service.
FT: Tell us about the Louis A. Dabbieri collection.
Hill-Anderson: Our Louis A. Dabbieri collection is a curated collection specifically for International Design Guild members. Hand-selected by our buyers, merchandisers, and in some cases our Advisory Council, the Louis A. Dabbieri collection brings exclusive, unique, on-trend products to our showrooms and our customers. Our target customer is someone with an eye for fashion and who stays on top of trends in home decor. They want to display these products in their homes and to speak about the experience of how they acquired it. Our collection includes all flooring types as we expand our product selection to meet the growing needs of the luxury flooring segment.
FT: What other IDG programs are you excited about?
Hill-Anderson: I am so excited to be able to tell you that we are full speed ahead with our Design for a Difference efforts. We started this program in 2013 as a contest for designers, and it has morphed into a full-on movement for our IDG showrooms, designers, and local contributors to make over non-profit spaces. It is such a heartfelt cause and we have ramped up the program so that more of our members can be involved in 2018. We have also refreshed our marketing campaign and are very pleased with the results.