Coca-Cola. Hershey’s chocolate. Disney. These are some of the most widely known brand names in history. But a leading carpet brand -- that of Mohawk -- is older than any of them.

Mohawk Industries is marking its 125th year of business this fall. From a carpet manufacturer with 14 pre-owned looms producing traditional woven rugs in the late 1800s, Mohawk had already positioned itself as a strong consumer brand by the mid 1920s.

Today, Mohawk continues its growth as a progressive, marketing-driven, consumer-focused organization with a highly-valuable brand, while expanding its product offering to all flooring categories and utilizing state-of-the-art technology in every aspect of its business.

“It’s important to take note of milestones such as this one,” said Ed Williams, senior vice president of Marketing. “They provide us with a measurement point. We want to see if we’re a better company at 125 than we were at 124. And we certainly want to be even better by this time next year.

“There is tremendous value in Mohawk’s name—it’s a solid foundation that we continue to build upon,” he added.

“Our industry is intriguing in that the core benefits and values we offer the consumer are the same today as centuries ago, but our products and methods of providing are in a continuous state of change,” Williams said. “To grow, Mohawk has steadily built more value into its products, and more value into its service for dealers.

“Mohawk has captured the imagination of the consumer with new fibers, new stain, soil and odor treatments, and entirely new products like laminates and floor care. We moved from being a carpet mill to becoming a resource for total flooring supply,” he said. “Today, our distribution and service are as critical to our retail customers as the quality of the goods we deliver. I believe we can say we’ve done things that provide today’s consumer better choices in style, function, and value.

“One advantage of a 125-year history is that our heritage has continually added strength to the Mohawk brand,” Williams said. “Studies we have done indicate that the Mohawk name is one of the most recognized in floor covering, and our responsibility to our dealers is to take advantage of this brand equity. We’re focused on creating new ways to leverage the Mohawk brand experience to build store traffic and enhance consumer confidence. This is something Mohawk was doing more than a century ago.”

Williams said that brand building is taking a number of forms, including expansion of consumer advertising to include not just carpet, but also hard surface products such as hardwood and ceramic tile. And this year, Mohawk developed a national retail sale, Mohawk Anniversary Month, with specialized promotions at Mohawk ColorCenter and Mohawk Floorscapes stores across the country. Mohawk Anniversary Month includes a consumer sweepstakes, television, radio, and other brand- and traffic-building tactics.

“Consumers have told us in research groups the comfort level they feel with the name Mohawk. We are now in a position where we can enhance their brand experience on multiple levels. That’s a good place to be as we celebrate our 125th,” Williams said.

“We have emphasized the concept of co-branding with our dealers,” Williams said. “We believe there’s tremendous synergy when you combine a national brand with the solid local or regional reputation of a retailer. Programs like Mohawk Anniversary Month take advantage of this.

“When you consider these things,” he said, “then you feel that 125 years is just a good start.”