Screenshot of the new American Hardwood Information Center website.


Audra Hession, svp and manager director of pr firm Gibbs & Soell, used a webinar earlier this week as the vehicle to launch a new campaign supporting American hardwood products. The American Hardwoods campaign, with the tagline “Treasured for Generations,” features a distinctive three-leaf logo, online marketing materials and a website all designed to get people thinking about American hardwood products over alternatives.

The promotion is the effort of an industry-wide coalition of North American hardwood trade associations, lumberyards and product manufacturers in segments including cabinetry, furniture, flooring, millwork, and other hardwood products used in residential and commercial building projects.

“We are looking to educate key influencers about American hardwood and increase visibility and, ultimately, sales of the product,” Hession said during the roughly 45-minute presentation. “We want to reinvigorate the image of American hardwood products.”

The campaign entered its initial stages about a year ago with an online poll conducted by Harris Interactive. The poll, which included more than 450 consumers and 230 professionals, was designed to find out the underlying perceptions of American hardwood flooring. Through the poll, the coalition learned that a majority of consumers are in the market for a hardwood product; consumers only consider themselves slightly informed about the choices available; and both consumers and professionals recognize the longevity, durability and craftsmanship of the product.

The next phase of the campaign centers on the website www.hardwoodinfo.com.Called the American Hardwood Information Center, the new site features separate sections of information for consumers (“Admirers & Enthusiasts”) and professionals (“Designers, Specifiers & Professionals”), along with a password-protected area for members to download a wide range of marketing materials.

These marketing materials include logo files in different sizes, sell sheets, brand guidelines, web links to share on company websites, and a “Proud Supporter” logo that can be used for decals and stickers.

“Our goal is to have the American Hardwoods brand accepted industy-wide,” Hession noted. “We want this to become a very widely recognized brand mark.”

She urges companies to incorporate the logo wherever possible, including websites, company advertising, brochures, branded merchandise, business cards, company letterhead and even product packaging and tradeshow displays.

For more information, visit the website. “We are looking for your participation and input,” Hession added.