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Hardwood Industry Leaders Join Forces to Reinvigorate Image and Promote Use of American Hardwoods

• Hardwood leaders aim to give industry a recognizable brand through research-based campaign.
• Research shows that a majority of consumers and pros view hardwood as a superior material for aesthetics, quality and durability.

Hardwood industry leaders have come together to create a single campaign to raise awareness and promote the use of American Hardwoods in products for the home and building. The campaign aims to give the industry a cohesive identity and to elevate American Hardwoods as the building material of choice. Launching summer 2011, the American Hardwood Information Center, housed at www.hardwoodinfo.com, will be the official resource of the campaign, with member tools as well as information on design trends, care and maintenance, installation, finishing and professional specifying of American Hardwood products.

“This unique effort combines the best practices of more than 20 hardwood trade associations and leading product manufacturers who have come together with the common goal of inspiring increased usage of American Hardwoods in products from cabinetry to furniture to flooring,” said Terry Brennan of Baillie Lumber and representative of the campaign.

Hardwood industry leaders have contributed to the program through hands-on involvement in consumer research and brand development, as well as support through financial contributions. Trade associations involved in the campaign include Appalachian Hardwood Manufacturers Inc., Hardwood Distributors Association, Hardwood Manufacturers Association, Hardwood Council, Hardwood Plywood & Veneer Association, National Hardwood Lumber Association, National Wood Flooring Association, Penn York Lumberman’s Club and Wood Component Manufacturers Association. American Hardwood Export Council will also help disseminate the new message throughout export markets. The Hardwood Federation is providing administrative functions for the campaign.

The execution of qualitative and quantitative research outlined the most important values
associated with American Hardwoods. As documented in the research, more than 90 percent of consumers and pros like hardwood as a material for furniture, flooring, cabinets or building materials. More than 90 percent of respondents also agree that the strongest impressions of hardwoods relate to the durability and longevity of the material, and the ability to create a classic look that never goes out of style. Surprising to some was the fact that consumers age 45 and under showed a marked preference for hardwoods.

“The research* showed a deep appreciation for American Hardwoods among both consumers and pros and among all age groups. This offers a tremendous opportunity for the industry to come together and highlight American Hardwoods as the desired material in homes,” said Brennan.

A logo and tagline have been developed to reflect the most notable characteristics of American Hardwoods, as identified in the research. The tagline “Treasured for Generations,” coupled with the logo showing three American Hardwood leaves including Maple, Oak and Hickory, are meant to convey the variety of choices available with hardwood and indicate the timeless beauty and enduring value that come naturally with this material. This offers a recognizable identity to the whole industry from the forest to the finished product.

The next phase of the campaign includes the launch of a new, revamped website for the
American Hardwood Information Center, www.hardwoodinfo.com. The Center is the
authoritative resource for consumers and professionals looking for information about American Hardwoods, providing information on how to select hardwood species and build with American Hardwood products and offering advice from industry experts on decorating, care and maintenance, and design trends.

To help roll out the campaign, the industry has engaged a communications firm, New York-based Gibbs & Soell (G&S), though members of the industry are encouraged to promote the campaign among customers, professionals and other hardwood industry leaders by incorporating American Hardwoods messaging and branding within their individual companies and organizations.

According to Brennan, “We have a golden opportunity uncovered by the research to
dramatically increase the use of American Hardwoods among consumers and pros based on their deep appreciation of its attributes. It’s time for the industry to come together to claim our pride of place in the American home.”

*Based on research conducted in January 2011 by Harris Interactive. Consumers are U.S. adults who own their current primary residence; have an annual household income of $75,000; currently in the market (or plan to be within the next 6 months) for flooring, furniture, cabinetry or building materials. Prosumers are U.S. adults currently employed as builders, subcontractors, architects or designers; design, build, specify or
install furniture, flooring, cabinetry or building materials for consumer/residential properties.

About the American Hardwood Information Center
The American Hardwood Information Center is the authoritative resource for consumers and professionals seeking information about American Hardwoods. With the goal of promoting the use of American Hardwood products ranging from flooring, cabinetry and furniture, to millwork and building materials in both residential and commercial applications, the Center offers advice from industry experts on design trends, care and maintenance, installation, finishing and professional specifying. For more information on American Hardwoods, visit www.HardwoodInfo.com.

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Editorial Contacts:
Ashley Eisner, Gibbs & Soell Public Relations
Phone: 212-697-2600 email: aeisner@gibbs-soell.com

Lauren Weybrew, Gibbs & Soell Public Relations

Hardwood Industry Leaders Join Forces to Reinvigorate Image and Promote Use of American Hardwoods

Phone: 212-697-2600 email: lweybrew@gibbs-soell.com

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