Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Creativity in Flooring: The Bigger Picture

Christine B. Whittemore, Chief Simplifier, Simple Marketing Now
Have you considered the state of creativity in flooring? An interesting article appeared recently on TalkFloor.com titled Consumer Purchases Influenced by What's Under Foot? which had me thinking about it.

The article caught my attention for two reasons.  One because it addressed the consumer retail experience, a topic I'm passionate about, and cited research that I've written about on Flooring The Consumer [see Flooring Affects Retail Experience] which in turn led the Carpet and Rug Institute's Bethany Richmond to write Carpet Steps Up Retail Sales, Study Says.

It also intrigued me because the company responsible for the article - Desso - is one I wrote about on The Carpetology Blog in World Cup Extends To Grass Carpet. Desso, an 80 year old European carpet manufacturer, seems to have embraced creativity in flooring in a way I haven't seen. As I learn more about their innovations, I can't help but think that the reason has a lot to do with being focused on the Bigger Picture for flooing.

A Google search on "Desso carpet innovation" uncovered several interesting links in support of their flooring creativity. More specifically, Desso introduces Dialogue, an innovation in carpet sampling.  There's Desso SoundMaster for sound absorption and Desso AirMaster carpet which captures and retains fine dust.

According to Desso, their "innovation strategy is concentrated in 3 key areas: Creativity, Functionality and Cradle to Cradle. For DESSO, creativity is synonymous with CARPETECTURE®, which is a powerful example of DESSO’s commitment to creative carpet design and its dedication to meet the needs of architects, interior designers, building owners and end users. In the field of functionality, DESSO develops pioneering solutions that make a difference for health, wellness and well-being."

This interview featured in China Economic Review with Stef Kranendijk, CFO of European carpet manufacturer Desso further details the Desso innovation strategy.  When asked about innovation, Kranendijk explains:

"For us, innovation has three main drivers. The first is creativity. We have a circle of architects across the globe helping us produce the most stunning designs. We turned our company in three years into a real trendsetter. The second driver of innovation is the “Cradle to Cradle” concept. You only use a few very pure materials so that you can endlessly recycle them at a very high level. We started “Cradle to Cradle” two years ago, and we are replacing old materials in a very forceful way. In July 2010, we’ll convert all of our products into “Cradle to Cradle” concept products. We can disassemble them, re-use the yarn, melt the yarn into a liquid and re-use the liquid to make material for packing – we can recycle everything."

Here is Desso's presentation describing their implementation of Cradle to Cradle.
For the record, I have no ties to Desso. I admire their creativity and commitment to innovation and hope their example will inspire other flooring manufacturers to think about the bigger picture that their products exist in. After all, we spend all of our waking moments on flooring and, occasionally, even our sleeping moments. Imagine spending it on a floor covering surface that not only improves the air, absorbs sound, makes for repeated World Cup moments and benefits the environment, but also lifts the soul and inspires greatness.

That's something I wish on everyone.

Well done, Desso, for embracing creativity in flooring and staying focused on the bigger picture!

Who's next?

~ Christine

Christine B. Whittemore
Chief Simplifier
Simple Marketing Now

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