If this chart from the Hardwood Market Report doesn't scare you, it should. It was presented at several industry trade shows earlier this year and shows the steep decline in consumption of U.S. hardwood lumber for the past 25 years, a decrease of more than 2/3s.
Our industry knows this is due in large part to competition from wood look-alike products that have gained market share by misleading consumers about the perceived benefits of non-wood products. The Real American Hardwood Coalition is working to combat this issue by implementing a marketing campaign to educate consumers about the uses, benefits, and sustainability of Real American Hardwood® species.
A lot has been accomplished already:
· Nation-wide research was conducted to understand consumer perceptions of real wood products.
· Key marketing messages were identified to effectively reach consumers.
· A Real American Hardwood logo was developed and trademarked.
· Brand messaging and campaign strategy were established.
· An industry-focused website was launched (realamericanhardwood.org).
· Press releases/articles were distributed to trade and consumer audiences.
· Social media accounts were launched (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, You Tube).
· An industry-focused video was created.
· A consumer-facing website was launched.
· A campaign database was established.
· The industry website was rebranded and merged with the consumer website.
· A television advertising contract was signed with Magnolia Network.
Television advertising is an industry first, and the Magnolia Network provides a unique opportunity to reach an extremely targeted audience of92.8 million home renovation viewers/purchasers to learn why real wood products should be part of their home build and renovation projects. The ads will launch this summer.
But consumers aren’t our only target audience. Phase 2 of the RAHC campaign will include architects and designers. These initiatives will include CEUs, design competitions, trade shows, show home sponsorships, editorial content, and more.
For months, many industry participants have taken a “wait and see” approach to joining the efforts of the Coalition. Many have wanted to see the Coalition’s plan, and progress, before helping to fund the initiative. The plan is now in place, well underway, and needs your financial support. For those who have helped fund our efforts to date, we thank you. For those who haven’t, we ask what are you waiting for? Help the RAHC reverse that trend on the HMR chart, and increase consumer awareness, market stability, and industry sales of Real American Hardwood® products. Donate today.