What is the Real American Hardwood Coalition?
The RAHC is a voluntary industry-wide domestic promotion initiative for American hardwoods. The RAHC is directed by national, regional and state hardwood association executives.
Why was the RAHC established?
In early 2019, a small group of hardwood association executives, energized by the success of their joint effort to raise funds for the Hardwood Economic Impact Study, brainstormed ideas and approaches for a voluntary industry-wide promotion initiative.
What is the RAHC’s goal?
To develop a successful industry led promotion that:
- Educate consumers and raise public awareness about the benefits of Real American Hardwood products
- Increase markets and sales
- Improve industry stability
- Research and develop new products
Who participates in the RAHC?
All national, state, local and regional organizations and trade associations that represent the hardwood industry are invited to participate as RAHC members. The CEOs, executive directors and senior staff comprise the membership.
Hardwood companies and company leaders also are engaged to provide advice and guidance to the RAHC through the Advisory Committee.
How is the RAHC organized?
The RAHC is an association that represents all aspects of the hardwood industry. The RAHC has an Executive Board (11 members) that reports to an Industry Advisory Committee. Additionally, special task forces are formed to focus on specific RAHC projects.
How many associations and organizations are involved?
More than 24 hardwood organizations are engaged in one way or another. Click here to see who is involved.
The U.S. hardwood industry is facing significant change driven by a variety of factors, including stiff competition from hardwood look-alike products, relentless misleading campaigns about the sustainability of hardwood products, a slowing world economy, and the ongoing U.S. trade war with China. Markets are shrinking and businesses face an uncertain future.
Currently, there is no single, united, common domestically focused marketing program to respond to misinformation and promote the many positive attributes of Real American Hardwood products. If we do not unite now to regain and maintain domestic market share it will continue to decline.
The RAHC’s top priorities are to develop a concept and organizational framework that would engage all members of the hardwood community; allow input from all hardwood sectors and recognize that the differences of the many industry segments are essential to developing a clear, concise and overarching brand statement that can be echoed throughout the supply chain.
What is promotion?
Promotion means different things to different people. Webster provides a reliable definition – an activity that supports or provides active encouragement for the furtherance of a cause, venture or aim; the publicization of a product, organization, or venture to increase sales or public awareness.
For the RAHC, key components to a successful sustaining promotion program include Advocacy, Research & Development, Marketing and Education.
How will the RAHC work to develop a promotion program?
The RAHC has identified three steps towards developing a promotion program:
- Research: Review existing data; identify missing data regarding consumer attitudes towards hardwood products; identify the unknown. The RAHC gathered significant data from consumers, architects, builders, designers, educators, and industry associates on buying habits, key influencers, as well as (un)truths about hardwood products and the environmental superiority over other materials.
- Develop a Brand: A firm specializing in brand acceleration has been hired to utilize the research results to develop the over-arching brand statement AND identify the most effective go-to-market road map. This will include strategic efforts that can be implemented at little or low cost. A priority of both phases will be to keep industry association leaders aligned and engaged.
- Implementation: Identify feasible tactics and move forward, continually evaluating and adjusting. Implementation relies on interpreting the research in a way the hardwood industry can educate the consumer about the benefits of hardwood
Who are the RAHC target audiences?
The RAHC promotes Real American Hardwood flooring, cabinetry, millwork, and furniture to end-use consumers—including homeowners, renovators, contractors, builders, designers, and architects. Our goal is to drive increased purchases at the finished end which will support and benefit the entire supply chain from landowners and loggers to industrial and residential producers to retail outlets and installers.
What’s the definition of Real American Hardwood?
Real American Hardwood is defined as solid and veneered hardwood products from resources that are grown in the United States. Real American Hardwood maintains the integrity of the natural wood and is not a replication or non-wood product; its natural appearance (grain) has not been altered prior to finishing.
What is the status of the RAHC’s work?
Funds to conduct the first two steps have been raised and are near completion. Results and promotion tactics have been developed. The Coalition will then have to work with industry to identify which tactics to pursue and how to fund these efforts into 2021.
How can my association or company get involved?
Spreading the word and financially contributing to the RAHC is encouraged by all audiences. Additionally, once the Coalition finalizes the logo and its usage, that will be available for members to utilize, along with some additional opportunities.
What is the RAHC’s recommended financial contribution?
The RAHC has created special funding opportunities based on a variety of factors. Please click here for more detailed information.
How do I get more information?
Members of the RAHC will continue to present at association meetings. If you would like a RAHC member to make a presentation at your meeting or if you have further questions, you may email the RAHC at firstname.lastname@example.org.