Hot on the heels of Bremworth claiming a "win" in its ongoing court case with rival carpet-maker Godfrey Hirst, the international company is now claiming it's own "win".
The nationwide study, the results of which were released earlier this month, showed that Millennials (age 26 to 41), in particular, are changing their views on wool carpets.
Greg Smith, chief executive of Bremworth, says wool carpet was once a regular fixture in Kiwi homes but over the past two decades synthetic flooring has become dominant in the market.
However, Smith says the local industry is now seeing building awareness of wool carpet across millennial homeowners, who did not grow up with it in their house. He says the research suggests that half of those renovating or refurbishing their homes are now in that millennial age bracket.
“This is a market segment who is looking to wool for a range of reasons that weren’t priorities for the generations that preceded them,” Smith says.
He adds that millennials are also likely to spend time researching products prior to purchasing and are more likely to choose brands that align with their ethical beliefs and values.
“The length of life of a product, sustainability and environmental impact are also factors they take into consideration before making a purchase,” he says.
Smith believes it is important to educate domestic consumers on the benefits of wool otherwise there will be little chance of growing the industry’s overseas markets. He told Rural News Bremworth is embarking on a nationwide campaign to do exactly that, across digital, print and out of home platforms.
“A key objective of the campaign is to educate consumers that all synthetics are essentially plastic. This helps present wool as a premium, value added product,” Smith adds. “Bremworth has had experience manufacturing many different natural and manmade fibres and have found wool is a far superior product.”
Smith says imagery is important to positioning wool carpeting as a premium offering on the domestic market.
“With all of our campaign executions the imagery is designed to portray an aspirational, premium offering,” he explains. “Wool is not a cheap product to manufacture and requires artisan experts to work with – it naturally lends itself to be positioned at the premium end of the market.”
Smith says this helps Bremworth pay its farmers and suppliers at a fair rate.
“We are investing to elevate wool as a versatile and premium fibre that has qualities which can’t be replicated in a synthetic product. All of the inputs including the carpet backing are designed to be premium, which shows we don’t cut any corners, and this provides overall consistency with our positioning.”