Real American Hardwood Promotion Coalition Updates

RAHPC August 2020 Update - Webinar Available

The Real American Hardwood Promotion Coalition (RAHPC) was formed by a group of hardwood association leaders in 2019 to identify the opportunities and challenges in promoting the American hardwood industry to the domestic market. The first phase of RAHPC’s work focused on conducting and analyzing research on why customers purchase hardwood products or competing substitutes. By focusing on gathering information about how consumers decide which products they purchase, the hardwood industry can identify the best ways to connect with potential customers and influence their decisions through meaningful promotional outreach and messaging. The market research "will provide the basic tenets for developing a much-needed, over-arching brand identity."

Target audiences for this research included architects, contractors, home renovators, designers, millennials, and GenXers to assess their perceptions about hardwood attributes, their beliefs about competitive products, and what drives consumer decisions. It was conducted in a variety of methods - in-person focus groups, online polling, and interactive bulletin boards. The results of the research, covered in this webinar, forms the foundation of a new brand identity for the American hardwood industry. 

What were the Key Findings?

  • Attributes favoring American hardwood include: Attractiveness (#1 Attribute), High-end Appeal, Uniqueness, Durability, Gold Standard - Everyone wants the look and feel of real hardwood products
  • Drawbacks in choosing American hardwood: Cost (#1 Barrier), Not a "Good Value", disconnect between durable being good value, Disposable Society, "Close is Good Enough"
  • Not a Driver in the decision making process: "Made in America, Environmentally Friendly, Sustainability of the Resource" (Who knew?)

Watch the webinar now!

RAHPC July 2020 Update

The Real American Hardwood Promotion Coalition (RAHPC) continues to make great strides forward, despite the COVID-19 pandemic. All research, which encompassed a wide audience of consumers, architects, contractors, home renovators, designers, millennials, and Gen Xers, has been conducted, analyzed, and placed in the hands of the brand accelerator.

  • Marketing consultants have developed a preliminary Go-To-Market Playbook which will outline the many ways companies and associations can engage and guide influencers.
  • The RAHPC Executive Committee is preparing a webinar to update funding partners and industry affiliates on the Playbook highlights.

To learn more about the webinar details, to sign on as a funding partner, or for general questions regarding the work of the Coalition, email

RAHPC June 2020 Update

The Real American Hardwood Promotion Coalition (RAHPC) is making critical progress on efforts to establish a united marketing strategy for the American hardwood industry.  The Coalition is avidly collaborating with industry leaders and the hired brand accelerator and data teams despite the COVID-19 obstacles. Zoom is becoming a key tool among everyone. Read more here.

RAHPC April 2020 Update

The Real American Hardwood Promotion Coalition (RAHPC) continues its progress in April to establish a united marketing strategy for the American Hardwood Industry. The RAHPC has generated over $238,000 from 25 industry associations and is funding research and brand development. Read more here

RAHPC March 2020 Update

The Real American Hardwood Promotion Coalition (RAHPC) is making crucial progress on efforts to establish a united marketing strategy for the American hardwood industry. The Coalition met at the Indiana Hardwood Lumbermen’s Association meeting in February and discussed recent accomplishments and upcoming action. Read more

Focus Groups

To assess consumer attitudes, two focus groups were held in late January and early February. A focus group is a strategically selected group of diverse people assembled to participate in a guided discussion about a topic prior to the initial launching campaign of that specific topic. In our case, hardwood promotion, we talked to two types of people at each location. The first consisted of consumers that had performed major renovations in their homes within the last year. The second was a group of architects, contractors, and designers. Online polling of additional prosumers and consumers are being planned, as well as phone interviews with industry leaders to round out the research process.

A series of questions by a highly qualified facilitator-led to dialogue about home renovations, materials, sourcing, forest products, sustainability and much more. Some key findings of the focus groups include:


  • Perform most of the research themselves on their renovation projects. They rely on a variety of different resources; for instance, popular online shopping sites, television shows, local home improvement stores and word of mouth;
  • Want a “quick and now” answer for their renovations, often based on current trends;
  • Decisions are most often budget-driven;
  • Associate real wood products with high fashion and a perceived status;
  • For the most part, do not understand the terms sustainability and environmentally friendly;
  • Misinterpret characteristics associated with the forest products industry.

Architects, Builders and Designers:

  • Generally not the influencer, customers know what they want;Typically forced to stay within a strict budget;
  • Believe home improvement television shows do not present realistic costs and time estimates;
  • Agree most popular home renovations are kitchens, bathrooms, and flooring;
  • Have numerous sources for their raw materials and no allegiance to products Made in America.

Much of this information is already well known by hardwood insiders, but there were data points that were unexpected. These will help us as we move into our second phase, brand development.


This Spring, marketing professionals from various segments of the industry will gather to work to develop a brand statement that can be adapted and incorporated by associations and businesses alike, creating a common message that runs throughout multiple promotion platforms and campaigns.

Our marketing consultants will also develop a go-to-market playbook which will consist of many ways companies and associations can engage…with the average financial obligation attached to each option. At that point, RAHPC can begin to consider where we start and how funding needs will be addressed.

RAHPC members are attending industry/association meetings throughout the year. Please look for these opportunities to connect with those association executives that are actively engaged. And if you are interested in someone from the Coalition participating in one of your meetings, please reach out!!