Product Of The Year

The 2008 Hardware Journal ‘Product Of The Year’ goes to Cabot’s CFP Sandless Floor System

Every year the Hardware Journal staff agonize at length over which product from our regular ‘Product Focus’ department should win the ‘Product Of The Year’ award. The winner is judged on many qualities, of which innovation is naturally the most important. However, a product’s overall effectiveness depends on more than one quality.

Cabot’s CFP Sandless Floor System was selected above all others because it pretty much not only created a new sub-category in DIY timber floor restoration, but managed to do so with remarkable effectiveness in terms of delivery, training/education and awareness.

The problem with DIY timber floor restoring is that it has traditionally been regarded with ‘prejudice’ amongst consumers and retailers. While new floors are relatively easy to finish, worn floors will normally require hours of joyless work, which means consumers inevitably choose between a hefty bill from a professional or the much less expensive rug cover up job.

The beauty of the CFP Sandless Floor System is that it kills several birds with one stone. Most of the hard work is eliminated because users simply apply it to a cleaned floor, which can typically then be recoated on the same day. However, despite its simplicity and ease of application, the hardest part according to Steve Barnard, Brand Manager – Cabot’s Timber Finishes, was changing people’s attitudes. “The hardest part of any innovation is education and a huge effort went into the launch and the support behind this product,” he said. The enormous education and awareness program included floor education support programs, how to guides, training presentations, training and looped in store DVDs, high impact merchandising and POS, a training academy for the reps and several instances of Steve scurrying through scrap timber yards for sample materials.

The concerted effort made a big difference in changing consumer and store attitudes, and plans are already underway to capitalise on lessons learned during the successful year, like 250 ml sample pots and new hang sells for stores. It’s no mean effort, and Steve couldn’t be happier. “We’re pleased to have produced a category growth product that will not only make life easier for consumers, but will also grow sales for the hardware market,” he said.

The Hardware Journal congratulate Cabot’s on this achievement.