skip to Main Content

Opportunity Knocks

Building Real Strategy to Drive Consumer Demand

What do you do when you have superior products, but are seeing market share decline? The Real American Hardwood Promotion Coalition (RAHPC) brought this challenge to CLUTCH.

Members of the American hardwood industry are facing pressure from competitive products that seek to emulate hardwood’s best attributes and muddy the waters of fair comparisons.  Additionally, shifts in consumer lifestyles surrounding home ownership, specifically longevity, affordability and investment, and changing demographics result in new and evolving consumer interaction with hardwood products. To address these shifts and maximize their potential success, hardwood leaders are investing in a joint effort to address their challenges.

In the initial assessment phase, it became clear a simple promotion or advertising campaign wasn’t enough. CLUTCH dove deep into studying consumer purchase drivers, behaviors and perceptions, and created a roadmap to improve demand for hardwood products.

For several years, the hardwood industry has emphasized its environmental sustainability as a key differentiator versus many synthetic competitors. While sustainability is highly differentiating, consumer research demonstrated that it’s a small factor in purchase drivers, ranking behind other attributes like appearance, durability and cost. Recognizing these other attributes would make a more emotional connection with the consumer, CLUTCH focused on the natural authenticity of Real American Hardwoods and built a positioning and messaging approach to drive that story into the marketplace. This direction created a big tent under which the hardwood industry can highlight how they better deliver on core consumer needs, while being flexible for individual hardwoods products and companies to leverage this messaging for their own benefit.

At the center of the strategic approach, CLUTCH also developed a new brandmark for the initiative that adopted a modern color palette with a hint of the nostalgia as homage to the authenticity of the industry, the companies and the people that are part of it.

The Real American Hardwood campaign, while industry-wide, is starting from scratch as they build alignment across industry members. The CLUTCH team purposefully created a go-to-market roadmap that is scalable over multiple years and includes tactics that allow the campaign to build a national presence while providing opportunities for individual companies to incorporate tactics within their own marketing and sales plans.


CLUTCH is a hybrid consultancy and agency focused on helping B2B businesses find and realize their peak potential. As business acceleration experts, everything the firm does is designed to drive the growth of revenue and opportunity. The firm combines a mix of strategic consulting, marketing communications and lead generation, and learning and development services to consistently produce business results for clients.

For more information visit

Back To Top