Mohawk Fine Papers streamlines product offering by 50% to reduce redundancies, launches new website, brand identity, tools

COHOES, New York , April 16, 2012 (press release) – Following the announcement last week of plans to transform this fourth-generation, family-owned, premium paper business to thrive in today's digital world, Mohawk Chairman & CEO Thomas D. O'Connor, Jr., said, "Today, we are making bold changes across every aspect of our business with the launch of multiple customer-facing initiatives that provide tangible evidence of the company's vision and new experiences for customers."

NEW WEB SITE

Mohawk's new web site, MohawkConnects.com, designed by Hydrant and developed by Avatar, integrates e-commerce into all dimensions of Mohawk's online activities, and offers a personalized experience for customers and trading partners. "This is the beginning of a revolution in the way we do business and who we do business with. As we get closer to all of our customers, we are rapidly evolving the kind of experience we have with them both online and off," said O'Connor.

Mohawk's new technology and operations initiative, the Unified Service Delivery Platform, allows each customer to choose how and when they want to do business with Mohawk and provides them with a frictionless path to do so, fully transforming the delivery of all consumer and business applications to any place and device.

MohawkConnects.com is the center of Mohawk's new, comprehensive cloud-based service-oriented architecture that enables interoperability between internal and external applications, services, and information. Mohawk now leverages the cloud as a business technology platform to quickly connect its internal capabilities with those of a network of strategic partners with the goal to provide its customers with new and innovative products and services. "Mohawk has been widely recognized for its innovation in the use of the cloud for business integration, and this investment represents my commitment to build a company that is responsive to changes in the marketplace," said O'Connor.

NEW BRAND

The launch of MohawkConnects.com is the customer's first introduction to Mohawk's vibrant new brand designed by Pentagram, Mohawk's primary branding agency for more than two decades. Michael Bierut, who leads the Mohawk brand team at Pentagram said, "The logo is a monogram for the name Mohawk. It's based on the letter M, but it's also constructed to evoke the papermaking process and the printing process, both of which involve paper going around cylinders."

The logo also speaks to the basic idea of connection, which is what Mohawk paper is designed for, "Whether it's for a small book of photos featuring your niece and nephew or for a giant global corporation — it's about communication," he said.

The logo and energetic color palette offer unlimited variation and surprise, "We wanted to project a company that is forward-looking, nimble, and ready for the future, yet doing so from a strong base, built on the kind of authority that few of Mohawk's competitors can claim these days … it speaks to a company that has been around for a long time and is still capable of changing the way it looks," Bierut added.

NEW STREAMLINED PRODUCT OFFERING

O'Connor announced last week that Mohawk would streamline its product offering and consolidate its core paper lines. In fact, the number of SKUs have been reduced by more than 50% to "eliminate redundancies that were primarily the result of previous acquisitions over the last five years," said O'Connor. To aid current customers through the transition, Project Streamline is supported by a Web-based guide. [ http://mohawkconnects.com/streamline ]

NEW TOOLS

With a newly simplified product line, Mohawk has begun the process of creating paradigm-shifting specification tools. Following considerable research among a new generation of print customers who have notably different needs and expectations than their studio-based predecessors, Mohawk has released The New Mohawk product selector, created by the Michael McGinn Design Office. "This is the first wave in a holistically conceived solution that recognizes the relationship between experiencing the nuances of papers — starting with color and finish — and keeping the focus on simplicity, what the customer needs when they need it," said McGinn.

The physical components of The New Mohawk product selector have online counterparts at MohawkConnects.com to support the design, specification and purchase process while inviting real-time exploration and discovery through the ability to build custom paper and color palettes. "For customers who already know Mohawk, the product line is a simpler and clearer presentation," said O'Connor. "For customers who are new to Mohawk, the system makes the process of choosing papers effortless and engaging."

NEW CAMPAIGN

Also launched is the first video in Mohawk's new multimedia promotion campaign titled "What will you make today?" The Pentagram series of short videos debuted on the homepage of MohawkConnects.com today.

"The tangible work released today evolves directly from our vision of a 'New Mohawk,'" said O'Connor. "The design of the entire platform provides a sturdy base and a flexible structure from which to lead change in the paper industry. While it is impossible for me, or anyone, to predict the future, there is no shortage of ideas, energy, or commitment at Mohawk. We bring a disciplined focus to the quality of our execution at every customer touchpoint," he said.

[Note: Additional information on each initiative will be available on April 17, 2012, at www.mohawkconnects.com/company/press ]


ABOUT MOHAWK

Mohawk is North America's largest privately owned manufacturer of fine papers and envelopes for commercial and digital printing. Signature brands include Mohawk Superfine®, Strathmore®, Inxwell®, and proprietary i-Tone® for digital presses. Mohawk papers are chosen for commercial printing, photo specialties, and high-end direct mail. Products and samples are available through leading paper distributors and at mohawkconnects.com.

The company is leveraging connections in the digital, design, and photo space to develop new Web-based offerings: Pinhole Pro, a solution for professional photographers to create beautiful press products; Pinhole Press, a lifestyle brand for beautifully simple photo gifts; MakeReady for digital printers; and Felt & Wire Shop, an online marketplace for social stationery, posters, and prints.

This fourth-generation, family-owned business is constantly renewing its commitment to environmental stewardship. As the first U.S. manufacturer of commercial printing papers to match 100% of its electricity with windpower renewable energy credits and the first U.S. premium paper mill to shift toward carbon neutral production, its portfolio of recycled papers certified by Green Seal and the Forest Stewardship Council's (FSC) standards continues to grow along with the rest of the company.

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