Q: What was the main impetus that drove Mohawk’s recent rebranding?
A: Like printers, Mohawk has shifted the type of products and services we offer our customers. Fine papers continue to be a critical core business, but we are now offering envelopes, plus a range of digital substrates, such as magnet stock and embedded cards. We also offer services through our Mohawk MakeReady website, and a robust e-commerce platform. And, like printers, we’re also evolving the way we reach our customers. Our new logo has been designed to embrace customers of all kinds through the Web and social media—in addition to print.
Q: How does the streamlining of your product lines benefit commercial printers?
A: Mohawk has grown over the past few years through acquisition. As a result, our product line contained many similar products with different names. We had over 30 different product brands—some of which have not been promoted for years. We heard over and over from printers and distributors that, while they loved the products, the line was confusing and difficult to navigate. With Project Streamline we clarified the product lines and consolidated like products. Most of the top-selling products have not changed, and we have developed tools at www.mohawkconnects.com/streamline/finder to help find legacy products that have been renamed.
Q: The company’s main website has been completely redesigned. Walk us through some of the highlights.
A: The new website, mohawkconnects.com, is designed with printers in mind. It is now easy to search for paper, find relevant supporting information, order samples and cartons. We have improved our service offerings through the site, so printers can now sign up for VIP status and purchase everything from single sheets to full cartons. Shipping options have been expanded to include UPS, FedEx, and LTL. The site offers a “Digital Print” portal, which connects to MohawkMakeready and the Digital Equipment Selector tool. Other printer tools allow you to search by physical attributes, such as caliper or brightness, and search by environmental attributes such as FSC or recycled content. By registering, printers can define their communications preferences and sign up for our “Find a Printer” tool to promote their businesses.
Q: For many years now, Mohawk has demonstrated a strong commitment to preserving the environment. Will the recent changes affect that aspect of the business?
A: Our environmental commitment is as strong as ever. In fact, the latest product changes are resulting in huge environmental savings. By simplifying the product lines we also simplify the manufacturing process and save fiber, energy, and water.
Q: Should we expect more changes from Mohawk in the near future?
A: Our industry is going through a period of radical reinvention. Companies need to view change as opportunity. We have embraced the idea of constant change—so yes, you can expect more changes in the future. At the same time, we are committed to the print community and will make changes that are relevant to printers and help move their businesses forward.
Q: Mohawk is a family-owned company; what do you think the founders would say about the changes you’ve made?
A: My grandfather purchased Mohawk in the midst of the Great Depression. At the time, the company was making groundwood paper and wallpaper base stock. He transformed Mohawk into a leading manufacturer of fine book paper for letterpress printers. My father led the transition to offset printing papers, and eventually to papers for digital print. I think they’d be disappointed if we didn’t change with the times!