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PB-MDF Institute Changes Name to Composite Wood Council

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After considerable research and deliberation, the Board of Directors of the PB-MDF Institute has decided to change the name of the organization to the Composite Wood Council (CWC). The new name more accurately describes the group's breadth and activities, and should appeal to the consumers and retailers who are the main audiences for our communications. The new name will debut at the International Woodworking Fair in Atlanta. "About a year ago in Seattle, it became obvious to us that the term 'particleboard' elicits a strong negative reaction from furniture and cabinet retailers. They avoid the term themselves, so why should we use it in our name?" said Phil Miller (Founders Furniture/ Creative Interiors), CWC Chairman. After last year's furniture and cabinet retailer focus group, the Board assigned a task group to explore whether the name should be changed. When the task group reported back "yes" at the Spring Meeting in La Quinta, the Board and staff began soliciting name suggestions from members and others and testing them through focus groups. Meeting in Chicago on July 30, the Board assessed several options, along with the reactions of retail and consumer focus groups to each of the options. The focus groups had originally been planned to test public relations committee strategies, but were expanded to include name and product image issues. A total of four consumer and furniture /cabinet retailer focus groups were held in Phoenix and Chicago in June. The PB-MDF Institute name did not rate well with the focus groups, which had trouble with the terms institute and particleboard in particular, and were generally unsure of MDF They preferred new terms for particleboard and MDF such as composite wood or engineered wood. Also, wood was strongly preferred over panel, council over institute, and shorter names over longer ones. While the Board considered the focus groups opinions, current industry terminology and practical considerations were also taken into account. The new name should also contribute to a stronger linkage with the Composite Panel Association, though the CWC has a different audience. "I think we've found a name that will both reinforce our place within the industry, and provide us with an excellent opportunity to build a positive image with consumers, retailers and the media," said Miller. "This is a friendlier, more modern and inclusive name that we hope will make both member recruitment and media relations easier." The tag line for the group's engineered wood logo has also been shortened and changed to "The Heart of Today's Home." Since more and more engineered wood is being used in applications beyond furniture and cabinets (such as moulding, millwork and laminate flooring), it was felt that a broader and simpler tag line was needed. Focus groups strongly agreed. The logos color scheme has also been updated. CWC press kits have been distributed with new folders and logo sheets, and the CPA/CWC web site has had a facelift. Members who need additional sheets or other assistance should contact Elizabeth Czepiel, Membership Services Coordinator, at (301) 670-1752.

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