Industry support for Natural Stone Council is rapidly growing

March 1, 2004
/ Print / Reprints /
ShareMore
/ Text Size+
Concerned over the aggressive marketing of imitation “stone” products and persistent consumer misperceptions about the value of real stone, natural stone businesses and organizations large and small, from across the entire stone industry, are coming forward to lend their support to the new Natural Stone Council (NSC). The NSC was formed last year under the leadership of Mark Fernandes of Luck Stone Corporation to unite diverse industry groups into one powerful promotional voice for the entire industry.

In just a few short months, the NSC has already raised nearly $300,000, with the largest single donation so far being a generous grant of $100,000 from the StonExpo Foundation, derived from the revenues generated by the StonExpo trade show. Additional funding has come from members of the Marble Institute of America, Allied Stone Industries, Indiana Limestone Institute, National Building Granite Quarries Association, Building Stone Institute, Elberton Granite Association, and American Monument Association. Our initial fundraising success points to the growing recognition among natural stone professionals in all parts of the industry is that the time has come to join forces and work together.

We want to get the whole industry involved, including companies that are not members of the Council's founding organizations listed above. In fact, the first donor check received was from a company that is not a member of any of the NSC's supporting organizations, but who read about the NSC initiative in Stone World.

NSC funds have been earmarked for a number of exciting stone-promotion initiatives that begin launching in June at the annual American Institute of Architects (AIA) Convention and Exposition in Chicago.

Combating a real and growing threat

NSC has developed a clearly defined strategy to promote the interests of the collective stone industry and counter the very real threats posed by competitors.

Companies manufacturing imitation stone products have enormous budgets for marketing campaigns that blur the differences between natural stone and man-made composites. These campaigns target building professionals - architects, designers, and commercial developers - and consumers, leaving them with the perception that manufactured products are equal to if not superior to natural stone, that there is little difference between their appearance and function, and that natural stone is far more expensive and difficult to maintain.

NSC cannot come close to competing dollar for dollar with the financial resources of these companies. Instead, it intends to maximize contributions by crafting a clear, compelling message about the superior qualities of natural stone and initially communicating that message directly to the audience with the greatest potential influence on our industry - architects and building professionals.

A critical audience: 20,000 architects at AIA Convention

When thousands of architects gather in Chicago in June for the American Institute of Architects 2004 Exposition and Conference, NSC will be there in full force. Exhibiting in one of the show's largest booths, NSC will be presenting many varieties and applications of natural stone with information on their properties, use, cost, installation and recommended care.

Stone industry experts will be on hand to answer questions and offer suggestions for residential, commercial, institutional and landscape applications. They'll also clarify for these professionals how natural stone's qualities compare with man-made products.

For the first time, these leading architects, who represent an industry that selects or recommends close to 95% of the materials used in construction projects, will find at their premier convention an energetic, authoritative and convincing presentation on the unparalleled beauty and value of natural stone.

The stone industry traditionally relied on the discernment of architects, designers and building contractors to recognize the value that natural stone products contribute to their projects. Until just recently, there was less urgency to speak and act collectively, but with growing competition from man-made products, the NSC is taking the offensive by correcting misperceptions and re-educating this highly influential group.

Visitors to the NSC exhibit will also receive a CD/DVD that presents the story of natural stone from quarry to installation; details sources for additional technical information on natural stones and their applications; and provides contact information on the stone companies and organizations that are supporting NSC. The CD/DVD also will be available on request from NSC following the convention.

Next on the NSC agenda: the development of a branding campaign for natural stone targeted toward consumers, including a seal to identify whether a material is authentic natural stone.

Now is the time to give your support

The Marble Institute of America (MIA), the leading trade association for the natural stone industry, is proud to be among the original supporters of the NSC, and we are committed to working with NSC to increase awareness and education about natural stone.

Whatever your company's line of business, if you're in stone, your success depends on the success of the stone industry. That's why now is the time to pledge your support to the NSC. The full 100% of your contribution goes toward funding the myriad initiatives being planned to build demand for natural stone among the commercial and residential marketplaces.

In any discussion of natural stone versus a man-made product, whenever qualities of aesthetics, variety, permanence or value are considered, there is simply no contest. Natural stone - real stone - is unbeatable. That's a message worth investing in, for everyone with a stake in the future of our industry.

Did you enjoy this article? Click here to subscribe to Stone World 

You must login or register in order to post a comment.

Multimedia

Videos

Image Galleries

November 2013 Stone Products Gallery

Take a look at some of the latest stone industry products.

THE MAGAZINE

Stone World Magazine

April 2014 stone world cover

2014 April

In this month's issue of Stone World, check out an extensive preview of Coverings 2014, which will be celebrating its 25th anniversary in April. Also learn more about various types of limestone that were used to build private residences.

Table Of Contents Subscribe

Contemporary Stone & Tile Design Magazine

CSTD_Spring2014_Cover.jpg

2014 Spring

This issue of Contemporary Stone & Tile Design includes our annual focus on Kitchen and Bath design

Table Of Contents Subscribe

Training Program

How formal is your training program for new employees?
View Results Poll Archive

The Stone World Store

How_To_Polish_&_Restore_Mar.gif
How to Polish & Restore Marble Flooring

This video will show you step-by-step how to resurface and polish marble flooring from grinding and removing lippage and scratches to achieving a highly reflective polish.

More Products

Italian Trade Commission Coverings exhibitor preview

Italian Trade Commission logo 2

The Italian Trade Commission is presenting a large group of the most innovative and internationally renowned Italian suppliers of dimensional natural stones. We hope your busy schedule will allow you to join us for a “genuine” espresso in booth N. 4045 and explore the exciting Italian natural stone resources offered by our exhibitors. Check out Italian stone producers exhibiting at Coverings 2014 here!

  

Stone Industry Education

stone industry educationStone Industry Education is sponsored by Stone World Magazine and Marble Institute of America. The SIE events will help you: strengthen your skills, build your business, and  increase profit in your shop.  Check out stoneindustryeducation.com to register for upcoming fabricator and installer seminars.

STAY CONNECTED

facebook logo Twitter  YouTube