Wool Partners' international marketing business, Wools of New Zealand, has boosted its promotional programme in the United States with the launch of its Wool College. The on-line training platform is designed to enhance the wool knowledge of retail sales staff and carpet manufacturer sales representatives.
The Wool College adds to an array of programmes already in place in the US, including a Premier Partner Retail Programme and the recently launched Wool Benefits System – an interactive sales tool for educating retail customers at the point of purchase about the superior qualities of wool and wool carpets. The Wool Benefits System utilises the very latest high-definition Touch Screen computer technology.
The first training programme offered through the Wool College is the Wool Benefits Course, which draws on the accumulated knowledge of wool experts from New Zealand. The Wool Benefits course has 10 learning modules addressing the natural properties of wool – including the unique attributes of the fibre, sheep breeds, the advantages of wool over synthetic fibres and the natural integrity of wool. A final exam completes the course. Further courses will be developed in future.
The Wool Benefits Course is open to all retailers, but only those participating in the Premier Partner Program will be able to promote their sales staff as 'Wool Specialists' once they have successfully completed it. Premier Partner showrooms are a dedicated group of retailers who must meet specific criteria in exchange for exclusive benefits designed to promote and sell high-end wool carpets and rugs.
Wool Partners CEO Iain Abercrombie says the Wool College is an excellent example of the potential for marketing activities to be targeted effectively in conjunction with the retail trade. “Our retail partners have a strong interest in building their own expertise in wool, and in educating their customers about wool's unique qualities. Their reaction to the launch of the Wool College has been very positive, and we expect more than 500 salespeople to complete the Wool Benefits Course in its first year.”
Wools of New Zealand has 30 brand partners and 700 partner retailers in the United States.