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Canadian Proud – Are you doing enough?

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CKCA by Sandra Wood
CMP, Executive Director, CKCA
For three days last November, CKCA attended the WMS Show in Toronto.
It was a great opportunity to meet face-to-face with the industry we represent and to hear the stories from our industry and there are plenty 
of stories! Our story for those three days was to proudly 
wear T-shirts that reflected CKCA’s values for a thriving Canadian industry. Our T-shirts said “Buy Canadian Built Kitchen Cabinets.”
We got plenty of thumbs up from people who walked by and our booth was busy, perhaps our T-shirts helped people feel comfortable in approaching us to chat.
We hear from members often about the challenges of cheaper foreign imports and the struggles to compete. We’ve spoken to the KCMA in the U.S. to learn what they are doing to address this issue and an important decision around tariffs applied at U.S. borders will be revealed in the first quarter of 2020. Like many, we’ll be watching closely of course and will have more on this in the coming months.
In an effort to push the Canadian message out and to encourage manufacturers to do the same, CKCA has created a pamphlet template that we invite manufacturers to use and customize for their own shop. When at home shows or even in showrooms and on websites, we encourage manufacturers to speak up about the differences of Canadian product and the quality and integrity of our industry. After all, there’s a reason we use the words “professionalism, quality, innovation.” Yes, the average consumer cares about price first, but the average consumer is also becoming more informed and is asking questions.
Can you add to your repertoire the reasons why a consumer should buy from you? Do you mention anywhere in your promotional materials that you are a Canadian company employing Canadians, supporting the Canadian economy and our environment? Does your 
sales team even know what 
to say? Are you doing enough to put your best Canadian 
case forward?
CKCA can help and our pamphlet gives some compelling reasons to buy Canadian. I’ve heard from some manufacturers that customers don’t ask and that’s OK, but we can tell them about the benefits of buying Canadian.
For a consumer who walks into any showroom, it’s an overwhelming experience of colour, design and details, but they rely on your sales team to inform them of why they should purchase from you. Perhaps the age old saying “if you don’t ask you don’t get” is true but with a modification “if you don’t tell, you don’t get”.
Add Canadian to your website, your sales promotions and anywhere that might help make that message louder. It doesn’t hurt and you could gain from it, especially when that informed consumer walks into your showroom.
To help you have a successful 2020, CKCA has lots of great activities planned including four events starting with a Regional Event in Vancouver, B.C. Feb. 3-4, EuroCucina – April 18-26, the CKCA National Conference – May 28-30 in New Brunswick/PEI, and the Fall Regional – Sept 21-22 in Waterloo, Ontario in September.
All these events are designed to showcase what others are doing in the industry, to talk and share insights and to benefit from the connections we make.  CKCA’s partnership with CFIB is well underway and members now have access to a variety of services to help them in their business. CKCA has lots of programs and services to support you in addition to all the learning we offer at our events and we will continue to push the Canadian message where we can, to look at collecting valuable market intel to give you benchmarking data, as well as offering programs to help you entice and retain employees that are getting harder to find.  
Our vision and promise remains unchanged – to support a thriving Canadian kitchen cabinet industry. We look forward to hear from you about how we can assist you this year. Please reach out to get your copy of our “Buy Canadian” pamphlet or for any other question or comment you have at info@ckca.ca

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