WCMA :: Product Innovation Awards
 
2007 Winners
Honorable Mention
Additional Submissions
Thanks to Our Judges

WINNERS

PRODUCT OF THE YEAR
Hunter Douglas
Pirouette® window shadings
StayFold, Inc.
StayFold
Norman® USA
PerfectTilt™ Solar Shutters
Somfy Systems, Inc.
Tilt Wirefree™ RTS System Remote Control
Helser Brothers, Inc.
Jewels™ By Debra May Himes
Hunter Douglas
Designing Windows
Hunter Douglas
Hunter Douglas 2007 Trade Advertising Inserts
Hunter Douglas
iMagine™ Design Center
Comfortex Window Fashions
Envision™ Roller Shades featuring the Ecogreen™ Collection
Comfortex Window Fashions
Symphony® Blackout Double Honeycomb Shades “The Insulator”
Radiant Blinds, Inc.
Radiant Blinds
Hunter Douglas
Hunter Douglas International Alliance Conference
Hunter Douglas
Ariosa™ fabric for Duette® honeycomb shades
Hunter Douglas
Enhancements to Heritance® hardwood shutters
Hunter Douglas
Alustra® Duette® Architella™ Sheer Opalessence™
Hunter Douglas
Designer Roller Shades Sample Book
Hunter Douglas
Hunter Douglas Summer Sale Event and Fall 3-in-1 Promotion
Levolor Kirsch Window Fashions
Levolor Perceptions Custom Soft vertical finish/color coordination with Levolor Cellular shades
Levolor Kirsch Window Fashions
Kirsch Roman Shade with Decorative Drapery Hardware Headrail
Hunter Douglas
Duette® Architella™ Collection Display Board
Hunter Douglas
Enhancements to Country Woods® and The EverWood® Collection blinds
RollEase, Inc.
EasyRoll™ Automatic Roller Shade

WINNER - Product of the Year

product of the year

best new style concept

best new technical innovation

most innovative overall design

2008 Product Of The Year

Hunter Douglas

Pirouette® window shadings

Product Category: Shadings and Sheers

A totally new concept in light control, Pirouette® window shadings feature soft adjustable horizontal fabric vanes attached to a single sheer backing. With the gentle pull of the operating cord, textured fabric in delightful colors transforms from what appears to be cascading folds to contoured vanes, allowing an enhanced outside view through the sheer backing.

More specifically, when opened, the top and bottom of each vane shift closer together in the back, creating a soft outward fold and allowing light to filter gently through the fabric sheer and offering a softened view of the outside. When closed, the vanes slide into a flattened position for excellent light blockage and a smooth look similar to that of a classic fabric shade. Vanes can also be partially raised for a gently contoured look that still maintains privacy, or adjusted to different levels for variable light control.

Available in two vane sizes – 4" Petite and 5" Grande – and for windows up to 10-feet wide by 10-feet high in three textured fabric styles for a total of 44 fabric/color combinations in semi-opaque and room-darkening opacities. The UltraGlide® single retractable cord lifting system and the EasyRise™ continuous cord loop system are offered.

Sales have tripled expectations.

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WINNER

best new technical innovation

StayFold, Inc.

StayFold

Product Category: Drapery Hardware

The StayFold is the only drapery hardware product that keeps the folds of a drape panel uniform from top to bottom eliminating unsightly flare. It installs in seconds behind the panel with a self-adhesive pocket tape. The device cuts installation time in half and prevents call backs from customers. It is child and pet friendly as there are no sharp pins. Also energy efficient, eliminating lost air between face fabric and lining diverting air movement into the room.

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WINNER

best new technical innovation

Norman® USA

PerfectTilt™ Solar Shutters

Product Category: Shutters

Introducing PerfectTilt™ Solar by Norman®, a modern way to use renewable energy for everyday efficiency. A thin solar panel attached to the battery pack harnesses energy from the sun to supply power for the battery. In addition to the eco-friendly design, it is especially convenient for hard-to-reach windows and specialties such as sunbursts, arches and rakes. Going green just got a bit easier.

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WINNER

best new technical innovation

Somfy Systems, Inc.

Tilt WireFree™ RTS System

Product Category: Motorization

Somfy’s Tilt WireFree™ RTS System features built-in RTS and the Telis Modulis RTS remote. It offers simple installation and eliminates the need for wires because it is battery powered. The Modulis RTS offers the industry’s fist dimmer for natural light control and features a scroll wheel for precise tilting of blind slats. Because it’s RTS, it offers flexible control of individual window coverings or groups of window coverings without the need to aim the remote.

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WINNER

best new style concept

Helser Brothers, Inc.

Jewels™ By Debra May Himes

Product Category: Award Category: Drapery Hardware

Jewels™ is the result of a two year collaborative effort between Jay and Mark Helser of Helser Brothers, and Debra May Himes, ASID. This partnership has produced a truly ground breaking new concept in window treatment hardware. Conceived with the professional designer in mind, Jewels™ allows the designer complete freedom in design, proportion, scale and color. Whether the goal is traditional elegance or the simplicity of contemporary style, Jewels is the answer.

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WINNER

best consumer education program

Hunter Douglas

Designing Windows Magazine

Merchandising Category: Consumer Education Program

Volume 2 of the Hunter Douglas Designing Windows magazine is a single marketing piece that showcases the company’s full array of products. It continues to illustrate the beauty, quality and many options of Hunter Douglas custom window fashions, with all indicators pointing to this new edition being as successful as the first.

Designing Windows guides consumers through the selection process, from defining their style preferences and practical needs to choosing specific window fashions. Up front, editorial sections inspire the imagination with beautiful room settings showcasing how the products complement a variety of décors. New sections include “A Designer’s Report” focusing on top designers and how they work with light and a feature on “White. The One Essential Color.” Behind, the product pages – with detail shots and key features and benefits copy – illustrate the wide array of styles and options. A summary chart allows for easy product comparison. The iMagine™ Design Center is showcased next to the back cover.
Ideal for in-store, as a leave-behind on sales calls, for distribution at events or for targeted mailings, Designing Windows can be customized with a dealer’s information and logo on a letter bound into the spine at the inside cover. There are more than 600,000 magazines in circulation. Dealer feedback has been extremely positive.

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WINNER

best trade advertising and promotional program

Hunter Douglas

Hunter Douglas 2007 Trade Advertising Inserts

Merchandising Category: Trade Advertising and Promotional Program

Hunter Douglas trade advertising programs continue to be strategically positioned to communicate to our retail customers any product updates and new sales, marketing and/or training programs, as well as other topics of importance to dealers’ businesses. The insert format has become a signature style for Hunter Douglas and capitalizes on cost efficiencies, impact and strong presence afforded the corporate brand as a result of it. Three multi-page, multi-product/program inserts are created each year, timed to coincide with three key product/program launches (February, May and September)

  • Each insert summarizes the most important aspects of each new product and program, presented through both copy and visuals
  • The inserts appear in key industry trade publications and are provided in large quantities to Hunter Douglas fabricators for customizing with their own information and then mailing to their dealer database and/or using as a reference piece during sales calls
  • The bundling of multiple stories into one comprehensive, cohesive advertising unit serves multiple purposes, as proven out by surveying a sampling of trade magazine readers:
  • The size and scope of the unit attracts significantly greater reader attention than multiple self-standing advertisements could achieve on their own, while also reinforcing Hunter Douglas as the marketplace leader.
  • As a self-contained and removable communication piece, dealers appreciate that they can keep it on file for future reference.

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WINNER

best marketing technology

Hunter Douglas

iMagine™ Design Center

Merchandising Category: Marketing Technology

A click away from the home page of www.hunterdouglas.com, the iMagine™ Design Center is an interactive gallery that allows consumers to see every Hunter Douglas window fashion in its full-range of colors, fabrics and constructions on windows in customizable room settings. There are 43 brands and 3,037 SKUs featured. Potential buyers can then visit their Hunter Douglas dealer with ideas in mind, allowing dealers to close sales more quickly and profitably.
The site is unlike other image-rendering tools because it visually displays the effects of light in the room through the window fashion. Users must choose a product and are then given the opportunity to view detailed images and also see the window fashion in a variety of room settings. Both options allow consumers zoom in and out, change fabric, colors, opacities, textures and more, and easily toggle between the two views. The room scenes can be customized with a vast selection of floorings, upholstery and bedding fabrics, and Benjamin Moore® wall colors.

The iMagine Design Center also provides links to product videos and “Special Features” highlighting the qualities of the selected product as well as the Dealer Locator.

The launch of iMagine in June helped set records for page views and visits to hunterdouglas.com for 2007. Almost 3.5 million page views and just under 1.5 million brand SKUs have been viewed to date.

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WINNER

best new technical innovation

Comfortex Window Fashions

Envision™ Roller Shades featuring the EcoGreen™ Collection

Product Category: Green Products

The EcoGreen™ Fabric collections within the Comfortex Envision™ Roller shade line offer three environmental responsible features: PVC-free, completely recyclable and LEED Certification friendly. The PVC-free fabrics contain no volatile organic compounds (VOCs), eliminating the need for off-gassing and improving indoor air quality. Being recyclable, EcoGreen fabrics are diverted from landfills and reclaimed. Lastly, EcoGreen fabrics may help a total project achieve LEED Certification by contributing toward Energy Performance, Material and Resource Use and Indoor Air Quality, three of the five credit categories needed.

The EcoGreen fabrics can be easily found by looking for the green and yellow EcoGreen logo with the Envision Roller Shade sample book and program materials.

Designers and Development Team for Envision™ Roller Shades featuring the EcoGreen Collection
Corina McRee
Richard Watkins

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WINNER

best new technical innovation

Comfortex Window Fashions

Symphony® Blackout Double Honeycomb Shades “The Insulator”

Product Category: Cellular Shades

Comfortex Symphony Blackout Double Honeycomb fabric collection named “The Insulator” combines superior insulation with the best of cellular shade light control. The insulating attributes of the double honeycomb Symphony Blackout fabric is boosted by the addition of an integrated foil lining to which keeps homes cooler in the summer and warmer in the summer. This energy smart cellular fabric is offered in fifteen fashion forward colors in 10 hardware applications. Add the WCMA award winning ComforTrack™ Energy Saving Sidetrack option to further enhance energy efficiency and achieve nearly 100% light blocking capability.

Designers and Development Team for Symphony® Blackout Double Honeycomb Shades “The Insulator”
Shane Brunell
John Fitzgerald
Richard Watkins

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WINNER

best new technical innovation

Radiant Blinds, Inc.

Radiant Blinds

Product Category: Horizontal Blinds

Radiant Blinds produce light on demand. In Radiant Blinds, the interior facing side of every slat produces ambient light like that of a bright, sunny day. Systems come standard with programmable, fully automated tilt control and an automated Sunrise & Sunset mode, in which the blinds awaken the user in the morning by ‘pretending’ to be the rising sun, brightening at user selectable rates until the living space is beaming with gorgeous light.

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WINNER

best trade education program

Hunter Douglas

Hunter Douglas International Alliance Conference

Merchandising Category: Trade Education

The first-ever International Alliance Conference at the Colorado Convention Center in Denver ran from July 25 to 27, 2007. It was the first event of its kind where more than 3,000 Hunter Douglas aligned retail dealer attendees from North America and around the globe along with fabricators, select marketing partners and Hunter Douglas management and product brand teams all gathered together, at the same time and under one roof. More than 4,000 people were in attendance.

The 92,000 square feet of exhibition space was filled to capacity with the most comprehensive presentation of products ever shown at one time. An array of marketing, merchandising and education programs was also showcased.

“It was like a shot in the arm, got people moving toward improving their businesses, it’s easy just to hum along and stay with the same old thing,” said Kathy Kiefer of A Well Dressed Window in Omaha.

General Colin L. Powell, USA (Ret.), gave the keynote address. Other speakers included the Mayor of Denver, top business guru Daniel Burrus, leading design expert Michelle Lamb and retail expert George Whalin.

“This was an industry first. Never before has Hunter Douglas or any other window covering company brought together such a large and extraordinary gathering of retail dealer talent to learn and grow together,” said President and CEO Marv Hopkins.

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WINNER

best new style concept

Hunter Douglas

Ariosa™ fabric for Duette® honeycomb shades

Product Category: Cellular Shades

The Ariosa™ fabric for Duette® honeycomb shades offers a distinctively soft-hand texture combined with proprietary stain release technology for unmatched durability and easy cleaning. Ariosa is the only softhand fabric on the market that offers premium fabric quality and texture with added protection against stains. Stain release technology provides a protective barrier which repels water and stains and allows for easy stain removal backed a lifetime limited warranty. Offered in the ¾" pleat size, Ariosa helps broaden the appeal of Duette shades to younger consumers with its bold colors: Banana Cream, Greenwillow, Mandarin Coral, Cinnabar and Aquamint. Ariosa is currently available in the most popular lifting systems.

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WINNER

best new style concept

Hunter Douglas

Enhancements to Heritance® hardwood shutters

Product Category: Shutters

Heritance® hardwood shutters, the best and most comprehensive offering in the genuine wood category, are now offered in 100 standard colors, including more than 60 artisan-grade paint colors and over 30 rich stains. Custom-color matching is also available. There is also an expanded selection of unframed specialty shapes; new arch and angle top panels; a range of new framed specialty shapes; two additional frame options: the Tilt-In Z-frame and Colonial Z-frame; a 4 ½" louver; and enhanced specifications with the first divider rail at 72."

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WINNER

best new style concept

Hunter Douglas

Alustra® Duette® Architella™ Sheer Opalessence™

Product Category: Green Products

Trend-setting Alustra® Duette® Architella™ Sheer Opalessence™ takes two already distinctive fabrics and pairs them up for a stunning visual effect. The soft, outer Whisper™ sheer allows the sparkle of the inner Opalessence fabric, which contains flecks of natural mica, to subtly shine through for a new design sensibility. Combined with the superior energy efficiency inherent in the Duette Architella honeycomb construction, this unique product provides two more air pockets than traditional honeycomb shades and dramatically increases R-values to up to 7.86, among the highest in the industry. Alustra Duette Architella Sheer Opalessence offers the aesthetic beauty of a honeycomb sheer without sacrificing light control or energy efficiency.

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WINNER

best new sampling program

Hunter Douglas

Designer Roller Shades Sample Book

Merchandising Category: Sampling Program

The new sample book from Designer Roller Shades from Hunter Douglas follows a theme of “look, feel, design.” It beautifully showcases all of the new design features including fabrics, faux wood slats, designer tapes and petite gimp trims and hardware colors. Large swatches along with inspiring photography highlight the endless design options. The sampling includes the sample book, a 10-pack of consumer brochures, Reference Guide section and display shade coupon.

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WINNER

best consumer advertising campaign and promotional program

Hunter Douglas

Hunter Douglas Summer Sale Event and Fall 3-in-1 Promotion

Merchandising Category: Consumer Advertising and Promotional Program

Hunter Douglas developed and executed two fully integrated marketing programs during the important summer and fall/winter selling season that offered aligned dealers unique opportunities to increase store traffic and close larger and more profitable sales. Both were advertised in national magazines as well as online on top-performing Web sites.

The first-ever Hunter Douglas Summer Sale Event in effect from June 1 through August 31, 2007 offered consumers special rebate savings on many of the best selling and most sought after Hunter Douglas products. Of particular note, there were no minimums or maximums, so savings were applied to every qualifying product purchased. Free upgrades on select products were also included.

The 2007 Fall 3-in-1 Promotion featured three important components: the annual Holiday Savings Event, along with Child Safety and Energy Efficiency Promotions. This program was designed to draw consumers to aligned Hunter Douglas dealers with a combination of limited-time rebates and free upgrade tied into seasonal topics that consumers find timely and important.

Both promotions were supported at the dealer level with advertising, direct marketing and points-of-sale materials.

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WINNER

best new style concept

Levolor Kirsch Window Fashions

Levolor Perceptions Custom Soft Vertical finish/color coordination with Levolor Roman and Cellular shades

Product Category: Verticals and Panel Tracks

Levolor introduced new line of Soft Vertical blinds with new fabric colors/finish offering which match and completely coordinate with finishes in Levolor Custom Cellular and Roman shade fabric finishes. Consumers can now decorate their large windows and sliding doors using Soft Vertical blinds and match fabric finishes to Levolor Cellular and Roman shade product categories which they may want to use in other (smaller) window applications. This allows homeowners to achieve a uniform and completely coordinated look throughout their home across several different product options and window applications.

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WINNER

best new style concept

Levolor Kirsch Window Fashions

Kirsch Roman Shade with Decorative Drapery Hardware Headrail

Product Category: Roman, Roller and Pleated Shades

Coordinate Kirsch Wood Trends 2" Drapery Hardware with other wood applications in your home, while enjoying Roman Shades. Kirsch’s Roman Shade utilizes the drapery hardware for the appearance of a drapery, yet it lifts and lowers like a blind or shade. These shades are offered with Cordless Lift or Motorized Lift. Several fabrics and all the drapery hardware match Kirsch’s Ambiance™ Shades for those consumers needing to coordinate their Roman Shades with a Vertical application.

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WINNER

most innovative point of sale program

Hunter Douglas

Duette® Architella™ Collection Display Board

Merchandising Category: Point of Sale Display

The Duette® Architella™ Collection Display Board stands out in the marketplace by displaying a new product as art. A piece of art displays a question in the mind of the consumer — what is this? Put together in an artistic format with removable swatches of both Panache™ and Elan™ fabrics that can be used as a counter card or hung on the wall it opens up a dialogue between the consumer and dealer because it is not just a one-dimensional merchandising display. It showcases the unique honeycomb-within-a-honeycomb construction that provides superior insulation and the luxurious fabrics in rich, vibrant colors in an intriguing way, distinguishing Duette shades and Architella as above the fray.

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WINNER

best new style concept

Hunter Douglas

Enhancements to Country Woods® and The EverWood® Collection blinds

Product Category: Wood / Faux Wood blinds

The Country Woods® and EverWood® Collection product lines have been integrated, making them easier to present, sell and install. New common standard valances, designer tassels and specialty shapes allow consumers to mix and match wood and alternative wood blinds throughout the home while maintaining a consistent look, while common valance clips, PowerTilt™ with Platinum™ Technology, and coordinated selling systems make the programs easier to sell and install. Country Woods wood blinds updates:

  • New multi-step TopShield™ II finishing process for the best fade resistance and moisture resistance on the market, plus all the chemical and scratch resistance of the original TopShield finish.
  • Choice of four slat sizes: 1", 1 3/8", 2" and 2 5/8".
  • 46 painted and stained finishes reflecting today’s popular colors.
  • New 3 ¼"-tall Artemis valance for a contemporary look. New decorative keystone standard on all valances wider than 96," optional upgrade on smaller width valances.
  • 68 decorative tape options that complement home décor textiles, including a new 1"-wide tape.
    EverWood Collection alternative wood blinds:
  • Award-winning TruGrain® finish – the most realistic stain finish on the market in alternative wood blinds – features seven new, fashion-forward finishes in the 2” EverWood line, including whitewash and distressed styles.
  • Six additional TruGrain finishes for EverWood X-tra; refreshed stain collection for WoodMates® blinds.
  • Valance selection streamlined with two taller 3 ½" upgrade styles.
  • Expanded wide-tape selection includes new 1" assortment and expanded 1 ½" patterns.
  • Fixed-slat specialty shape offering added.
  • Collection sampled together in comprehensive book format for the first time.

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WINNER

best new technical innovation

RollEase, Inc.

EasyRoll™ Automatic Roller Shade

Product Category: Roman, Roller and Pleated Shades

The new RollEase EasyRoll™ automatic roller shade is an exclusive clutch operating system with a unique patented feature that raises a roller shade automatically. When the shade is down, simply pull gently and hold one side of the control chain and the shade will quietly and smoothly roll all the way up in a controlled fashion that almost appears to be motorized. Works with RollEase Raceway and Cassette-120 Headrail.

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