I can't figure out why anyone beats the price drum instead of the fashion and quality installation drum. It's fashion and installation satisfaction that attract commercial and residential customers and clients. It's what they buy, not price. So how come so many sit fat, dumb and happy, clinging to the mistaken belief that price is the route to success? They don't have a clue about the real world. So they advertise price, talk price, promote price - completely ignoring floor coverings' multitude of attributes.

Among the many bright spots at Surfaces was the heavy emphasis on fashion with a wide array of mouthwatering colors, styles and patterns in all floor coverings, along with installation systems and installation products and accessories. Fashion and installation were also the theme of educational sessions. Sadly, some continue to fly in the face of the facts and clutch price to their chests like a security blanket. Profits? Obviously overlooked.

Our industry, at all levels, must get off the treacherous path of price and step firmly on to the solid path of fashion and quality installation - the real route to successful sales and profits. Sadly, the problem runs throughout all segments of the industry. No segment has a monopoly on putting its eggs in the price basket. We must end the price mentality that turns floor coverings and installation products/accessories into commodities.

If the industry fails to put the emphasis on fashion and quality installations instead of price, we are in deep trouble. What's sad is the price folks don't realize that the majority of residential and commercial customers want fashion coupled with quality installations and they willingly pay for them.

This was clearly put into perspective when Herb Wolk was recently inducted into the WFCA Hall of Fame. During his long industry career, Herb never minced words; he hasn't changed since his retirement. In his acceptance speech, he warned that we are a fashion industry and if we don't start pushing fashion instead of price our future is not bright.

Why do we insist on treating floor coverings as a commodity instead of a desirable fashion-oriented product? Why do we relentlessly push price and forget about the endless array of beautiful floor coverings? Why do we relentlessly push price and ignore what technology has brought to floor coverings, installation methods and installation products/accessories? Why do we push price and forget about telling the consumer/architect/specifier/designer about the wide variety of floor coverings available to them. Why do we push price and forget about telling the consumer/architect/specifier/designer about quality installations by truly qualified installers?

The time has come for the industry to enthusiastically put price where it belongs - far down on the list of reasons why people buy our products.