We recently spoke with installation industry executive Greg Gelston, who has been tapped to lead the building of Profilitec’s brand presence in North America. The company’s wide range of tile installation systems includes floor, wall, movement, step tread and baseboard profiles, along with tile pedestal, anti-lippage, shower and uncoupling systems. The company also offers a complete line of profiles for luxury vinyl tile, laminate, hardwood, engineered wood and carpet.
Q: Can you share a little of your industry background--what skills do you feel make you suited to help ramp up Profilitec’s presence in North America?
A: My family has been involved in almost every facet of the tile and stone trade since the early 1960s; I’ve personally been involved since age 19 working in the family tile shop/contracting company. In 1993, I became one of Schluter-Systems’ first employees when it was only a small and unknown player in the industry.
My background and understanding of the tile trade led to early success as a technical representative and territory manager. This subsequently led to my appointment in 1998 as the director of sales for both the U.S. and Canada. I personally created and implemented strategic business and market development plans, which along with other strategies to follow, led to the creation of the “tile installation systems” category. This experience and thorough understanding of how to successfully position and market these types of products will help us put Profilitec on the map.
Q: What is your vision for Profilitec as it grows in North America? What are your goals for the company both short- and long-term?
A: Profilitec’s ultimate positioning strategy is to be the most advanced product line within the “tile installation systems” category. Products in this category are solutions for installation challenges; therefore, we believe using the best materials and most advanced designs offer the installer the greatest possibility of resolving his/her installation challenges as effectively as possible.
This positioning strategy supports our vision of being the “choice of the professional.” To further support our vision, our immediate goal is to establish an effective distribution network providing accessibility to the professional flooring trade while not oversaturating the market. We want to protect the value of our brand and provide the professional installer an option not easily accessed by his/her customer. This will support our long-term goal of being considered by the professional flooring trade as the most advanced and complete product line in the category, designed and marketed specifically to cater to the needs of the most advanced installers in the trade.
Q: With so many products and brands out there, why should installers and contractors choose Profilitec?
A: Our positioning strategy dictates any product we bring to market must be the most advanced of its kind categorically. For example, our basic profiles are made stronger with the highest-quality materials and have been designed to provide maximum performance for their intended function. And, because we utilize highly advanced product development and integrated manufacturing processes, we can produce the highest-quality products more efficiently, resulting in the ability to quickly adapt to the needs of the market while providing the best value proposition in the category. In short, we offer the best products at highly competitive price points.
Further, as others in the category seek sales from a variety of channels, including those that are consumer-targeted (big box, auction sites, etc.), we choose to remain committed to the professional flooring installer and contractor by bringing our products to market only through a well-established and respected flooring distribution network.
Q: What opportunities do you see for the brand moving forward?
A: Our market research has revealed that there is a real desire, from all segments, for a viable new provider of products such as ours. This is a very significant opportunity; however, it can only be realized if one understands what is referred to as “viable.” With my 20-plus years of experience directly involved in this category, it is my belief that there is an opportunity for an advanced company that maintains focus on its core competencies and can take it to the next level. Because of our product development, manufacturing capabilities and commitment to providing the market with the most comprehensive and advanced offering in the category, we believe Profilitec will become that viable alternative.
Q: Thank you for your time. Is there anything else you want to add?
A: The tile installation systems category is growing faster than the flooring industry as a whole, but admittedly, there are few recognized players. The market wants more choices. However, these choices must match, or—better yet—surpass the high standards established by our competition. We at Profilitec fully understand the market’s expectations and therefore are 100% committed to establishing a new standard in the category.
For more information, visit profilitec.com/en/products.html.