26.5.11

Blanco Zeus is now Zeus Extreme : How does the color naming work in this business?

Blanco Zeus, Glaciar, Nero Portoro, Botticino, and many others are names most peole in the engineered stone business hear about daily. I believe most of you have wondered how the naming process of the colors and series is done. Can say that their are no standards that influence the name or the series, it's mostly a marketing decision of the manufacturer. I've participated in some of these name picking marketing activities, and many times I believe the consumers must also wonder why they named the color with that specific name.
Historically, we have had an evolution regarding naming and products. Prior to the 90s, the most common and sold engineered stone products were engineered marble products, these colors are currently still available and most producers have settled to call them the Traditional Series. Way back then and as you can see in the picture, the majority of the texture was true natural marble, some very similar to the natural stone, so manufacturers in general started to call these products using the natural stones name, which quickly helped marketing these products, as most traditional marble stone names are easily recognized by the general consumer.
From the 90s until today, the evolution of this industry has surpassed all expectation, in the 80s most manufacturers had a very rigid offer of colors to the market, and the same color range besides limited it also would last several years practically unchanged. In Italy, even today, some manufacturers even use the same names for similar colors like Botticino, Nero Portoro, etc. While other producers would just use the color type and add it's origin, like Bianco Carrara (White is the color and Carrara is the place where it’s extracted from)
Another curiosity regarding color and series naming, in Asia most colors are identified by local manufacturers by numbers or a combination of letters and numbers, rarely do  we see Asia manufacturers using names. Although they tend to name the series with names, very common to see flower series, as one of them.
In the last few years, engineered stone colors have become similar to fashion item, which is constantly renewing itself. In general, 80% of sales is attained by 20% of the colors sold, in most companies it will be less than 10 colors. But the manufacturers need to keep renewing to keep their marketing machine working, so their research and development departments have become an important part of their business.
Most manufacturers have the products divided by type, especially producer who have both engineered marble and engineered quartz plants, so their top level product range will be divided into 2 or 3 groups. In the intermediate level they’ll have range or series, these are named according to the physical characteristics of the colors, the naming is based on the creativity of the marketing department and management. For example, Silestone created a few years ago the platinum series, with all colors using grey shades, this year they are launching the Nebula series, which is a vein series, a base color with a contrasting vein. So most colors in each series will have similarities, these can be made up on shade/color, raw materials used or even technology.
The naming of the colors, as I said before there is no standard and the creativity of each manufacturer is revealed through this naming effort. Some have used mythology in the names, others use ancient cities, and I’ve even seen Las Vegas casino names. Besides these non-related names to the colors, you will find that some manufacturers will just associate a word to the color, like a beige color is called sabbia (sand in Italian), arena (sand in Spanish), Dune, etc…
Behind the scenes there is logic behind the color naming process. And one of the latest curiosities, is that currently every producer is looking for the whitest white, and looking for the perfect name to define the color, we have seen colors like Blanco Zeus become Zeus Extreme (Silestone colors that have evolved) and Glaciar become Absolut White (Compacs Color range).

4 comments:

Emanuel said...

Hi Tomson. First of all, Congrats for your blog!
I read about the new zeus extreme and seems it is the whitest at quartz surfaces. do you had already take a look at the surface? if yes, what's your opinion? in second, glaciar and absolut blanc by Compac (not white) are two different types of colors and not an evolution in particular. Sorry for my english

Tomson said...

Hi Emanuel,
Thanks for your comment. I have seen the Zeus Extreme however the only way to compare the two white colors is to actually have both side by side. I doubt any consumer really can say that there is a great difference between them. I figure it's more of a marketing thing ...
Regarding Glaciar and Absolut Blanc, I know the whole story behind the Glaciar color by the way. And Glaciar was a pure white color, and Absolut Blanc is the higher class white, closer to pure white. Of course it's a different color, but it was Compacs first pure white ... so I guess Absolut Blanc is an improvement.

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Tomson said...

Hi Hemraj,
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