Weyerhaeuser Co. announced today it will abandon the "iLevel by Weyerhaeuser" name it has used for the past five years to brand its wood products businesses and instead will simply call them "Weyerhaeuser." The transition will begin on Sept. 6.
The Federal Way, Wash.-based company said in a news release that it is making the name change "to simplify customer contacts and leverage the widespread recognition of the Weyerhaeuser identity."
That was the same reason Weyerhaeuser gave in April 2006 when it publicly unveiled iLevel. The company said then it was doing so to integrate five divisions that produced the bulk of the company's structural frame products. The idea at that time was to provide a single point of contact who would replace a multitude of sales reps and marketers, each assigned to tout particular product lines.
"Our customers and vendors know us best as 'Weyerhaeuser,' so we are returning to what is most familiar to them," Larry Burrows, Weyerhaeuser's senior vice president of wood products, said in today's news release. A company spokesperson, responding to an e-mail from ProSales, called the Weyerhaeuser and Trus Joist names "more meaningful" than iLevel. "Many times when customers hear 'iLevel,' they think of Weyerhaeuser or Trus Joist products, so the intent is to make the brand recognition easier for customers," he said.
The company said it also "will enhance promotion" of its Trust Joist brand of engineered lumber products. It didn't elaborate.
Weyerhaeuser will retain its individual names, such as TimberStrand, Parallam, and Microllam wood products and Stellar and Forte software. Companies also will still have access to their same sales representatives, it added.
iLevel's five-year lifespan encompassed some of the most tumultuous times in Weyerhaeuser's 111-year history. When iLevel was created, its combined units accounted for more than one-third of the company's $22.6 billion in revenues. Company representatives in 2006 described iLevel as the integration of disparate divisions that together would produce a new level of innovation, service, and efficiency to dealers, builders, and the overall business.
"It's a new game [in home building], and it shows our willingness to change and lead based on what the market needs," Scott Elston, director of national accounts, said then. "It's hard to say what iLevel means to anyone right now, but that's what we intend to create."
Since then, the housing game has changed considerably, and so too has Weyerhaeuser. In the wake of the housing crash it shed operations and properties and became a real estate investment trust. By 2010, annual sales had shrunk to $6.6 billion, and revenues through June 30 of this year are on about the same pace. The wood products segment now is about half of the entire business.