Written by GravityFree
onFriday, May 1st, 2015
in Case Studies


Modernizing a Century-Old Product

Naugahyde®, a subsidiary of Uniroyal Engineered Products, has a long history with quality vinyl-coated fabric materials. Invented in 1914, Naugahyde made their name during World War II, providing wartime America with affordable options in footwear, clothing, and luggage. Well-known for their advertising campaigns in the ’60s and ’70s, Naugahyde pioneered a vacuum-formed product line for use in automotive interiors, snowmobiles, tractors, jet skis, and golf carts throughout the 1980s. Their modern innovations include ongoing growth in vinyl fabrics, plus the recently-unveiled BeautyGuard® Supreme – the next generation of stain-resistant topcoats.

GravityFree was given the opportunity to help Naugahyde nurture their online presence, with a particular focus on reaching young designers. We knew that a youthful target market meant we’d have to make things fast, modern, and incredibly easy to use, so we wasted little time in getting our hands dirty.

How to Tame an Overwhelming Catalog

Given Naugahyde’s large, extensive product database, the very act of searching through hundreds of patterns could be taxing for many systems. GravityFree took that into account, making the Naugahyde search an incredibly fast, direct, effortless experience. With just a few clicks, visitors can scour the entire catalog and discover an instant fit for almost any purpose. Plus, as their search terms shift and evolve, users don’t need to press submit and wait for a server connection: these results update in real-time.

Naugahyde Website

As the designer digs deeper into each product, more detailed information comes to the forefront. Specification details, ideal market applications, variant colors in the same collection, all the detail a customer could ever need is right at their fingertips. Even richer technical detail and documentation can be found in the form of downloadable PDFs further down this page.

Naugahyde Color Swatches

When it’s time to pull the trigger, designers have two easy options: order the pattern right then and there, or add it to a user-managed design sheet to compare, contrast and order alongside other grouped fabrics.

Designer Accounts: The Maker’s Playground

For the power user, we’ve introduced a private area to simplify and streamline the ordering process. Account-holders enjoy pre-filled fields during the order process and persistent access to view, manage and modify design sheets. Perhaps most importantly, designer accounts provide a simplified process for ongoing project management and communication with their clients.

Naugahyde members have the ability to create and maintain design sheets for their projects, an easy way to organize related patterns and colors for any number of projects. Within a sheet, members can seamlessly add a broad range colors for later perusal, then use our system to create and manage matching compliments. When it’s time to make a decision, designers can either e-mail a sample list to their client or order a run of samples for all patterns within the project. Sample lists provide a full rundown of a project’s swatches in PDF format, which can be automatically e-mailed to a client or list of contacts.

Naugahyde Planning

However a designer wants to work within our system, we’ve provided a flexible, familiar set of features that should make the art of client communications an absolutely harmonious experience.

Don’t Forget About the Nauga!

Naugahyde might be serious business in the world of vinyl fabrics, but that doesn’t mean they can’t have a little fun, too. Originally introduced in advertising campaigns way back in the year 1966, the “Nauga” is as much a part of the company’s identity as the product itself. Small, lively and quirky, the doll quickly became iconic, and still remains available today for collectors both new and old.

The Original Nauga Dolls

Whether holiday-themed or more traditional, Nauga Dolls can be customized for every order. Combining the timeless quality of Naugahyde’s material with a classic form that has delighted collectors for over 40 years, these cute, irreverent little guys represent a novel method for Naugahyde to introduce potential customers to the benefits of their product line.

Keeping Naugahyde Covered

A historic, revolutionary American company, outfitted with an online campaign to get new customers engaged: that reads like a formula for success in any market. While GravityFree continues to work with Naugahyde to further recognize and realize new solutions to their customers’ concerns, we’ve also simplified many of the company’s more mundane behind-the-scenes tasks. Some businesses spend hours each week managing and maintaining their catalog and user database, tasks which have been both vastly simplified and largely automated by this powerful new site.

Whether seen through the bustle of a busy e-commerce shop or the smile of a Nauga Doll, it’s clear that Naugahyde’s influence on the vinyl fabrics industry is as strong as it’s ever been. Now, with a sharper focus, a thicker toolset and a more efficient public face, we like to think we’ve helped ensure they’ll continue to do so for years to come.

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