Masonry leader launches outdoor living and veneer lines under new branding strategy

Brick and block giant General Shale has begun 2012 with new outdoor living and thin brick or stone veneer offerings, plus a shortened name and new logo more accurately reflecting the scope of its operations.

Johnson City, Tenn.-based General Shale Brick in now known as General Shale, encompassing that flagship and sub-brands Building Products; Outdoor Living Products; Renovation Products; and Arriscraft Building Stone, Brick and Limestone. The company will continue to transition itself in phases over the next two to three years as marketing materials, location signage and other branded entities are updated.

“Consumer trends and preferences continue to evolve,” says General Shale CEO Dick Green. “Our new business model signifies commitment to providing customers with a variety of product solutions, whether they involve building a new home, remodeling or improving their outdoor living area. While we will always remain true to the core product that has been the basis of our success, these new products provide our customers a full range of choices for all their building and remodeling needs.”

Green cites two key factors that differentiate General Shale from its competition: 1) the general public can purchase all products directly, including the new line of outdoor living selections and thin veneer; and, 2) all products are professional-grade materials used by building contractors and landscaping companies. The broader product line includes numerous choices in thin brick and thin rock for new interior or exterior cladding or retrofit, plus outdoor living items such as fireplaces, fire pits, pizza ovens, benches, water features, mailboxes, clay or concrete pavers, and landscaping stone. Consumers can see these products in displays at outdoor living showrooms being added to General Shale sales locations nationwide.

The outdoor living program dovetails home building and improvement trends. The National Association of Home Builders estimates that an outdoor living area provides more than a 130 percent return on investment, and most homes in the U.S. are expected to have some type of outdoor feature by 2015. Industry analysts suggest that consumers are now more likely to invest in creating a customized “vacation experience” in their back yard, adding permanent value to their home, instead of spending money on expensive trips.