Q: Could you share some of the organisation’s key milestones?
A: Since its inception in 1977, LANKATILES has moved in an upward trajectory to become a renowned and trusted brand, both in Sri Lanka and overseas.
We have strived immensely to bring the brand to where it is – i.e. a robust homegrown brand that provides high quality premier wall and floor tiles incorporating the latest technological advancements.
We’re the largest manufacturer and exporter of tiles in Sri Lanka with the widest distribution network. We take pride in being the only tile brand that carries the name of our country (‘Lanka’) as part of the brand; and we sell our products across the world – including the US, Australia, Singapore, Japan and the Netherlands.

Q: How did the pandemic impact your brand?
A: The pandemic positively impacted our operations despite the adverse implications of stringent health and safety regulations, and lockdowns.
Before the pandemic, LANKATILES faced severe competition from imported tiles that were flooding the market, leading us to accumulate large stocks due to the inability to sell our products at the prices we set. The pandemic opened the market for us and the last two years have been very profitable for the company.
We will be expanding our production capacity in future; and to gear up for this, we’ve been investing heavily in marketing – especially on social media and digital channels.
LANKATILES is working on enhancing its brand presence in new communication channels to ensure that it is at the top of consumers’ minds when they need tiles.

Q: How do brand investments help grow your business?
A: Investing in brands has many positive ripple effects. Most importantly, creating a strong brand image helps companies to use it to diversify into sub-brands.
For instance, we were very keen to reintroduce the trend of mosaics to the market; therefore, we created the brand MOSAICS.
We anticipated challenges with this brand since mosaics had not been in the local market for over 25 years; but consumers instantaneously accepted the new product due to the strength of the branding of LANKATILES.
This association with the LANKATILES brand also supported the company when it diversified into sanitary ware under the COLOMA brand, and when we launched premier products under sub-brands like MAJESTICA.
A strong brand like LANKATILES enables diversification. Customers find it easier to trust new brands that are associated with renowned brands.

Q: What is the importance of reputation and integrity for LANKATILES?
A: Brand reputation and integrity are pivotal to the brand’s success.
The LANKATILES brand is over 40 years old, and trusted by generations of customers for product and service quality. Moreover, one of our key differentiators is that we’re a local manufacturing company that exports products under our own brand, rather than as white labelled products.
LANKATILES is reputed in Sri Lanka and other quality conscious overseas markets such as the US, Japan, Singapore and Australia as a brand that is committed to quality. We’re committed to maintaining this reputation and trustworthiness.
Integrity is a critical component of our brand mantra, which we value beyond profits; prevailing import restrictions have created a black market for tiles, and being an authentic and socially responsible brand, we are the only tile manufacturer to mark our products with a maximum retail price.
We take pride in this level of integrity because reputation matters to us; we’re always driven to maintain the confidence that customers have placed in us.

Q: And what is the role of marketing in creating brand value?
A: Brand value is created by matching customer experience with customer perceptions, which is a key responsibility of the marketing department.
Meanwhile, the production department is responsible for creating products that satisfy perceptions created in customers’ minds through communications. Therefore, at LANKATILES, creating brand value is a shared process to which our staff contributes.

Q: What challenges do you foresee – and how do you plan to overcome them?
A: Our main challenge is staying ahead of the local competition; getting to the top is hard but remaining at the top is even harder.
We anticipate imports resuming, bringing in a large influx of imported tiles that can significantly affect our sales. Therefore, we’re continuously committed to focussing on customer satisfaction – and ensuring value delivery to consumers.

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