Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Amerimix Chromatics Colored Mortars

Amerimix, a brand of Bonsal American (an Oldcastle company), has launched a line of colored mortars called Chromatics. The company’s brand new product line has certainly captured the attention of the ECPR team. The line includes 23 colors, available in either pre-blended Portland cement, lime and sand (AMX 405C) or pre-blended masonry cement and sand (AMX 505C). Both are factory blends engineered to provide long water retention, exceptional workability and superior bond strength over masonry substrates. The company’s pre-blended, colored mortars can be custom made to match any desired color. Amerimix colors are able to match, complement or contrast interiors and exteriors.

To ensure color accuracy, the company uses computerized color matching and verification. This unique computerized color system uses spectrophotometric technology during the batching phase, which allows company technicians to evaluate and account for color variations that always occur naturally in cement and aggregate. Having this knowledge before reaching the intended jobsite is critical, giving way to a new level of efficiency.
In addition to being color consistent, Amerimix Chromatics have other quality features. For example, high bond strength and extended mortar board life. Also, these colored mortars have increased yield, compared to typical field mixed mortars. Another advantage of Amerimix colored mortars is the fact that they are available in Types M, S and N. In combination with the features listed above, Amerimix Chromatics have the ability to reduce the amount of labor time and enhance productivity. Conveniently, the mortars have already been pre-tested to ASTM specifications.

All Amerimix mortars are engineered for load or non-load bearing construction. They are available in small or bulk bags, depending on the size of the job. Residential and commercial builders / contractors as well as distributors, if you are interested in learning more about Amerimix Colored Mortar or other Amerimix products, contact a local sales representative by clicking here. Also, visit Bonsal American’s website at for information about the company’s other brands and products.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Our Client Goes Digital

One of our clients, Terra Nova Nurseries, has launched new social media channels as well as a mobile site and QR Codes. With new technology on the rise, the company’s decision to launch new social media and interactive platforms was to allow information and insights to be more accessible to customers. In addition, creating multi-platforms, participatory communications with growers, retailers and consumers; and engaging with various online communities, enables Terra Nova Nurseries to better understand and reach out to more diverse demographics.

Thus, the ECPR team has been working with Terra Nova Nurseries to develop a series of channels such as Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, and a blog, all to evoke online collaboration. The company’s social media channels are designed to develop interactive relationships as tools to better assist and encourage deeper, more meaningful conversations with horticultural experts, media members and consumers.
Our work with Terra Nova Nurseries has included a new Facebook page, which is being used as a social-networking site where fans can view plant and nursery photos, and converse with Terra Nova staff members through posted comments and questions. Friends and fans can also find valuable insights like plant and collection introductions, breeding highlights, liner availability specials for growers, support content for retailers, and even how-to articles and tips for home gardeners. For more lengthy, in depth information and articles, Terra Nova Nurseries’ fans can tune into the company’s new blog. A variety of topics include a range from current plant availability, personnel bios and company news to grower tips / benefits, media coverage and trade show events. Conversely, we worked with Terra Nova Nurseries to launch a Twitter channel that features short, informative “tidbits” of news and updates for more frequent, and timely interactions. This method of communication enables staff members and those who follow the feed, to receive information “on-the-go.” In addition, a Flickr channel was created to share photos of new plants and series as well as photos from trade shows, speaking engagements and garden tours. Since Flickr is indexed in search engines, this makes finding and sourcing posted images in an organized fashion a simple task.

With the addition of Terra Nova Nurseries’ social media channels, the company has most recently set up a YouTube channel. The brand new videos, co-produced and hosted by Dan Heims, showcase information such as breeding advancements in Cyclamen, Echinacea, Sedum, Coreopsis, Penstemon, Trailing Tiarella, Trailing Heucherella, and reblooming Kniphofia. Other videos showcase the company’s prized on-site gardens and all there is to know about the Heuchera Crisp Series.

With Terra Nova Nurseries’ focus on building online engagement, QR barcodes linked to smartphone applications have also been developed. Intended to tighten the circle between plant branding and point-of-sale for retailers, the QR codes supply consumers with interactive access to plant information through their phones. The codes have been added to Terra Nova’s plant tags. Each plant variety has been assigned a QR code which has been linked to a new mobile website that mimics the company’s main site. The codes are also linked to individual online plant profile pages, making plant characteristics and growing conditions readily available for all smartphone users no matter their locations.

As we have done for Terra Nova Nurseries, ECPR offers social media services for companies desiring to develop deeper relations with their own clients and customers. With technology advancing and methods of communication changing, the need to develop social media channels has become not just an added bonus, but more of a necessity. At ECPR, we specialize in P.R. 2.0., assisting companies in creating and maintaining social media channels and traditional public relations. Our team agrees it is time for more companies to realize the importance of social media and how it can help companies grow and enter the digital world of online communication. For more information about how we can assist industry-related companies with social media channels and to learn more about P.R. 2.0., visit our website by clicking here.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Apples to Oranges; Why Consumers Buy What They Do

The Produce Marketing Association’s Fresh Summit International Convention and Exposition is just around the corner. Retailers, suppliers, importers / exporters, wholesalers, growers, trade press, and more, will be attending this year’s show in Atlanta, Ga., from October 14-17. The show will highlight some of the newest trends in the industry as well as provide exhibitors and show goers great networking and business opportunities.

As a useful tool prior to the show, the National Grocers Association (NGA) released the 2011 Consumer Survey Report, to help industry professionals better understand consumer wants and needs. On behalf of the NGA, conducted a survey between November 2010 and January 2011 in which 1,718 chief household shoppers shared their supermarket purchases, experiences, eating habits, purchase influences, and nutritional concerns on’s online consumer panel.

To view details about the 2011 Consumer Report, visit our Facebook page by clicking here. Also, for additional information about Fresh Summit, including a full list of events taking place, visit the show’s website at

Note to Exhibitors: Send us your press releases regarding industry insights, new products and trends, as we will be writing a number of articles for our blog and several trade magazines following the show.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

GAF, A Team of Innovators

Founded in 1886, GAF has become one of North America’s largest manufacturers of commercial and residential roofing. GAF roofing products have been featured on a number of well-known and respected television programs, including CBS, Discovery Channel, Women’s Entertainment, Fox, PBS, and A&E. The company’s success is based on helping homeowners and architects choose the best roofing options as well as assist distributors and roofing contractors build business and avoid hassles.

Recently, GAF exhibited at the 2011 CONSTRUCT Show in Chicago, and part of our team interviewed company representatives on site to uncover exactly what makes their products so unique. At the show, the company showcased one of its newer products, EverGuard Extreme™ TPO. This revolutionary product is a single-ply membrane, engineered to protect roofs from extreme heat generated from solar panels as well as from highly reflective architectural structures on adjacent buildings. Regular single-ply roofing membranes are constructed from organic polymers, and over time, organic polymers are subject to damage from extreme heat, sunlight and UV. Additionally, solar panels can create heat temperatures up to 190 degrees on roof surfaces, exposing single-ply membranes to intense heat. Thus, leading to cracks in membranes as well as damage to building rooftops.

GAF’s EverGuard Extreme TPO provides a wonderful solution. Company scientists have created a new grade of TPO single-ply membrane designed to withstand extreme heat to prevent cracks and damages. EverGuard Extreme™ TPO uses proprietary stabilizers and UV absorbers to achieve weathering performance far beyond current standards. During testing phases, the company’s product far exceeded standard TPO single-ply membranes. EverGuard Extreme TPO was exposed to accelerated weathering and aging tests, the results were remarkable. The heat-aging tests were conducted at 280 degrees Fahrenheit, a temperature well beyond the most rigorous ASTM tests. The strength and durability of EverGuard Extreme TPO is through the roof, pun intended.

Needless to say, GAF’s EverGuard Extreme TPO is one of the most innovative and effective single-ply membranes available. For our trade magazine editor friends and contacts, please contact us if you have questions or interest in sharing this information with your readers. To learn more, visit the company’s website at

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Color Trends for 2012

The new year is approaching, and 2012’s color trends are poised to be bold and daring. From neutrals to earthy greens and brilliant oranges to calming blues, 2012’s color trends are sure to be a hit among outdoor room designers, interior designers, retailers of home products, and others.
  1. Neutral colors are the “in” thing right now. They generate an ambiance of tranquility and serenity, for a soothing effect. As noticed at this year’s Casual Market, tan, light brown, beige, and sand colors are a huge trend among the fabrics used in many of the new casual outdoor furnishings. 
  2. Earthy greens create a feeling of enrichment and sustainability, allowing for one to connect with nature and blend with the surroundings. This spectrum of colors can add warmth and comfort to living spaces, encouraging family and friends to feel at home. For example, Pantone’s color report for 2012 says “Margarita” will be a popular color. As seen in the photo below, “Margarita” is a soft green color, ideal for adding warmth to outdoor rooms as well as interior walls in living rooms, dining rooms and bedroom spaces.
  3. Calming blues are also in 2012’s color forecast. Inspired by rippling, dark blue waters and bright blue skies, these bold, blue hues are a designers’ dream palette. No matter the shade of blue, this primary color is a classic favorite in modern and traditional home styling. Jackie Jordan, director of color marketing for Sherwin-Williams, was a keynote speaker at this year’s Casual Market. Her presentation, sponsored by Casual Living magazine, used Sherwin-Williams’ Colormix 2012 to highlight trendy colors for the upcoming year. In her speech, Jordan mentioned one popular color trend for outdoor furniture includes blue denim fabrics.
  4. Brilliant, juicy oranges and pinks are among 2012’s color trends. These vibrant hues aim to refresh and enliven dull living spaces. When paired with neutral colors, oranges and pinks stand out among the crowd, showing true personalities. Retailers, take note, homeowners will soon be seeking splashes of oranges, pinks and even reds on pillows; in accessories to add touches of brightness; as well as on lighting products with red accents, cording and beading.
To our friends and fans, which 2012 colors are on the top on your list? 

* To enlarge, select each individual photo.