Wednesday, August 29, 2012

It’s Time to Humanize

As many of you know, we have recently created a new Pinterest account, featuring boards in a variety of different categories in the home, garden and design industries. These include: agribusiness; architects & builders; art & antiques; books & authors; building & construction; casual furniture & accessories; decking & flooring; home & garden radio / T.V. personalities; homewares & hardware; horticultural products; interior designers; interior furniture products; kitchen products / cabinetry & design; landscape architects & designers; lawn & garden products; lighting; outdoor living; plants, seeds, blubs, & edible veggies; and windows & doors.

In addition to our industry-related categories, the ECPR team has now formed a new board entitled “Things We Enjoy Outside the Office.” This board features a selection of our interests, ranging from books and television shows to favorite foods and places we enjoy visiting.

Some of you may be wondering why we created such a board. The answer is simple. Many marketers believe that humanizing your company and brand, gives you an edge over your competitors. Why? Because whether it’s a consumer or potential client researching your company, most are likely to be attracted to the driving force behind companies. We don’t necessarily mean professional goals and mission statements, while those are important too. We are referring to getting an inside look at a team, which includes our interests and hobbies.

By sharing this information, we have the ability to relate to prospective clients on a deeper and more personal level. Thus, we are not only establishing credibility, but also client loyalty. In addition, our “Things We Enjoy Outside the Office” Pinterest board helps us encourage more interaction among our friends and fans, which in turn allows us to create a dialogue that can lead into discussions about our company and services. And, as a result, by humanizing our company, we are increasing the ability to generate relationships essential to our work, campaigns, clients, and business.

No matter if you are B2B or B2C, we encourage you to invest in this type of marketing, because it can not only help promote brand awareness, but can also establish a positive reputation. Need we say more? Start your own “Things We Enjoy Outside the Office” Pinterest board today, or contact us for a quote to manage your business’ public / media relations and social media.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

National Hardware Show: Best of Show

The National Hardware Show in May 2012 left a trail of excitement and positive feedback that we are still hearing about from those who attended and exhibited. This year’s highly successful show featured exhibitors from all over the world. Ranging from lawn and garden products, hardware and tools, and outdoor living products to paint, outdoor accessories, plumbing, and electrical, the National Hardware Show had it all.

Before the show began, the ECPR team had the privilege of creating a “Sneak Peek” Facebook photo album for the show. Exhibitors were able to submit product information and photos to be featured on our Facebook Timeline and be seen by top trade and consumer publication editors. After compiling feedback from our select editor / media contacts as well as assessing all of the submissions, we have chosen our “Best of Show” picks. Each product featured in this blog post has unique and innovative characteristics, earning them honorable mentions.

Twistfree

The first company to which we awarded “Best of Show” is Twistfree, a company that manufactures extension cord and hose organizers. At this year’s show, Twistfree debuted a new line of products designed to make handling cords and hoses easy and efficient, whether for home or industrial use. The company’s collection of products includes the Roadee Cord Organizer; which is available in three different sizes; the Roadee Hose Organizer, available in two sizes; and Gripz for extension cords. Twistfree’s cord organizers ensure extension cords, cables and hoses are twist and knot free, making them easy to use and store. To learn more, visit www.twistfree.com.

Viatek

Viatek Consumer Products’ newest product, the Handheld Bladeless Fan, made its way into our National Hardware Show “Best of Show.” This ultra-portable and lightweight fan is ideal for sporting events, the beach, parks, and even to the office. Its sleek and stylish features makes this product the latest in bladeless fan technology, delivering a cool, smooth stream of air without the unpleasant buffeting sound associated with fan blades. Completely cordless, it runs on just three AA batteries and uses only half the energy of a conventional fan. For more information about the Handheld Bladeless Fan, visit Viatek’s website at www.viatekproducts.com.

Sycamore Group
Big mess, no problem! Sycamore Group’s Big Wipes Industrial are pre-impregnated industrial-strength cleaning wipes designed for use by anyone who needs a quick and effective cleaning product. They are perfect for those who work in construction, engineering, painting, and more. The Big Wipes have the ability to clean a wide range of substances from hands, tools and surfaces, including: grime, grease, oil- & water-based paints & coatings, adhesives, silicone & acrylic sealants, poly foam, epoxy, oil, tar, etc. This product was chosen to be part of our “Best of Show” because of its durability, effectiveness and versatility. For more information on Big Wipes Industrial, visit www.bigwipesusa.com.

Liquid Fence 
Liquid Fence’s Yard Net Granular Lawn and Yard Insect Repellent was one of the standouts at this year’s NHS, making the product a shoe-in for our “Best of Show.” This industry‐first, time‐release formula encapsulates and preserves the effectiveness of the natural essential oil ingredients. As the granules biodegrade, they slowly release the oils, creating long‐lasting, eco‐safe repellency for up to a full week. Yard Net Granular significantly controls biting insects such as mosquitoes, fleas, ticks, black flies and gnats. And, it contains no pyrethrins, no pyrethroids and no d‐limonene, so it’s safe to use around kids and pets, and won’t harm vegetation. To learn more, visit www.liquidfence.com.

PIC Corporation

To wrap up our NHS “Best of Show,” we have selected PIC Corporation’s Twist-It. This product is a new, flexible device that repels mosquitoes and wraps around umbrellas, beach chairs, bike handles, strollers and other outdoor objects. Twist-It eliminates the need to spray bug repellents directly on the skin, which can have unpleasant scents. Instead, the Twist-It can be wrapped around a variety of outdoor items to create a long-lasting ten-foot radius of protection from insect-borne diseases and irritating bites, providing pest-free summer barbeques, camping trips or time to lounge by the pool. For more information about PIC Corporation’s Twist-It, visit the company’s website at www.pic-corp.com.

To vote for your favorite "Best of Show" product, add your "Comments" below. Be sure to indicate the name of the product in your comment. The product with the most comments will be awarded the top "Best of Show" status. Voting will end in mid-September.

*To enlarge the photos, simply select each individual image.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Going for Gold!

Photo Credit: Mashable
According to a recent article published on the Washington Post’s website, NBC proclaims the 2012 London Olympic Games was the most-watched television event in history. This means added marketing exposure for sponsors and donors, including companies in the home furniture and accessory industry as well as outdoor product manufacturers.

Contemporary and transitional upholstery specialist, Lazar, recently provided its Lodi chair to Bob Costas’ NBC Olympic coverage set. The chair is manufactured from kiln-dried hardwoods with hardwood plywood, and the fabric is designed from 100% recycled materials such as linen, cotton, hemp, and bamboo. This is the second time one of Lazar’s products has been used on set during the Olympics, the first being the winter games in Vancouver. To learn more about Lazar’s participation in the Olympic Games, click here to read the article on Furniture Today’s website.

Another company that was featured at the Olympic Games was Telescope Casual, a leading manufacturer of outdoor and wood furniture. The company’s director chairs were used on the set of the Today Show, providing comfortable seating for host Savannah Guthrie and Olympic athletes. Telescope Casual uses local supplies and grows / maintains its own 8,000-acre forest in New York, allowing it to control the quality of its handmade products. For information about Telescope International’s contribution to the Olympic Games, click here to read the article on Casual Living’s website.

Competitor Swim Products, a division of Richey Industries, Inc.’s Competitor Racing Lanes, were used during the London games. The company, a manufacturer of outdoor furniture as well as racing lanes for competitive swimming, has been supplying the lane lines for the last nine Olympics. Learn more about Richey Industries, Inc.’s involvement in the Olympic Games by clicking here.

A big thanks to all those who participated in the 2012 Olympic Games. We look forward to seeing what Rio 2016 has in store for us, and the furniture industry!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Southern-Style Ideas for Southern Living

The 2012 Southern Living Idea House is a place where visitors can be inspired by eye-catching style, design and d├ęcor. Simply put, ideas for the home abound in every corner. One look at the house from afar is a quick tell-tale that many experts had a hand in renovating the former farmhouse to what is now a breath-taking home that exudes a true sense of southern living.

From its very framework and well-designed architecture to the lush landscape and grounds to an elegant yet comfortable interior, the Idea House seems to have been a labor of love. A talented design team, generous sponsors, Southern Living and Time, Inc. staff members, and many others have created an absolute must-see experience not to be missed.

Through the end of the year when the house closes its doors to visitors, our team at ECPR will be featuring many of the participating companies in a blog article series that will be linked to various home, garden, design, and mainstream media outlets. It is our hope that our readers, followers, and the media members for whom we write, will come to know the house and appreciate the many obvious contributions as much as we do.

We begin our Southern Living Idea House blog series with Robert Martin, Vice President and Head Residential Designer, at Get More Curb Appeal, LLC. He was kind enough to spend some time telling us about his company and what this year’s Idea House involvement has meant to him and his colleagues.

Photo Credit: Laurey W. Glenn
Robert’s company created the breath-taking beds, borders and other planted areas surrounding this year’s house. Their design and installation allows regional and native plants to greet visitors to the house with a welcoming combination of green foliage and blooming flowers. Read on, and see what Robert has to say…

ECPR: What is your role at Get More Curb Appeal?

Robert Martin: I design the exterior renovation portion of our services, per our client's responses to our questionnaire (their likes, dislikes, and desired results of their home makeover). I also make product and paint color recommendations based upon what's appropriate to the style of each client's home.

ECPR: What is your company's specialization?

Robert Martin: Get More Curb Appeal is the only online design service that offers both exterior home makeovers and landscape plans. For a fraction of the cost, we can create customized plans for our clients that any builder, remodeler, or landscape installer can follow.

ECPR: Why and how did your company become involved with the Southern Living Idea House 2012?

Robert Martin: Another unique distinction about Get More Curb Appeal is that my three partners and I collectively share 41 years of experience by previously working at Southern Living magazine. I served as Architecture Editor at Southern Living from 2000 to 2010. My partners, all Southern Living alumni and former colleagues at the magazine, are: Jason Somerville, a horticulturalist from Clemson University; builder / New Homes Specialist Ada Love, also a graduate from Auburn; and expert gardener Julie Thaxton.

ECPR: What design and / or products did you provide to the Idea House this year?

Robert Martin: Our Jason Somerville designed the landscape plan for this year's Idea House.

ECPR: What was the inspiration behind your design work or the installation you provided for the Idea House?

Robert Martin: Because the house at Senoia is a remodeled / renovated farmhouse, we were instructed to keep the landscape design and selection of plants as indigenous and “informal” as possible. Thus, Jason designed a plan that both complimented the house and contained a variety of regional, hardy plant material - with an emphasis on low maintenance.

ECPR: Is there a home, garden or design trend specific to your area of specialization you have noticed this year?

Robert Martin: One trend we've noticed - which is basically why we started Get More Curb Appeal in the first place - is that despite the lagging economy, people still want their homes to look their best, within a set budget, of course. So, when shown a creative and doable way to achieve this, homeowners are willing to allocate a little more time and money to improve their home's and yard's appearances.

Learn more about Get More Curb Appeal online here.

Get inspired by visiting the Southern Living Idea House’s website and plan your trip to see it in person.

Stay tuned to our blog and other social media channels from now through December to learn more about the designers and others who have contributed their expertise to the Idea House.

~ The ECPR Team