Lay Down Your Bets

April 23, 2011

Tomorrow I leave for KBIS in Las Vegas… I truly enjoy the city, well the strip. Of the dozens of times I have been to Las Vegas over the years, I have left the strip one time (not counting the convention center) – to experience Fremont Street.  Give me Roulette, Blackjack and the occasional Slots… and I am a happy camper for a few days.

However, this trip to Las Vegas will be different from my past adventures – this time I will be gambling for real.  For the first time I, along with my partner in The Kitchen & Bath Channel, have a booth at KBIS (C5627).

We are betting that The Kitchen & Bath Channel Smart Phone App is the perfect marketing partner for the kitchen and bath professional looking for an affordable way to market themselves. This unique marketing tool literally puts the kitchen and bath professional into the hands of the consumer while they are out shopping.

Imagine if you could show your potential customer your location on a map with turn by turn directions, links to your website and email, an auto-dial phone feature, the ability to be instantaneously added to your customer’s contact file AND a way to display project photos and videos on a Smart Phone all for only $300 a YEAR or less?!   We are betting you’ll jump on it!

The Kitchen & Bath Channel Smart Phone App

And the consumer feedback we are getting is great!

Important Links:

About The Kitchen & Bath Channel

Download the iPhone App

Download the Android App

Kitchen & Bath Channel Video Overview

The Kitchen & Bath Channel Facebook Page – “Like” us

Blackberry App is under review and coming soon

Our Booth @ KBIS is C5627


Marketing Innovation

April 16, 2011

In the time and place we find ourselves, we are all struggling to bring in business.  What is our competitive advantage, what will give us the edge over our peers in attracting customers?

I don’t know the answer for every Kitchen & Bath Professional out there – if I did, I’d have that fortune we aspire to.

But I will tell you this – to stay a step ahead of the competition you need INNOVATION – you need to think beyond your competition, originate, and establish the new reality for your market.

I did.  And my innovation can help your next client find you.

The Kitchen & Bath Channel Smart Phone App

The Kitchen & Bath Channel Smart Phone App

I am talking about The Kitchen & Bath Channel.  Together with my partner, Max Isley, CMKBD, we developed the Kitchen and Bath Industry’s first Smart Phone app that puts you in the palm of your customers’ hands WHILE they are out shopping – Literally!

Have a Droid?  Download your FREE App now to try it out.  When you love it, give it a 5 Star review!

Have an iPhone or Blackberry?  The apps are in the review process and will be available within days.

Our subscribers have the opportunity to stand out from their competition!  Subscribe yourself at The Kitchen & Bath Channel

Visit The Kitchen & Bath Channel @ KBIS – Booth C5627

Learn more about Z promotion & design @

SEN Answers Your Business Needs

March 19, 2011

I recently returned from New Orleans and the semi-annual SEN Design Group conference.  This is my company’s 10 year anniversary as the marketing, advertising and creative services vendor to the group and our 19th consecutive conference.  During my tenure, I have seen the group evolve from the “kitchen and bath industry’s first buying group” to its current incarnation as “the kitchen and bath industry’s premier business education group” – the living vision of its founder, Ken Peterson, CKD.  

If you consider NKBA the ultimate industry organization for kitchen & bath design/designers; SEN is the ultimate industry organization for kitchen & bath business professionals.  And, without a strong a business, there is no need for design, is there?

What struck me after ten years is how the SEN Design Group has evolved over time.  Looking at it through the eyes of the “great recession” we have experienced solidifies the group’s importance to the industry.  Those SEN Members who took advantage of the numerous business education aspects are not only still in business, but many have seen increases in profits and revenues, as well as the overall health of their businesses, while many of their peers have shuttered their doors.

As a marketer in the kitchen and bath industry, I receive a number of calls each week from kitchen and bath professionals looking for the “magic marketing bullet” that will salvage their business – you know what, there isn’t one.  But in these still difficult times, more and more I send these callers to the SEN Design Group – I firmly believe that if the professionals running SEN Programs cannot help, a new profession may be in your future.  I have heard it time and again, and my conversations with the recession survivors – make that thrivers – coupled with the phone calls I receive, precipitated this posting. 

Without sounding like a commercial, SEN offers one-on-one business coaching with an accredited licensed professional business coach, an ongoing series of business webinars, boot camps, seminars, marketing and sales tools, and of course the buying group rebate program, among a myriad of other tools and schools designed specifically to help the kitchen and bath professional improve their overall business; operations, sales, budgeting, marketing, showrooms, the list goes on…

If you think your business could you a boost, take a look at the SEN Design Group


Kitchen & Bath Channel Smart Phone App ALERT!!!!

To take advantage of our pre-launch 25% annual subscription discount – act quickly!  Once it hits the app stores (it looks to be the week of 3/21) the discount goes away…

View the Kitchen & Bath Channel powerpoint overview

Subscribe to The Kitchen & Bath Channel

The Kitchen & Bath Channel will have a booth at K/BIS – C5627

A Puzzling Economy

September 25, 2010

The full article should be included in the next (Fall 2010) issue of NKBA Magazine, but enjoy this preview.

We are living in an economic Rubik’s cube, with each color representing a single economic indicator.  Until all six sides are perfectly aligned, the kitchen and bath industry is in for a bumpy ride.  With each monthly economic report, you can almost feel that one side of the cube has been aligned, only to find an adjacent side a mess.  And each negative report sends us back to try to figure out the cube.  You can literally see the reflection in showroom traffic, website hits and phone calls.

Now, let’s look at the Rubik’s Cube again – this time with an eye toward marketing …it’s a much easier puzzle than the economic version.

The completed cube is your fully Integrated Marketing Program, one that includes traditional, as well as new media and technology.  No one completed side solves the puzzle on its own; it takes all six to effectively market your kitchen and bath business.  Our marketing cube consists of six tactical sides, with each side consisting of potentially unlimited numbers of individual tools to employ at your discretion.

  1. Advertising
  2. Outreach (networking, events)
  3. Relationship Development (direct mail, referrals, newsletters)
  4. Public Relations
  5. Social Media
  6. Online / Mobile

Remember that your overall marketing campaign must have a consistent look and message regardless of your media or delivery system.

Successful marketing means you are delivering the right message, to the right person, at the right time, in the right way, employing the right media.

website design :: kitchen design :: an analogy

August 14, 2010

I don’t know how many people actually read my blog, but I hope this posting goes viral within the Kitchen and Bath industry.  In the last few months I have had a number of kitchen and bath professionals make changes to nearly or completely finished websites – more than ever before – going back to 1996!  A friend tells me it’s because they have too much time on their hands.  Whatever the reason, designing and developing a website is NOT UNLIKE designing and installing a kitchen.

Consider the following:

  1. You expect your customers to come to you for your expertise and hope they listen to your advice… same is true for web designers.
  2. You ask your customers for information about how they use their kitchen so you can design to their lifestyle… your web designer asks how you plan to use your site, so they can design to your marketing goals.
  3. You provide your client with plans, layouts, etc. to be sure everyone is in agreement BEFORE you order product… your web designer does the same with navigation and page layout BEFORE the coding begins.
  4. You talk about colors, styles and taste before you place the cabinet order… your web designer provides stills for your approval.
  5. Upon your customers’ approval, you order product, begin the renovation and “build” the kitchen… your web designer does the same.
  6. During construction, there may be some changes… websites are like that too.

In addition, websites have other issues that you don’t have to contend with…

Your new, completed kitchen will look exactly the same to everyone (barring color blindness) who sees it in a photograph or in-person.  A website may appear differently depending upon the following criteria on the END-USERS’ computer

  • Monitor size
  • Screen resolution
  • Monitor color settings
  • Operating system
  • Browser
  • Internet connectivity speed
  • CSS compatibility
  • Third-party plug-ins (java, flash, shockwave, media players, etc.)
  • Available Fonts

Your web designer should create a site optimized to the statistical majority, rather than the client’s office computer.  There are a lot of variables to consider and you want your site to be a pleasurable viewing experience to the majority, not just the boss.

Remember, changes to background color, layout, and navigation may not be as simple as it appears – that is dependent upon how the web designer developed the site.  In some cases it is analogous to swapping out drawer pulls, in other cases it may be like reordering the cabinets once they have been installed.  Regardless, work with your web professional, as you would ask your clients to work with you – and be prepared for additional charges for changes after decision milestones.

That’s a Lot of Video!

August 7, 2010

In preparation for an article I am writing for NKBA Magazine, I ran across some statistics worth a few insights.

 According to Nielsen Research,  in June (2010) more than 10.2 Billion videos were streamed in the US – a 4% increase over May’s figures.  That is 74.9 streams (videos) and 194.6 minutes (3.24 hours) per viewer. 

Our viewing habits are definitely moving to the internet; perhaps not at the expense of television, but in addition to it.  On that I can only speculate.  Regardless, we are accepting online as a viable “TV Channel”

These figures begin to justify the validity that Google TV, upon its acceptance, will change the very face of marketing by allowing individuals to deliver their own content to TV sets around the world.  For the kitchen and bath industry this provides each manufacturer, showroom owner and individual designer the opportunity to own a TV network.

I direct you to the Kitchen & Bath Channel.  While still in its infancy, the Kitchen and Bath Channel is quickly becoming a destination for viewers, as well as a portal for industry videos.  If you have an interest in getting your video on the channel, or need assistance with production – we are here to assist.

Call me at 919-932-4600 or

Kitchen Remodel by Skype

June 12, 2010

I may be late to the game, but I recently downloaded Skype.  Despite the disadvantage of forgetting to place it on “do not disturb” and getting some annoying phone calls while trying to work, I think this something kitchen and bath professionals should explore.

Skype allows you to share your desktop in real-time, in the same manner as “Go to Meeting”.  Imagine the benefits of calling your client – either via the computer or Alex Bell’s technological wonder – to review layouts, design concepts, products, colors (to a certain extent – be careful, as screen colors can vary tremendously) or even budgets. 

This is a free service, available as a mobile app and from what I have seen so far, the quality is excellent for those times you need to meet, but just can’t physically get together.


On another note:  Heading to Alabama next week to talk Social Networking with the NKBA Chapter…   I am happy to attend any NKBA or NARI chapter meeting to try to allay your fears and take some of the mystery out of the buzzwords… visit for more information.

%d bloggers like this: