Public Relations

Two Roads Merge in Design and Your Company Should, Too!

It has long been thought that residential and commercial design were two separate entities not meant to overlap. Over the last decade, however, we have seen a shift in that mindset. Designers are incorporating more luxurious, and sometimes industrial, elements into residences, while also creating more relaxed leisure spaces in commercial offices, healthcare facilities and the like.

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Homeowners want to rest in the comfort of hotel-like bedrooms with crystal chandeliers, plush bedding, additional sitting rooms and French doors as the entryway. They desire spa-inspired bathrooms that include deep, multi-jetted whirlpool tubs where they can soak and oversized showers with multiple showerheads or the ability to be transformed into a steam room. They are seeking restaurant-style kitchens equipped with eight-burner gas ranges, double ovens, wine refrigerators and dispensers, plus industrial refrigerators with front paneling that blends seamlessly with the custom cabinetry. And they want their home offices to mirror those in the corporate world, replete with the necessary built-in shelving and storage, windows that allot for plenty of natural light for the daytime and appropriate lighting options for late night work. On top of all of this, homes are being made to be as energy-efficient and technologically integrated as the latest, cutting-edge commercial buildings.

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On the other side, health care buildings, corporate offices and educational facilities are adding “homey” amenities such as community-style lounge areas and additional, informal seating beyond the desk in offices and large cubicles. In addition, companies with a robust amount of space are even bringing fitness facilities to their buildings. Outdoor spaces are even being designed for employees and visitors to meet or work in these spaces. This is all happening in an effort to create welcoming spaces where the occupants can relax, stay longer and be more productive.

So what does all of this mean for the home and building products industries? It means your consumer base could be expanding exponentially (or already has), and you could be missing out on new business opportunities. Expanding your company’s client base and marketing to include both residential and commercial audiences can increase the awareness of your company within your new and existing markets. New clientele can lead to a surge in your company’s profitability overall growth, which is precisely what we all work diligently to achieve.

To learn more about branding and brand expansion, feel free to contact us at http://kleberandassociates.com/contact/. This blog was inspired by the article “At the Intersection of Commercial and Residential Design” in the February 2015 issue of Interiors & Sources.

2015 Home Remodeling Trends: Coffered-look Ceilings Set the Style

Many home remodeling trends change from season to season, however, there are a few classic looks that never seem to go out of style. One of those is the coffered-look ceiling.

The ceiling is an often overlooked space where personal style and overall home décor meet to create a dramatic effect in residential remodeling projects. Are you a homeowner, builder or remodeler planning to remodel a family room or basement woodtrac_ceilings_man_cavearea? If you are, give serious consideration to the ceiling as the oft neglected fifth wall.

As you think through options for ceiling design and material, evaluate the overall atmosphere and character of the room. The project designer can often solve other interior design issues with the right selection of ceiling height, material, or style. If the space is large with a high ceiling, select a dark colored ceiling to add depth and make the space more inviting. Make a small space feel larger by adding a light colored ceiling, raising the ceiling height, or by installing ceiling panels, planks or beams in a small and repetitive pattern.

Read more…

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Design and Construction Week 2015: Our Team’s Top Trends, Observations

So what were the prevailing trends at Design and Construction Week? With four team members on the floor, K&A was fully immersed in the experience. We asked our associates to compile their observations on what seemed prevalent and what resonated with them.

Kevo by Kwikset allows users to send a code via a product mobile application which can open a door wherever there's internet connectivity.

Kevo by Kwikset

Joey Peters – Account Director
“The continued integration of technology amazes me. It seemed like every manufacturer had some sort of mobile application you could download for a variety of functions. From selecting color/textures to opening your front door from thousands of miles away, technology is king. And it’s no longer a frivolous extra for consumers – retailers I spoke with said these products are being expected now – particularly from younger buyers. The digital native’s influence is omnipresent – manufacturers are scrambling to keep up with their needs. The mobile application is a powerful connection and opportunity for these brands, however. Downloading an app puts a brand into the user’s digital dashboard where they essentially live their life from communications to banking and beyond. It wasn’t just applications either. Places to charge mobile devices in genius locations also caught my eye. Where you can put a USB port, companies were taking advantage. I spoke with one countertop manufacturer  experimenting with a powered surface – making the entire countertop a charging station. You adhere a sticker to the phone’s back and place it on the surface wherever you like. Meeting the demands of a modern  consumer isn’t just for electronics – it’s here to stay with our industry as well.”

GE made waves with its' new Keurig machine integration

GE made waves with its’ new Keurig machine integration

Dominique LesCallet –  Account Executive
“Bright colors were everywhere.  I saw several manufacturers display brightly colored products, e.g. Feeney, Masonite, Electrolux (KBIS), Kohler (KBIS), Dacor (KBIS), True (KBIS). Kitchens and bathswith bold, bright colors allow homeowners to customize their spaces based on personality. “It wasn’t just colors – fashion-inspired patterns were a popular attraction as well. Manufacturers are incorporating fashion design into interiors decorating more than ever before, e.g. tiles and flooring, kitchen and bath backsplashes, etc. With advances in technology, manufacturers can replicate natural textures with amazing accuracy. One of the cooler trends on the KBIS side were Espresso and Coffee Makers Integrated into Kitchens – Several manufacturers, including GE and Gaggenau, are now offering in-home coffee and espresso makers for convenience. This was a pretty powerful validation the single serve coffee phenomenon is here to stay.”

Jasmine Gurley
Integrated lighting remains a big trend – particularly with the deck and railing category. With LED technology, manufacturers have the ability to integrate lighting versus a stand-alone accesorry. Within rails or sunken into deck panels, these lighting surfaces minimize space but offer a bold design element.

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LED Rail Light for DesignRail by Feeney

Bold Colors: Individual style was a big theme in the booths. From doors to interior roof panels, color was huge. And not just primary colors, either. Bright blues, deep reds and vibrant yellow could be found on all sorts of surfaces. It was an interesting premise – using an object not normally considered a style surface and making it a focal point. Consumers want to express themselves and these colors reflect that. Stock whites and browns are blank canvases – adding these colors starts the portrait.

 


Kleber & Associates is an Atlanta-based integrated marketing communications agency serving the home and building products industry for 25 years. Visit the Kleber & Associates website for the latest news and information about marketing for home and building products for consumers, architects, builders, remodelers, designers and manufacturers. Through our marketing, advertising, public relations and digital marketing expertise — we build better brands that build a better home.

 

 

The Barn: Four News Reader Options to Help Get Your Team Organized, Educated in 2015

Here in the barn, we’re always testing out the latest and greatest apps and websites that help put technology to work for our clients and associates.  One subject that comes up this time of year is managing the seemingly endless flow of content we receive through emails, newsletters and websites. According to the popular website Quora.com, more than 94,000 news articles are posted to the web on a given day.   Throw in the free templates, ebooks, white papers and other content vehicles available, the process of categorizing and consuming worthy information is a major challenge. If you’re not on top of this stream, it can quickly become an out of control fire hose.

As you start out the New Year, we’ve listed below a few apps and websites we frequent to help corral the content monster here at Kleber & Associates.  Each offers their own advantages and approach – take a quick spin and see if one is right for you.  While the tried and true RSS feed remains a popular option, we enjoy the slick interface and “magazine” feel these programs offer. Using the same RSS technology, we find them easier to read, share and view on your mobile device.  As a marketing professional, think about using these readers across your entire team and with sales as well – if everyone is eating from the same tree, you’ll be amazed at the alignment.

What are some of your favorite readers? We love hearing from our readers.  Email jpeters@kleberandassociates.com

Happy Reading!

NewsBlur
NewsBlur may look familiar to old Google Reader users – the interface is a near carbon copy to the popular service Google shuttered in July of 2013. NewsBlur can categorize blogs, websites and other feeds with a simple filing system that doubles as your navigation menu. When Google Reader first closed, NewsBlur was inundated with new users and had to cap new users.  Free accounts are capped at a set number of follows but the paid service is more than reasonable for unlimited sites.  www.newsblur.com

Feedly
The demise of Google Reader sent a shockwave across the internet.  In its place, Feedly quickly rose to the top thanks to a simple navigation menu and powerful search function.  We are big fans of the Feedly browser extensions which make sharing and archiving articles a cinch.  www.feedly.com

FlipBoard
In terms of presentation, FlipBoard is our top pick with smooth animations and true magazine look/feel. Much like the other readers, FlipBoard offers a massive cross-section of topics where you can store personal and professional articles in one program. FlipBoard really shines on a tablet device.  www.flipboard.com

Pulse
Pulse is a little unique in that it uses a proprietary content engine to find and elevate news articles based on your given interests. Windows 8 users will find comfort in the program’s tile organization versus a running list – it’s a cool effect that looks amazing on a mobile device.   www.pulse.com

Black Friday: Extravaganza or a Holiday Compromise?

Many know the day after Thanksgiving to be an occasion of long lines, big shopping bags and incredibly large discounts. It’s “Black Friday”! “Black Friday” is a day many consumers wait for all year long to get a jump on their Christmas shopping and to Sale labels with red gift bowstake advantage of marked-down items. However, more retail stores have started a new marketing trend this year.  Instead of waiting until the Friday after Thanksgiving to roll out the deals, many stores have begun their “Black Friday” discounts as early as October.  Giving stores access to the increased revenue that comes with Christmas shopping, this also appeals to those shoppers hoping to derail “last-minute shopping” headaches. A new survey from Accenture reveals that 45 percent of consumers have plans to go shopping in some capacity on Thanksgiving Day or evening. Nearly half of these people will likely go to stores between 6 p.m. on Thanksgiving and 5 a.m. on Black Friday.

The Lowes Approach
Lowe’s is one of the stores capitalizing on an early Black Friday concept.  Many Lowe’s consumers purchase home improvement products as gifts, but many others take on mini-projects and quick fix-ups for their homes in anticipation of guests and holiday parties. Lowe’s used social media to roll out its Black Friday Sneak Peek.  The company’s website uploads new deals consumers can expect to see during the Black Friday sales, with the caveat while supplies lasts”.

There is a new development, however, this year — Forbes, ThinkProgress and Mental Floss have gained support from over twenty companies who say they refuse to open on Thanksgiving. This may seem like a poor business model given the enormity of Black Friday, but, for these companies its about not ruining Thanksgiving. By refusing to open for Thanksgiving, companies like Lowes, Home Depot and Costco subtly rebuke the “Black Thursday night” tycoons like Walmart. They probably lose out on revenue; but enhancing their brand with certain consumers while preserving the sanctity of Thanksgiving as a time for family to relax inside the warmth of their homes, rather than camping out for the best deals, is far more important, and beneficial to them. Read more…

Brands Put Best Foot Forward at Remodeling Show, DeckExpo, and JLC LIVE 2014

Bare Feet Wanted - Schluter SystemsShow-goers enjoyed a wide array of demonstrations, seminars, and interactive exhibits at this year’s Remodeling Show, DeckExpo, and JLC LIVE, including the multifaceted displays and events going on at JLC’s Tool Alley. Individual exhibitors on the exhibit hall floor featured many interactive displays, as well, as demonstrated by scores of show attendees who were willing to remove shoes to comply with the “Bare Feet Wanted” sign at the Schluter booth. Participating at the show for Kleber & Associates was president Steve Kleber, who enjoyed watching sock footed individuals line up to experience the warmth generated by Schluter’s new DITRA-HEAT electric floor warming system.  Schluter represents one of three companies we’d like to highlight in our show review, today, for their innovative and trend-setting products that remedy accessibility challenges while solving the age old problem of keeping the water in and the mold out. Read more…

Kleber & Associates Named New Agency of Record for Georgia Pacific Gypsum

Kleber & Associates has been named as an advertising agency of record for Georgia-Pacific Gypsum LLC and will support the brand’s global marketing initiatives through multiple product promotions. Kleber & Associates will manage creative Georgia-Pacific-Gypsum_2014_Kleber-and-Associates-Public-Relations-Advertisingadvertising, media planning, account strategy and digital execution for the award-winning Dens® family of premium fiberglass mat gypsum panels, including DensGlass® Sheathing and Shaftliner, DensArmor Plus® Interior Panels, DensDeck® Roof Boards and DensShield® Tile Backer, as well as the broad array of paper-faced interior drywall products in the ToughRock® Gypsum Board portfolio.

“With Kleber & Associates, we found an integrated marketing agency that has extensive category experience within the construction and building products industry and demonstrates the ability to provide fresh, breakthrough creative ideas designed to help drive our business,” said Mike McCoy, vice president of marketing and commercial roofing for Georgia-Pacific Gypsum.

According to Steve Kleber, the opportunity to partner with a division of an iconic Atlanta corporation like Georgia-Pacific is the culmination of hard work and perseverance. “Growing up in Atlanta, I was always aware of Georgia-Pacific’s role as an important business and community leader, while its headquarters has been an integral part of the Atlanta skyline,” he said. “It is a unique pleasure and responsibility to be in a marketing partnership with such an important part of the company.”

 


Kleber & Associates is an Atlanta-based integrated marketing communications agency serving the home and building products industry for 25 years. Visit the Kleber & Associates website for the latest news and information about marketing for home and building products for consumers, architects, builders, remodelers, designers and manufacturers. Through our marketing, advertising, public relations and digital marketing expertise — we build better brands that build a better home.

Industry Expert Announces Fall Remodeling Trends – Furniture, Organization and “Retro” Styling

Steve Kleber, president of the National Remodeling Foundation, shares his personal insight on how homeowners are embracing furniture, organization and “retro” styling for upcoming remodeling projects:

Vanity by Ronbow

Vanity by Ronbow

Homeowners today are selecting furniture that has the strength of character powerful enough to set the interior design style, color, texture and mass for the whole space, even in the bathroom. Pursuing the ever-elusive dream of finding more storage space and increased organization leads many homeowners to discover advanced closet systems. For those seeking to achieve self-expression in their remodeling projects, many find the latest “retro” styled appliances, complete with more bells and whistles than ever before.

“A recovering economy has boosted homeowners’ confidence in their property values,” says Steven Kleber, president of the National Remodeling Foundation. “Accordingly, we’re seeing them excited to invest in high-quality, luxury home and outdoor living products with a reasonable expectation for a return on that investment.”

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‘Ametis’ Shower System by GRAFF

Furniture Expands the Foundation for Interior Design
While purchasing a new dining room table or sofa certainly has been an easy way to update a home’s interior design for living spaces, homeowners today now are applying this same strategy to the bathroom. High quality bathroom furniture, such as a vanity by Ronbow, is becoming the central focus from which consumers are crafting bathroom renovation plans, much like couture designers who build a fashion runway collection. As such, if the bathroom vanity is the new “little black dress” of bathroom design, then GRAFF faucets and shower systems are the accessories. With a wide array of high design, high function faucets such as the award-winning Ametis collection, GRAFF products function as “jewelry” that accentuates the bath furniture.

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Hanging Half Cabinets by WoodTrac

 

Design in Unexpected Places
Organization is frequently at the top of the list of desired renovations, leading many homeowners to invest in built-in systems installed in existing closets. WoodTrac closet systems are customizable to virtually any closet size. These easy-to-install wood grain closet systems offer significant cost savings over traditional white melamine alternatives.

 

Ceiling by WoodTrac

Ceiling by WoodTrac

Woodtrac also offers suspended and direct-mount wood ceiling paneling which is gaining increased popularity in residential applications. The paneling can be applied over any ceiling surface and creates a look of luxurious, custom-crafted three-dimensional ceilings at a fraction of the cost of expensive trim carpentry and coffered millwork.

Aren’t All Refrigerators Cool?
Yes, functionally speaking, all refrigerators do provide a cool factor – that’s what they are designed to do. Yet, Fridge1950_Redtoday’s consumer is demanding more from their traditional kitchen appliance. In fact, many homeowners wish to express their style through their kitchen equipment and find these appliances the perfect icons to help define their personalities. Elmira Northstar refrigerators boast a retro, mid-century inspired design while remaining technologically up to date with energy efficient performance. These fridges are available in nine not-so-standard colors, or can be customized to meet any customer’s color aesthetic.

“Homeowners are no longer satisfied with their living space, or the furniture and appliances within, serving only a functional purpose,” says Steven Kleber, president of the National Remodeling Foundation. “Today’s homeowner wants a whole-home experience completely reflective of them and flexible to fit their lifestyle.”

 


Kleber & Associates is an Atlanta-based integrated marketing communications agency serving the home and building products industry for 25 years. Visit the Kleber & Associates website for the latest news and information about marketing for home and building products for consumers, architects, builders, remodelers, designers and manufacturers. Through our marketing, advertising, public relations and digital marketing expertise — we build better brands that build a better home.

Homeowners Choosing Popular Upgrades as the Economy Recovers

In this current recovery, homeowners are becoming more confident, demonstrating pent-up demand for home and building products. The remodeling industry is experiencing a steady uptick, as the nation’s recovering economy encourages renewed homeowner investment. Following one of the most significant plunges in the U.S. real estate channel’s history, homeowners are now opting to consider their existing space for their residential upgrades.

“During past recessions we experienced mortgage applications declining while interest rates rose resulting in a drop of new homes being constructed,” explains Steven Kleber, president of the National Remodeling Foundation. “Remodeling permits by contrast during those cycles traditionally increased, as homeowners sought to capture equity in the rising values of their homes. However, during the most recent housing crisis, remodeling permits simultaneously decreased in concert with new home construction as foreclosures and declining home values combined negatively to shake homeowner confidence. The good news is we’re finally seeing evidence of that long anticipated turn around.”

In fact, The Conference Board this week reported that their July Consumer Confidence Index soared to 90.9, the highest level since October 2007 while they forecast that the trend was likely to continue.

Stainless Steel and the “Pro-sumer”
A new type of consumer – the “pro-sumer” – has emerged during this current wave of remodeling. These homeowners desire commercially proven, professional grade products that are fabricated and re-purposed for specific residential applications.

Feeney, Inc. LED Rail Light Kits for DesignRail

Feeney, Inc. LED Rail Light Kits for DesignRail

For example, the Feeney, Inc. LED Rail Light Kits for DesignRail® provide unique illumination for outdoor living environments for consumers looking no further than their own backyards for home space to improve. Originally designed for use on sea-faring vessels to resist nature’s destructive forces upon sails, Feeney’s stainless steel CableRail railing products are finding a new market among homeowners who desire attractive deck railing that won’t impede views of their landscape.

Danver Outdoor Kitchens

Danver Outdoor Kitchens

 

 

Stainless Steel Cabinetry is Popular
Similar in attributes, stainless steel cabinetry is gaining popularity in weather-sensitive, outdoor living applications. Consistently specified by restaurant designers for commercial kitchen surfaces where durability and easy-to-clean performance has been critical for food preparation areas, stainless steel now is being fabricated into cabinetry by Danver – made in America in Wallingford Connecticut. For many consumers, not just any plain silver grey finish will suffice and responding to that demand, Danver has introduced coated stainless steel doors in designer color finishes including wood grain patterns that now provide homeowners with outdoor kitchens that feature every convenience of traditional interior environments.

 

Cellular PVC Pergola Outdoor Kitchen View 1 Canopy retracted

Walpole Outdoors Pergola

Social Cooking and Living Life Inside-Out
Recently the kitchen has become a room for communal activity, as food preparation and bartending bring people together in social gatherings and at parties. Today’s outdoor kitchen has followed suit, expanding far beyond the lone barbeque grill with appliances such as the Evo cooktop that connect multiple cooks and dining audiences to engage in social cooking experiences out-of-doors.

In an effort to enjoy outdoor living through all four seasons, homeowners are seeking greater year-round shelter from nature’s elements. Walpole Outdoors pergolas are an attractive choice among renovators and come in a variety of colors applied to easy-to-maintain cellular PVC available in convenient, ready to assemble kits and with retractable ceiling screens.

Sometimes Only Real Wood Will Do
When it comes to curb appeal, homeowners are making high impact home fashion trend statements with simple replacements of their front doors — increasing their homes’ energy efficiency, while setting architectural style highlights at their guests’ first point of contact when they visit.

Masonite Torrefied Door

Masonite Torrefied Door

While fiberglass and steel doors remain popular choices, some homeowners demand the authentic aesthetics that only real wood doors provide. Yet, wood doors traditionally have inherent maintenance costs that restrict greater audience acceptance. Not anymore. The collection of Masonite Torrefied doors are fabricated through a process that actually heats the door during manufacturing, increasing its resistance to natural rot, weather and termites. What’s more and as an added bonus, the doors take on an attractive toasty brown finish that accentuates natural graining patterns.

“Ultimately, consumers need to be aware of the industry’s leanings towards renovating and upgrading existing space,” states Kleber. “In coming years, smart homeowners will undoubtedly experience a significant return on investment for the improvements they’re making now.”

 

 


Kleber & Associates is an Atlanta-based integrated marketing communications agency serving the home and building products industry for 25 years. Visit the Kleber & Associates website for the latest news and information about marketing for home and building products for consumers, architects, builders, remodelers, designers and manufacturers. Through our marketing, advertising, public relations and digital marketing expertise — we build better brands that build a better home.

Kleber & Associates Wins Platinum & Gold for Best Integrated Marketing Campaign

The Kleber and Associates PR and Advertising team is full of bright, creative and innovative individuals.  With our clients as our top priority, we strive to ensure that all of our integrated marketing campaigns are one-of-a-kind anHermes 2014 jpgd reflective of each client’s unique products and services. We don’t do it for awards; we do it because we have a commitment to give our clients the best public relations and marketing experience possible.  It also doesn’t hurt that we love what we do. Read more…