2014 NeoCon Highlights

Kleber and Associates summer road tour rolled into the Windy City last month for NeoCon® 2014- North America’s largest design show and conference for commercial interiors. The show draws more than 40,000 attendees each year from the architecture and design industry eager to see the latest trends.


As we waited in lines for elevators and weaved in and out of the over 700 showrooms and exhibits, we came across a variety of innovative products and resources for corporate hospitality, healthcare, retail, and various other commercial applications. We couldn’t list them all, so here is a collection of K&A’s favorite standout products from NeoCon 2014.



Forbo, a global market leader in linoleum floor coverings, showcased one of their newest product introductions, Marmoleum. Marmoleum Modular is currently the only floor tile that is USDA Bio-Preferred Certified 100 percent biobased. Made from natural, renewable ingredients, Marmoleum Modular features inherent antimicrobial and antistatic properties that improve indoor air quality and resist bacteria growth. Marmoleum Modular tile collection is comprised of 44 beautiful colors and 3 coordinated sizes designed to mix and match.


LG Hausys

LG Hausys unveiled a first-to-market surface product called TechTop. This innovative surface-embedded wireless charging technology offers true convenience and mobility-  helping consumers stay connected. Consumers can charge their mobile phone by simply placing it on top of a TechTop Embedded HI-MACS Surface. The rate of charge automatically reduces once the battery is full to prevent damage and to extend battery life. With a single connection hidden beneath the surface, you can keep the area clean and clutter-free, eliminating all those tangled wires or preoccupied power outlets. HI-MACS TechTop has the makings of an ingenious solution for those wanting to stay connected – good riddance wires!



Richlite Company is a manufacturer of paper-based composite panels offering a warm and natural-feeling surface. Richlite’s unique paper surfaces bring a soft and comfortable ambiance to a room that’s rarely achieved through cold, hard, strong and plastic solid surfaces. It’s made from environmentally sustainable resources and is an attractive, durable long-lasting material that complements a variety of tastes. Applications include kitchen/bath, retail and restaurant surfaces, as well as various other unique applications.


revlite-ling-1340-Editeos Light Panel System

The eos Light Panel System is an ultra-slim sheet of light that combines LED lighting technology and an exclusive 3D cutting process to give you a versatile light source. Its slim profile and low power draw make the eos Light Panel System usable in a large number of applications including indoor, outdoor, accent, lighting, etc. The system consumes up to 70 percent less power than a fluorescent lamp. The initial cost may be higher, but energy savings and overall durability is exceedingly better.

YouTube Videos Enhance Digital Marketing

YouTube used to be a venue for sharing videos with family and friends or to feature crazy comedy sketches.  Today, marketers are all over YouTube using it to their advantage. In fact, YouTube is so popular and serves so many digital advertising functions, its ranked number 2 on top search engines. We still use YouTube to post comedy sketches, but YouTube has now become a competitive platform for businesses to build, brand and market their companies.Untitled

Some companies use YouTube to demonstrate tutorials, present Frequently Asked Questions, discuss reviews, juxtapose before and after home renovations or show expert interviews. YouTube also provides important metrics in how many views the video received and how much user and viewer engagement is achieved. Read more…

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…

Homebuying Trends: First Comes House Then Comes Marriage

Welcome to the Kleber & Associates blog! Here’s the latest on Homebuying Trends: First Comes House Then Comes Marriage

Times have changed, and living together before marriage is becoming a popular home buying trend amongst couples in the U.S., with many couples buying a home long before their big day. In a recent study, Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC uncovered that about one in six (17%) of couples between the ages of 18 to 34 purchased their first home together before their wedding date, compared to 14 percent of those aged 45 and older. With a greater percentage of people cohabiting today, some say it’s evidence that young couples have more faith in the economy, reflecting widespread consumer confidence that has now reached a five year high.

How has this new trend impacted the real estate market? It has affected both the financial and the contractual aspects of the typical real estate transaction. Defining separate and community property becomes more challenging; and arranging financing that reflects the unique financial position of each party is critical.

Home Buying Before Marriage by Couples is a Popular Trend Kleber & Associates Atlanta

Home Buying Before Marriage by Couples is a Popular Trend

Although studies haven’t definitively revealed the reasons why living together before marriage is becoming a popular home buying trend, most assume that it is simply more socially acceptable than it was five, 10 or even 20 years ago.

In the NPR articleStudy: Record Number of People Are Cohabiting,” Andrew Cherlin says, “In 1972, I went home to have dinner with my parents and told them about my girlfriend. And they asked where she was living and I said, with me. And they nearly had a heart attack. Today, when my daughter married a few years ago, I would have been shocked had she not lived with her boyfriend.” And that’s the difference seen in just a generation; couples are less interested in marriage, but ready to take the plunge and buy a home. Surprisingly, co-habitations are longer than they were a decade ago, lasting about 22 months compared with 13 months on average.

Why is home ownership transcending couples’ plans of marriage? Dr. Robi Ludwig, a leading psychotherapist and Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC lifestyle correspondent says, “Buying a home has more of an impact on a couple’s relationship than any other purchase they will ever make. It bonds two people together and makes them a family.” This shift in order is a huge movement in American culture, influencing market trends and sales as more couples buy homes much earlier than they would if they’d gotten married first. Additionally, economic factors impact buying behavior. Marriage is expensive and couples now see it as something to do when everything else has fallen magically into place – when they have solid careers, good salaries and most importantly–their relationship with their partner is steady.

Still, 35 percent of all married couples purchased a home together by their second wedding anniversary, which is still the norm. Couples buying their first home, married or not, can take advantage of first time home buying offers and extremely low interest rates. Like marriage, buying a home is a big step, and the trend of couples living together before marriage is becoming a popular home buying trend. It seems that planting roots before tying the knot may be here to stay! (Image via stock.xchng)

The Marketing Home Products blog has been reporting on home and building industry subjects for more than six years, representing the well-honed marketing, advertising and PR expertise of Kleber & Associates of Atlanta.  Would you like to learn more about marketing and advertising strategies, or brand development for your home and building product? Visit Kleber & Associates on YouTube to learn how we can help you successfully compete in today’s exciting home and building product marketing milieu!

Hospitality Design Expo 2013 in Las Vegas

Welcome to the Kleber & Associates blog! Here’s the latest on the Hospitality Design Expo 2013 in Las Vegas

Popular Mandalay Bay in Las VegFlorida Tileas recently hosted the Hospitality Design Expo (HD Expo) providing design professionals the opportunity to meet manufacturers, build new relationships, listen to panel discussions and see the newest and best products on the market — all in one place.  With 900 exhibitors and over 7000 attendees this year, the 2013 HD Expo sponsored by Hospitality Design Magazine, welcomed interior designers, architects, owners, developers, specifiers, and product manufacturers from far and wide.

Color, Form and Function
Whether it was spotting the latest natural quartz colors available from Silestone Cosentino, discovering new colors for solid surfaces from Hanwha Surfaces L & C, or gazing upon the latest tile designs from Florida Silestone by ConsentinoTile, attendees were completely surrounded by beautiful products.

Schluter Systems offers innovative installation systems for tile and stone, such as their Schluter-KERDI-LINE, a low profile linear floor drain which enables the use of large-format tiles and creates interesting design opportunities for aging-in-place and handicap accessible bathroom shower options. Exhibitor Tile Redi displayed a wide selection of Ready-to-Tile™ products including one-piece shower pans in a variety of models.

Offering a vast selection in both style and texture in manufactured cast marble, Mincey Marble Manufacturing also has a line of eco-friendly products.  Their new Minceygreen products are made from 30% recycled materials, available to the consumer seeking sustainable home and building products. We were pleasantly surprised to continue to see sustainable products and design strategies represented at every turn.

Of particular interest, we learned more about all subjects related to shower door product design, including how they literally “reinvented the shower door wheel” from the team over at Cardinal Showers.  They hand cast all of their glass in-house while maintaining a large variety of textured glass options.

Furniture Design
Hospitality Design is all about the functionality and aesthetic of the basic things we use every day, carefully designed and assembled to form a pleasing user experience.

We were impressed with the beautiful flooring designs from Interface Hospitality. Their modular carpet tile system reflects smart design combined with flexible practicality.

Outdoor Living
The beautiful weather we found in Las Vegas this week had us dreaming of outdoor living.  In fact, as far as we’re concerned, no outdoor living space is complete without a fireplace.  The team over at Napoleon Fireplaces has already thought of everything you need to enjoy a cozy fire, inside or out.  There are no limits (except maybe your imagination) to where you can put a fireplace these days! Beautiful Danver stainless steel cabinets were also on display, showing the latest features available in attractive and functional outdoor kitchen design, just in time for Memorial Day.

New to HD Expo
Two manufacturers new to this year’s Expo are Artwall and Astek Wallcovering. Artwall is an attractive and versatile prefinished modular architectural wall panel system with application for any type of wall, in many different finishes.  Astek Wallcovering as well, offers a vast array of wallcovering design styles, colors and materials.  They are among the leading providers in specialty wallcovering, featuring advanced digital printing.

Authentic Pine FloorsAn HD Expo 2013 show highlight was the beautiful reclaimed wood available from Authentic Pine Floors; along with the interesting stories to match.  So much history.  So much beauty. For more than 20 years, HD Expo has been the premier trade show for the hospitality design industry showcasing the newest and most innovative products and services in Las Vegas each May. We had a great time again at HD Expo 2013 this year, and look forward to returning in 2014 – see you there!

Learning from Sub-Zero Wolf and Wall Street

Welcome to the Kleber & Associates blog! Here’s the latest on Learning from Sub-Zero Wolf and Wall Street

This month, Kleber & Associates was thrilled to launch the Grand Opening Ribbon Cutting of the new Atlanta flagship Sub-Zero and Wolf Appliance $4 million showroom. Enveloped in sprawling floor-to-ceiling windows, the 11,000 square foot state of the art facility is equipped with a live demo kitchen, advanced audiovisual training and a large lifestyle area featuring a live fire pit, wine grotto and private dining room. As industry leaders in refrigeration, wine storage and cooking equipment, the expansive showcase does much more than display the latest Sub-Zero and Wolf products. It is truly a destination for designers, architects and homeowners to gather and gain inspiration for one of the most important rooms of the home.

The S&P Homebuilding Stocks index is now up 43% this year… 125% above its October low. In fact MDC, Standard Pacific and Beazer Homes this past week reported combined over 2,000 homes closed in Q1, up from some 1,500 year-over-year. What’s more, new orders for the trio were up 1,000 from a year earlier!

It’s safe to say that when so much convincing evidence is being leveraged from the biggest and brightest in the space, our channel is clearly well on its way to increasing traction. It would be our pleasure to discuss your unique opportunities to drive success, as we near PCBC next month!

Your Brain Holds All The Answers

It’s the classic product flop story. New Coke. Rolled out in 1985, Coca-Cola introduced the new soft drink formula after consumer research indicated the product would be a success. New Coke was soon discontinued amid endless consumer outrage. Countless theories exist to explain why New Coke failed but the question of why consumer research was inconsistent with product results has yet to be fully answered. What do product failures say about market research methods like focus groups, surveys, and product tests?

I think these methods of research for marketing purposes are still quite valid but there is an interesting science starting to emerge that could someday enhance these methods for more accurate results. In his book Buy-ology, Martin Lindstrom details research performed by scientists around the world looking into why consumers buy what they do. By using fMRI and SST technologies to monitor brain activity while consumers view or interact with a product or advertisement, scientists have discovered some startling things about the way the brain processes all the information we receive about products.

One of the first discoveries outlined in the book is that what people say about a product may not be an indication of their true subconscious feelings. The first study in the book indicated that graphic warning labels on cigarette packaging actually increase a smoker’s desire to light up. While participants of the study indicated on surveys that these labels reduced their desire to smoke, fMRI data indicated the labels caused increased activity in the part of the brain that drives cravings.

Another finding of these brain scanning studies is that the use of celebrities in advertising can be very ineffective. It was found that mirror neurons in the brain allow consumers to subconsciously see themselves interacting with an object when they see someone else interacting with it. But the trick is that the person must be relatable to the consumer viewing the interaction. If a mother sees an advertisement featuring another normal, busy, family-focused mother in a kitchen preparing a meal with the latest cookware, the consumer is able to relate to the advertisement and subconsciously sees herself in the same kitchen with the same cookware preparing a dinner for her own family. But if the normal mom is replaced with a glamorous, super skinny celebrity with flawless complexion… the viewer has a much harder time relating to the individual and the mirror neurons don’t allow the consumer to envision herself using the product. While consumers may report in a survey they would buy a product because they like the celebrity endorsing it, subconsciously they don’t connect with the advertisement in the way that matters.

So what does all this new research tell us about marketing home and building products? The science of neuromarketing and neuroeconomics is still in its infancy. While the tests are groundbreaking and could open up a whole new avenue of market research, the science isn’t perfected yet. In Emory University’s most recent study, researchers attempted to use fMRI scans of teenagers’ brains to predict the next hit pop single. The study was only able to find a correlation with songs that went on to modest sales of 20,000 units or more (comparatively – the music industry designates a “hit” as sales of 500,000).

So it’s not time to throw out your focus group plans just yet. The ability for companies to scan consumers’ brains for the next big product is still a ways away.

But the research that is being discovered about the way we as consumers process advertising should not be ignored. In the future, neuromarketing studies could very well be a viable supplement to traditional market research to better understand the effect things like ad design, sounds, and smells have on the way we respond to product advertising subconsciously.

For now, advertisers should realize that there is more going on in the consumers mind than they realize. Traditional ideas about advertising and product research are being challenged every day. The ultimate answer to why we buy what we do lies deep in our brain waiting to be unlocked.

Are we still ignoring the male consumer?

Welcome to the Kleber & Associates blog! Are we still ignoring the male consumer? Here’s the latest on.

A few years ago, K&A put together a white paper on “Missing Males,” and how many – if not most – marketers tend to ignore the male consumer, focusing almost completely on female head of households &/or moms.

Advertising Age recently published further information about how marketers still have yet to embrace this growing consumer base of men. It highlighted a Yahoo survey in which more than half of men said they were the primary grocery shopper for their household… even though a small majority of packaged goods actually speak to them via advertisements. Yet, men still tend to wind up at the butt-end of a joke, implying they’re incompetent, goofy or aloof – especially when it comes to food and consumer goods for the home.

Have dads become more important targets for marketers over moms? That’s not quite the case, as household decision makers are still by and large women. For some, however, there’s something to be desired in advertisements and marketing in which men are left out.

It may be a difficult line to draw, but some brands have revamped their M.O., including Jif peanut butter’s addition to its “choosy moms” tagline and Kellogg’s targeted campaigns on ESPN.com. While the female head of household may very well make the majority of purchasing decisions, it’s clear that men simply can’t be ignored in advertising campaigns. The good news: a fair amount of white space exists here for specifically targeting men. Let’s see what they come up with…

8 Brands Not to Miss at PCBC 2011

Just eight short days from now, San Francisco will host one of the nation’s largest regional builders’ shows. PCBC brings together builders, developers, building scientists, architects, environmental engineers, landscape companies, and manufacturers to focus on delivering industry trends, innovations, and environmental building practices. Here are several brands that I’m excited about seeing at the show:

  • DANVER: The well-known stainless steel cabinetry manufacturer will showcase its newest outdoor kitchen products, including the Glastender Home line of commercial-grade cocktail stations. DANVER has recently teamed up with Glastender Home to provide a state-of-the-art bartending station that is easy to use and install. With its high durability and low maintenance, stainless steel is the perfect material for all outdoor kitchen needs. (Booth #5110)
  • Andersen Windows: The two-year winner of the ENERGY STAR® Partner of the Year award named by the EPA, Andersen windows manufactures high-quality energy efficient windows while reducing greenhouse gas emissions. At PCBC, Andersen will showcase its wide variety of environmentally friendly windows and doors. (Booth #6335)
  • Boral Roofing: Boral, one of the most extensive providers of sustainable clay and concrete roofing, is partnering with Green Builder Media to present the Sustainable Speaker Series. PCBC attendees PCBC can join the series at Boral’s booth, #5111.
  • Carriage House Door Co.: Carriage House provides custom handcrafted garage doors, each meticulously designed to embellish the beauty and value of your home. The company will display a variety of its doors at PCBC, booth #6420.
  • Nichiha: Nichiha, a leading manufacturer of fiber cement siding, will debut its newest siding product, NichiFrontier at PCBC. NichiFrontier is similar to Nichiha’s popular Sierra Premium Shake Product, but is offered at a lower price point. It will be available this summer, in four different colors: Terra, Hazelnut, Shadow and Prairie. (Booth #6317)
  • Cooper Lighting: A leading provider of high-quality light fixtures, Cooper Lighting is sure to impress with its extensive and innovative line of residential, commercial, industrial, and utility lighting. (Booth #5611)
  • Gerber: A leader in high performance vitreous china plumbing fixtures, faucets, and fittings, Gerber will have its comprehensive line of products on display, ideal for water-conservation in both residential and commercial use. (Booth #6120)
  • Isokern by Earthcore: Isokern by Earthcore is a superior brand of fireplaces, ovens and chimneys made of energy efficient volcanic stone. Volcanic stone has high insulating values, way beyond that of clay or stone. Visit Booth #5121 to see their exceptional fireplaces that are perfect for both indoor and outdoor use.

Overstuffed: Is less really more?

Welcome to the Kleber & Associates blog! Overstuffed: Is less really more?. Here’s the latest.

It seems the more you have, the more you need. What if Americans traded in all of their “somethings” for nearly nothing? The recent “extreme-downsizing” trend is becoming a tempting challenge for many, and as their piles of possessions shrink, so do their homes.

In “Forget Marta Stewart—Try Martha Hubbard,” Ellen M. Kozak claims she is on the verge of tossing nearly all of her possessions and moving to a small space because the idea of less junk to dust, less floor space to sweep and less to account for is appealing. So appealing, in fact, that some are even setting a limit on the number of things they own. The 100 Thing Challenge, a grassroots movement in which people eliminate all but 100 of their possessions, is a minimalist trend that is proving successful for people across the country who are “overwhelmed with stuff.”

One reason for the purging of our possessions is the technological advances we’ve seen in the past few years. Electronic readers have replaced the books on our bookshelves and iPods have diminished our CD collections. Smart phones have virtually everything we need: camera, calculator, computer, alarm clock, and so much more including, of course, a phone. These things that took up space before are now all housed in one or two central systems. We don’t need alarm clocks, calculators, CD players or books if there’s an option to consolidate all into one device. These objects could even be considered irrelevant, especially to those adopting the “100 Thing” mentality.

But even if you do have more than 100 possessions and haven’t packed up your car and headed to warmer weather where you can toss your bulky winter wear and never worry about that snow shovel, the idea of having fewer items in smaller spaces is a continuing and noticeable trend, especially in the housing industry. According to the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), the average size of a new- single family home declined from 2,521 square feet in 2007 – the peak of the housing boom – to 2,377 square feet in 2010. After the economic downturn in 2009, it seems everyone learned to cut out what they don’t need. People are now making the most of the space they do have; they’re remodeling their homes instead of moving into new ones.

Whether it’s an extreme elimination of items or a simple downgrade, it looks like the “bigger is better” mentality is on its way out. Much like we’ve seen the change from big gas guzzling SUVs and trucks to fuel-efficient eco-friendly cars, the change from excess to absence in possessions – and subsequently living spaces – is right behind.