Flooring The Consumer on Simple Marketing Now

Please visit Flooring The Consumer's new home on SimpleMarketingNow.com where you can subscribe to receive updates to blog articles in real time!

Friday, May 28, 2010

Age of Conversation 3 Available For Purchase!

Age of Conversation 3The third book in the Age of Conversation series is now available for purchase!

Subtitled "It's Time To Get Busy," Age of Conversation 3 captures the shift from 'outlier... to strategic pillar' for social media in the marketing mix.

Age of Conversation 3 once again represents a global collaboration with contributions from 171 bloggers from around the world organized into 10 sections:

At the Coalface; Identities, Friends and Trusted Strangers; Conversational Branding; Measurement; Corporate Conversations; In the Boardroom; Innovation and Execution; Influence; Getting to Work; and Pitching Social Media.

Proceeds from the sale of the book Age of Conversation 3 will benefit the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

Read the press release: Age of Conversation 3 Highlights Social Media Best Practices.

Click on these Amazon links to buy Age of Conversation 3: in hardcover, paperback edition, or for the Kindle.

You can also check out the authors of Age of Conversation 3 and read my chapter from the original Age of Conversation, titled "The Conversation Age Enabled." [I'll publish my chapter from Age of Conversation 2 in the not-too-distant-future!]

Thank you and please let me know what you think!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Sonna Calandrino: Passion for Flooring Fashion

Sonna CalandrinoSonna Calandrino represented the ultimate Woman in Flooring. She combined an intense passion for flooring and fashion with endless enthusiasm and creativity.

For example, her vision led to Designer's Walk about how to coordinate walls, carpet, furniture & More using a color palette for Fabulous Floors Magazine, a project I worked on with Sonna. The article is timeless as is everything that Sonna touched.

I had hoped to share with you some of her wisdom. Instead, I share with you the very sad news of her death on Sunday, May 23rd, 2010.

From TalkFloor.com News: Sonna Calandrino Passes Away Unexpectedly
Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Albany, NY, May 26, 2010--Sonna Calandrino, a fixture in the flooring industry for more than 30 years, has passed away unexpectedly following a long illness.

She was most recently founder and publisher of FABULOUS FLOORS Magazine, the first consumer publication devoted to flooring as a key interior design element, and president of Peachtree Communications, Inc., a consulting firm specializing in advertising, PR, merchandising and training solely for the flooring industry. She continued to work right up to a few days prior to her hospitalization.

Though struggling for many months, Sonna rebounded after the New Year and took the helm of the Spring issue of FABULOUS FLOORS; her influence and contributions in this issue are obvious. In retrospect, her partners and staff believe Sonna knew this would be her farewell issue.

Sonna’s client list is a who’s who of the industry. Among other achievements, Sonna was the initial architect of Mohawk University’s course structure and later spent nearly a decade creating and launching Mohawk Floorscapes on behalf of that corporation.

Sonna was a fixture at industry events, keynoting conventions and seminars, crisscrossing the country with her upbeat, positive messages of education, profitability and the excitement of the fashion presented by flooring of all kinds. Often, when it became obvious that her messages, research and materials had been used or imitated by others, Sonna was always philosophical, stating that the important thing was the message and moving the industry along to a new level.

She was open about her love for the flooring business, the people, the products, the challenges of being able to have a positive impact on an industry that was moving from commodity and price to one of fashion and margin. She often said privately that she was proud to have helped it along.

Sonna Calandrino passed away Sunday, May 23, due to complications brought on by breast and bone cancer, both of which had gone painfully undiagnosed for years. She was with her husband. Sonna and her family, friends and colleagues fully expected as recently as seven days ago that treatments would continue to favor her recovery.

Despite her high profile, Sonna was a very private person. At her request, there will be no funeral or other arrangements. Though she loved flowers and the growth and beauty they represented, it is requested that donations in her name, and in keeping with her policy of meaningful charitable and community contributions, be given to:

The Floor Covering Industry Foundation
2211 E Howell Avenue
Anaheim CA 92806

Her gardens will be reborn and maintained at the 200-year-old family farm she restored in Upstate New York.

Sonna is survived by her business partner of more than 13 years and husband of nearly two years, Richard Howland. She is also survived by a sister, Lisbeth Calandrino.

An open house for family, friends and business associates will be held at her home from 6 to 9pm Friday June 4. Please contact her longtime associate and friend, Margo Locust at Peachtree Communications 518 828 3200.

I recommend that you listen to Kemp Harr's FloorDaily.com interview with Lis Calandrino which pays tribute to Sonna and the amazing Calandrinos.

The Flooring Industry will miss you, Sonna.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Discount Pricing & The Retail Experience

Jay Ehret, The Marketing SpotI'm curious. What are you doing about discount pricing? And how does it fit into your retail experience?

I ask the question because Jay Ehret from The Marketing Spot asked 13 of us for our take on discount pricing. [See What Should You Do About Discount Pricing?]

What's yours?

Are you needing to do more discounting than you used to? If so, how do you integrate it into your overall retail experience?

How do you maintain profitability and not devalue what you offer to existing customers?

Or, have you come up with alternative solutions to discounting your prices?

I'd love to know your perspectives on pricing and the pressures you're under to discount.

Thanks for sharing.

And thanks to Jay for inviting me to think about discount pricing...

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Just Updated: Social Flooring Index!

Social Flooring IndexThat's right! The Social Flooring Index has been updated for early 2010...

More specifically:

The Social Flooring Twitter Index

The Social Flooring Facebook Index

The Social Flooring Blog Index

I'd love to hear your reactions...

Note: Graphic above is Social Flooring Index Wordle from Flooring The Consumer

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

For A Memorable Retail Experience Think Customers

Memorable retail experienceMy mother recently insisted that I go shopping with her. Her goal: to buy me something. So, we set off with my daughter in tow for the Garden State Plaza Mall in Paramus, NJ. The result: not a memorable retail experience from any perspective...

What made this retail experience such a dud? Lessee... We encountered an endless sea of sameness with monochrome color schemes wherever we went. Not a single surprise: no surprising juxtapositions or inspired merchandise assortments. The energy in-store was palpably non-existent. In other words, not much joy and not much interest in surprising, delighting and creating a memorable retail experience for customers...

My reaction: retailers need to take to heart the following expert retail advice...

5 reasons theatricality will boost retail sales from the November/December 2009 issue of DDI Magazine [republished as How to boost your retail sales by using theatrical tricks] states:
  • 1. Make your store stand out from the rest.
  • 2. Appeal to the customer's "inner child" [we all have one].
  • 3. Create a romance that surrounds your products and enhances their desirability.
  • 4. Make a joyous shopping experience.
  • 5. Create a buzz.
In Think Tank with Lee Eisenberg, author of Shoptimism: Why the American Consumer Will Keep on Buying No Matter What, from January/February 2010 issue of DDI Magazine, the author mentions that "atmospherics play a major role in shaping one's in-store decision-making... music, lighting, aroma... all contribute to whether customers feel comfortable, aroused or overwhelmed, all of which influence how much time we spend in a store and whether we're encouraged to buy or flee." His advice:
  • 1. Treat customers with respect.
  • 2. Be thoughtful in how you conceive of and maintain store design, including the care and maintenance paid by sales associates, to assure a pleasing experience...
  • 3. Every retailer -upscale, discounter, etc. - must do everything possible to please consumers' senses.
Although I couldn't locate the exact interview, I did find this related article Shoptimism: Why We Buy Things.

Finally, words of practical wisdom from Four Lessons to Learn From The Success Of Miracle Mile Shops. The article states "...it's more than just location that appears to be driving sales at Miracle Mile [in Las Vegas.] It's a perfect desert storm of product selection, an emphasis on value and a strong drive to improve customer service." More specifically:
  • Don't take your customers for granted.
  • Have ridiculously high standards for your staff.
  • Cater your assortment to fit your audience.
  • Make shoppers feel good.
Now, imagine that your Mom takes you shopping to buy you anything [within reason :-)], would you stay in your store and buy something or would you leave empty-handed? How does your retail experience stack up?

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Wood You Like's Wooden Floor Installation Manual

Wood You Like's Wooden Floor Installation ManualImagine listening so carefully to your customers that their questions inspire you to write a book. That's what Karin Hermans from Wood You Like Ltd in the UK did.

Wooden Floor Installation Manual represents 160 pages of responses to customer questions making it a relevant reference for "everything you need to know about DIY wooden floors".

Karin likens the inspiration for and the creation of the book to her contribution to the latest Age of Conversation 3: It's Time To Get Busy [aka AOC and soon to be available for sale!]. She writes:


The funny thing is - I realised this only afterwards - the book is a perfect example of the thread of my contribution for AoC: building a business one question at the time ;-) The whole book is in fact based on questions we received from our website visitors/prospects etc.

How we are using it? As we used the E-guide last year (65 pages only): giving those who are serious about DIY installation of their own wood floor our experience in the hope they will be confident they can install it like a pro too (or at least know what they are doing, from selecting the floor to tackling most common "installation obstacles". (And of course to tell them about the products we recommend - and sell).

Most of the books already sold are to known contacts; it is now also for sale on amazon.co.uk and amazon.com.

Those "unknown" buyers can request access to our "online extras" - and we can follow-up on them for maintenance products, which we do with all our clients.

Karin H

I admire that Karin has created a benefit for readers through what might otherwise be perceived as a shortcoming: the book contains no visuals. Instead, Wood You Like invites those who purchase the book to view online evergreen photos, pictures and drawings. What a terrific way to integrate the offline and digital experiences for a richer and more informative solution!

Congratulations, Karin and Wood You Like! I wish you great success with Wooden Floor Installation Manual!

Monday, May 03, 2010

Simple Marketing Now - April 2010 Update

Simplify Your Marketing!


As I write this, I'm headed on Bolt Bus to Boston for the 2010 MarketingProfs B2B Forum taking place May 3 through 5. If you plan to be there, do let me know. I'd love to connect! Simple tweet me at @cbwhittemore.

Here is the latest from Simple Marketing Now for April 2010 categorized into Social Media Marketing Resources, Simple Fun and Simple Marketing News.

[For those of you new to Flooring The Consumer, I also write the Simple Marketing Blog where I discuss marketing strategy and creative, practical, simple marketing approaches and share best practices - many of which may be relevant to you and your business as you consider what's possible. The blog also acts as newsroom for Simple Marketing Now.]

Simple Marketing News

Last week, I attended Coverings 2010 in Orlando, FL - my first time experiencing the show. I loved the installation showcase featuring five bathrooms built over the course of the show, each representing a different design inspiration which the designers described during a panel discussion. I also got to take part in a Tweetup [a meetup organized over Twitter] with Veronika Miller, Paul Anater, Arpi Nalbandian, Bill Buyok, Zoe Voigt and Marilyn Russell.

While in Orlando, Chris Ramey invited me to speak to The Luxury Marketing Council Orlando [see Press Release: Whittemore Addresses The Luxury Marketing Council Orlando] about the customer experience, marketing to women and generally 'Flooring The Consumer.'

At Coverings, I regrouped with my partners in presentation - Paul Friederichsen and Scott Perron - for a reprise of our three-hour workshop [see Press Release: Whittemore Addresses Social Media Media Marketing at Coverings 2010].

In other news, I'm really pleased that Simple Marketing Blog is now a Junta42 Top 42 Blog! I'm keeping track of, on the Floor Covering Institute Blog, Posts Published and I created Interview Archives - 2009 from the Simple Marketing Now website.

Social Media Marketing Resources

My latest addition to the 'How Do I?' series - How Do I Deal With Negative Comments? - deals with a topic that comes up in every introductory social media conversation I've participated in. It's also the subject of a session that I will be leading on May 25th, 2010 at the next Social Media Club North Jersey meeting titled "I love you. I hate you. Customer feedback in a social world.

Check out my latest MarketingProfs Daily Fix article: 10 Tips For Being Found & Connecting With Customers.

Simple Fun

Yes, simple fun starting with Simple Pleasures: 3/12 through 4/8/10, Simple Earth Day 2010 Reminders and C.B. Whittemore in New Yorker's Talk of The Town, all because of casino carpet!

Thanks for reading!
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...