Most Innovative Kitchen & Bath Retail Marketing Effort

Most Innovative Kitchen & Bath Retail Marketing Effort

First place: Reico Kitchen & Bath

Experience and Education Highlight Retail Marketing Efforts

You see, the pair have developed a marketing plan, "The Reico Experience," that is based on customer service, a welcoming atmosphere, broad product selection and a knowledgeable staff all designed to educate both consumers and the trade about the Springfield, VA-based company.

And educate people it has, to the point that the company has earned first-place honors in K&BDN's 2003 Industry Leadership Awards for the category Most Innovative Kitchen or Bath Retail Marketing Effort.

Designed to drive retail showroom traffic and generate sales to builders and remodeling contractors, the company's philosophy is very simple: "Our experience will improve yours." Therefore, prospective clients can learn about the company through a variety of mediums, such as consumer, trade and television advertising, public relations, Reico's Web site and the company's Call Center.

Opened in Spring, 2002, the Call Center is staffed with a team of experts trained to answer callers' questions, advise callers on types of information they should bring to their initial meeting with a designer, direct calls to appropriate sections on the Reico Web site and direct callers to the nearest Reico showroom.

Continuing the theme of education, the company also offers free Do-It-Yourself seminars three times annually at 10 of its showroom locations, as well as Miele product demonstrations. Approximately 400 people attend the D-I-Y seminars and 100 people attend the Miele presentations each year.

So, what is the company's secret?

Maintaining a strong sense of branding, the pair ensure that all of Reico's communications vehicles use a similar look, feel and tone to promote "The Reico Experience." They believe this helps build familiarity with the company and creates understanding of the finer points of the program.

Maresco and Armstrong also note that sending "the right message at the right time," is a crucial element, as is remaining brand-focused.

It appears to have paid off, as the firm has enjoyed a surge of growth, most notably expanding from four showroom locations in 1996 to 18 currently, while enjoying a steady increase in showroom and Web site traffic. It has also seen an increase in employee growth, rising from 325 in January, 2002, to 400 today.

Second place: Z&G Enterprises

Family Firm Sends Out Its Marketing Message with a Purpose

It is no accident that Larry Lucci, president of Pittsburgh, PA-based Z&G Enterprises, has enhanced his firm's success with the help of a strong marketing strategy.

In fact, Lucci points out that he, v.p. Jim Lucci and secretary David Lucci used an extensive radio and billboard advertising campaign over the past five years to help separate the company, a family owned retail and wholesale kitchen and bath firm, from the large home centers and cabinet distributors in the area.

This year, however, not only have they accomplished that, but they have also earned the company second-place honors in K&BDN's 2003 Industry Leadership Awards for the category Kitchen & Bath Retail Marketing Effort.

Catering to everyone from the do-it-yourselfer to contractors and certified designers, the company's marketing effort is designed to educate customers to its full-service capabilities.

Perhaps its most distinct effort utilizes billboards that refer to two large home centers in the area, complete with a blue truck shown crashing into an orange truck with the tag line reading "Beautiful kitchens are no accident."

In addition, Larry Lucci elects to take part in the company's television campaign, which, he believes, drives home the company's hands-on approach to business.

Further, it also introduces the idea that Z&G Enterprises offers affordable pricing, experienced designers and good

Apparently, this technique has worked well for the company as it has doubled its remodeling business over the past two years while gaining a large referral business.

But, this may be just the beginning for the company, as it also is making plans to expand its marketing campaign over a larger geographic area in the future.