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Cygnus, RICKI Form Research Alliance

Fort Atkinson, WI — Cygnus Business Media, the parent company of Kitchen & Bath Design News and numerous business-to-business publications, websites, and other media properties, has entered into a strategic alliance with the Research Institute for Cooking & Kitchen Intelligence (RICKI), the kitchen industry’s premier research organization.

Announcement of the alliance was made this week by Cygnus Executive Vice President Kris Flitcroft, who oversees the residential and construction affinity group for the Fort Atkinson, WI-based Cygnus.

Under the terms of the alliance, Cygnus will provide the Charlotte, NC-based RICKI with strategic consulting and business development services, as well as marketing and sales support aimed at assisting RICKI in growing its membership base as well as marketing other RICKI products.

In exchange, RICKI will provide Cygnus research services on trends in kitchens and kitchen-related businesses. Cygnus’ b2b publications will reproduce a limited amount of RICKI research top-line findings, as it has for some time, while detailed research findings and input into studies will still be available only to RICKI members.

“RICKI is the leading and most trusted source for kitchen research and trends,” said KBDN Publisher Emeritus Eliot Sefrin, who will service as Cygnus’ liaison with RICKI. “In addition to tracking changes in the marketplace, RICKI’s research studies go beyond traditional methodologies to better understand the mindset of today’s consumers and professional designers to pinpoint trends that will impact our industry in the future.”

KBDN for several years has worked with RICKI in a relationship during which KBDN provided advertising services in exchange for research, Sefrin noted.

“This alliance is an outgrowth and expansion of that,” he said. “In order to continue its steady course of annual growth, RICKI has needed a team that can devote resources to growing membership, enhancing relationships within the industry and creating new revenue opportunities.

“We intend to supply those tools, while providing our marketing/advertising partners with an exclusive opportunity to benefit through critical insights into the market and customers they serve.”

RICKI, established by a group of professional market researchers, is primarily a membership-based organization consisting of leading manufacturers, retailers, wholesalers, and other kitchen-related businesses. Current members include Moen, Electrolux Major Appliances NA, KitchenAid, Broan-NuTone, Pfister Faucets, Elkay USA, Masco Cabinetry Group, Kohler Company, Wilsonart, Miele, Formica, Hafele America Co., DuPont, BSH Home Appliances, Meredith Corp., and American Standard.

Since its founding in 2006, RICKI has conducted more than 75 studies in the kitchen and bath industry, in additional to numerous custom, proprietary research studies for KBDN and other kitchen-related companies.

The organization, which has access to an exclusive,  Designer Panel of more than 1,500 designers for market research, also offers consultation services, facilitation of ideation/innovation sessions, ethnographic research and other services, including subscriptions to a quarterly tracking study among U.S. adults, measuring kitchen product purchases as well as remodeling plans and activities.

“RICKI’s reputation as a trusted source of information for kitchen research and trends will be a strong fit with Cygnus’ Residential-Group. Research conducted by RICKI among designers, showroom principals and other key audiences has shown that research and trend information are highly valued in the industry, and high on the list of the types of marketing support desired from manufacturers,” Sefrin said.

“We are excited about the alliance with KBDN and Cygnus.  They are a top-notch organization with outstanding publications, other media properties and marketing power,” according to RICKI Executive Director Brenda Bryan.  “RICKI’s ownership structure, how it operates and the great benefits to our members will remain unchanged.  This cooperative alliance will only enhance the offerings to our members,” according to Bryan.

This version includes updated details about report availability. -- Ed.