News to know
Glass companies hit the small screen
Design and decorating shows serve as strong marketing tools
Glass companies are looking beyond the Yellow Pages to the abundance of home decorating and design television shows to market their products to the mass public.
Programs such as "Martha Stewart Living," "Designing Spaces" and "Extreme Home Makeover" have run segments about glass flooring, decorative glass innovations and the latest glass bath enclosure products, allowing companies to access to tens of thousands of households nationwide.
A current segment on The TLC network’s Designing Spaces features glass shower enclosures with the Shower Guard product from Guardian Industries of Auburn Hills, Mich., as well as the showroom of ShowerGuard glass dealer Mr. Shower Door, of Norwalk, Conn.
Earnest Thompson, director of Guardian marketing and brand management, says marketing techniques for glass companies have evolved along with technology changes. Word-of-mouth and Yellow Page ads are now joined by Internet advertising and TV spots.
Thompson says companies aren’t choosing between the old marketing tools and the new. Rather, managers are developing integrated marketing approaches to reach more players in the process.
“Take ShowerGuard: A homeowner needs to know that the technology helps them so they can ask at the kitchen and bath shop. The shop needs to be up to speed to provide the best solutions to its customer. Likewise, the fabricator needs to know in order to sell a system to the shop. Throw in the interior designer, contractor, builder, etc., and you can see the need to broaden the marketing mix,” Thompson says.
Thompson doesn’t expect Guardian to see immediate sales increases after TV segments air, but the program gives the company and its brands name recognition that can lead to sales.
“We expect to get sales because we'll arm our sales force with a DVD of the program as a sales tool. Customers perk up when they hear the phrase, ‘As seen on TV,’ because it gets all the way down the value chain and everybody sees an increase in awareness of a product,” Thompson says.
Tom Whitaker, president of Mr. Shower Door, says the TV segment also gives a company credibility.
“We’re not a national company, but I expect [the show] to make a difference in our 12 stores,” Whitaker says. “There is an added value benefit of being on TV. It gives us credibility and makes us more recognizable.”
Tim Czechowski, president of Artwork in Architectural Glass in Newport Beach, Calif., says the spots also provide companies with lasting marketing tools. Not only do shows rerun for sometimes several years, companies can also use the segments as professional video marketing tools on their own Web sites that add even more credibility.
AAG has been featured in TV spots on two HGTV network programs. Both videos are posted on the company’s web site. “Being on those shows provides us with documentation to show on our web site. Customers can see both spots,” Czechowski says. “It helps us have a professional presentation of our products.”
Several decorating and design shows contact companies directly to become involved on the show. Others can be contacted by company marketing departments.
Learn more about evolving marketing techniques in the next two parts of the e-glass special series on marketing.
—By Katy Devlin, e-Newsletter Editor, e-glass weekly