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5 Ways Appliances Dealers Can Market to Builders and Designers

Luxury is a lifestyle all on its own, but marketing luxury doesn’t have to be for only the elite. 

On today’s episode, Nationwide Marketing Group’s Director of Luxury Appliance, John O’Halloran returns to co-host the show and discuss innovative and unique ways to market to designers and builders to make you stand out. Listen in as Mark, Adrienne and John discuss:

  • the non-traditional path to purchase many consumers take when building a home or designing a commercial space, 
  • the relationship needed between the retailer and the contractors and consumer, 
  • email campaigns, 
  • working with the influencer community, and
  • the experience contractors, builders and designers are creating for their consumer and you can aid in that partnership.

Need More Marketing Ideas?

Check out how to beat the big box stores when marketing luxury appliances!


Mark Kinsley: [00:00:00] Five ways appliances, dealers can market to builders and designers. John o’ Hollerin is back as our co-host here on the Fan Marketing Show, and it starts in 30 seconds.

Uh, welcome back to the show, Mr. John o’ Halland, the Director of Luxury Appliances with Nationwide Marketing Group. John, thanks for reading back on the show. I kind of put you on the on the hook last time and said you gotta come back cuz we really need to talk about. How appliances dealers can market to builders and designers, because the builders and designers are the ones who are really influencing the sale of luxury appliances.

So you’re gonna break it down for us with five hot tips, hot takes, and hot tips from John o Haller. But first we have our trivia question with Yo Adrian.

Adrienne Woods: Okay. I don’t have multiple choice for this one, but what was the first kitchen appliance ever created?

The first kitchen appliance ever [00:01:00] created.

I’m gonna say go for it. What, what were you gonna say? Well, I’m not gonna guess now. I have, I have my guess in mind, but you gotta stick around to the end of the show because Adrian’s gonna reveal the answer and we’ll see if the, the expert, the guru, the man, the myth, the legend, the luxury appliances expert.

Let’s see if he knows the answer. And, and John, I’m gonna guess something right outta the gates. I’m gonna guess. Back then, the first appliance that ever made it into a kitchen was automatically considered luxury. .

John O’Halloran: I hope so. Right? , you’re talking like the outhouse, right? The first bathroom in a home was probably considered luxury.

Right? Versus being, this was the first kitchen appliance. So we thinking along those

Mark Kinsley: lines. All right. First kitchen appliance. So we’ll stick around and if you have a guess over to fam dot. And text us on our podium number. It’s in the bottom right hand corner. It says, Text us. And, uh, hey, we’re, we’re happy you’re here.

We’re happy you’re part of the fan, uh, part of the fan. We are a [00:02:00] fan of you. Um, be sure also to subscribe on Apple or Spotify or wherever you get your podcasts. And sign up for our, our newsletter as well. John, you last time we talked about how, uh, you can beat the big box by marketing luxury appliances.

And one of the, uh, that conversation led into this idea that if you wanna market luxury appliance, It’s not the traditional path to purchase for a consumer, cuz many of these luxury appliances are being purchased, uh, in, in conjunction with remodeling an entire kitchen or building a new home. So getting in touch with builders and designers and architects.

Is a, is a good strategy for a retailer, and that’s more, you know, relationship building and, and, and being top of mind with them. So hit us with, with some of the ideas on how appliances dealers can market to the builders and designers, and I think you

John O’Halloran: got five of them. Yeah. Hey, thanks guys. Great to see you, and thanks for having me back.

I appreciate it. Um, and I love that you guys are focusing on the appliance business. I just have to say that, Okay. [00:03:00] This is, this is the most fun side of the business when it talks about everything that you’re talking about, furniture betting, my opinion. But, um, so I think we need to look at, you know, there’s, there’s a number of different ways retailers can market to the, in what we’ll call the influencer community.

Um, but I like to start kind of more with some of the basics, you know, because the influencer c. Um, it’s very large and they have such a strong impact on, um, the relationship with the clients that the, uh, retailers will be working with, but also just on the design and some of the brands and selections that that consumer will make.

There needs to be a really strong relationship between that retailer, right? Whether it’s a sales associate or somebody within that retail organization and the designer, because they’re working together on the same. So I would say the first thing you need to do is, is make sure in a lot of, and this is nothing new, right?

But make sure we continue to do this, kind of getting back to the basic basics, but is to make sure you’re involved with all the appropriate trade associations in our industry. Okay. [00:04:00] So we’re talking about, you know, the first one that comes to mind would be the, we call it the, it’s the nkba, the National Kitchen and Bath Association.

Um, there’s the As S I D, that’s the Association, American Society of Interior Designers. You’ve got nari, which is Association for Remodel, the Remodeling Industry, and then when we’re talking builders, right, The National Association of Home Builders, um, then N A N A H B. So. Very important associations because they have different events, they have different meetings.

And if you can get involved as a retailer, it’s a great opportunity for you to build those personal relationships with those influencers so you know that you can trust each other and work together successfully on a client. So that, I would say that’s number one. Um, the next thing, and it’s kind of tied into that, but a lot of these, uh, influencers to maintain their certifications as a, say, a kitchen designer.

There’s certain they call ’em ceu. That’s, you know, continuing, uh, [00:05:00] education, um, events that they need to participate in. Okay. It’s like a teacher that has to continue to take classes, right? To be, uh, certified as a teacher to, as a retailer, you have the ability to participate and actually host these events in your showroom.

It’s a great way to connect with that influencer community because then you’re bringing all these different people, Say it’s uh, designers that are part of the National Kitchen and Bass Association. You’re bringing ’em all into your showroom. You have an opportunity to work with the vendor community within the appliances because they will have retail sick.

They will have their field teams. Some of them will be certified to teach these classes, or they have trainers that are certified to train these classes. They’ll focus on a topic, then they will talk and have their meeting, um, that they want host, and then you have maybe a cocktail party, right? Or offer, uh, ORs.

And it’s an opportunity for you to, you know, build that relationship, but also to show off your showroom. So it’s, if it’s somebody that you’re not currently working with, well maybe it’s [00:06:00] somebody that they feel more comfortable, like, Wow, you need to come check out the showroom from, from a client’s perspective.

And then the third thing I think’s important, kind of getting back to the basics, is really having somebody on your team, right, that’s dedicated to working with the influencer community, right? Really an outside person that’s just not in your store, but that goes out and visits, you know, that designers in their showroom that goes out, visits the builders, right?

Builds that relationship with them, helps them out wherever they need help. Um, some of the most successful c. Where these, these individuals will actually go out and they’ll do, you know, they call ’em lunch and learns, right? Well, they’ll, they’ll bring in lunch and they’ll sit down for an hour and have a topic.

They’ll talk about, you know, a specific brand and say, built in refrigeration or they’ll do a general thing here, the latest update to the appliance business to help educate them, right? So they are more educated when they work with a client and help them understand, you know, when they’re specifying kitchens.

And then again, it’s about building, fostering that relat.

Mark Kinsley: [00:07:00] John as as we po I gotta pause you here for a second because it reminds me of talking to Jordan RDA at Jordan Bode, and Jordan and I were talking about their business and some of the growth they experienced, and really a significant portion of that growth was coming from the B2B space.

So instead of marketing Con to consumers, they were going out and they had programs put together, uh, for builders and, and just a variety of different businesses, whether it was selling, um, appliances or you know, furniture on and on, it went. Um, I thought that was really interesting that they had dedicated staff, just like you talked about to that arena, and they were seeing the, the fruits of, of that.

John O’Halloran: And Jordan’s a great example. He does a fan. They, you know, at bbo they do a phenomenal job, especially catering to the luxury, you know, consumer and the influencer community. Um, you know, one thing you’ll find too is that they also might have, or other, you know, retailers out there that are successful in the space.

Might also have special, you know, incentive [00:08:00] programs for designers to refer consumers to them, right? So there’s a lot of different ways that retailers can work with the design or influencer community to try to foster that relationship, but really have the incentive to drive business into their showrooms and to work with their sales people.

Mark Kinsley: So those are the base. We’ll get back to the basics. We’re talking an outside sales person. We’re talking about association memberships, uh, continuing education events, and bringing people into your showroom. What else? What, I think we have two more to round out our top five.

John O’Halloran: Yeah. So, so, and I think these are really important, um, especially since the, uh, you know, coming out of the last couple years in the pandemic.

But you know, when consumers were at home, um, they spent a lot of time online. So that be, those behaviors have continued and um, you know, they’re not doing a lot of say purchases. Today when it comes to luxury appliances through e-commerce, but they’re doing a lot of [00:09:00] research. So a great, a great thing for members to remember, or retailers to remember is that we need to be marketing right to, to, to consumers, but also to the influencer, our community through digital.

Okay? So what we’ve found successful, and we’ve been doing a lot of testing to help our retailers, you know, market to the trade community. Is is using digital marketing campaigns, but they’re targeted not towards, say, necessarily towards like say Facebook or like Instagram, but being more targeted towards, uh, LinkedIn.

We found success with that. Okay. Uh, how about a Zillow? Right. So, so different, taking a different look to what we’ve done on the consumer side, but adapting it to more of the trade community. Um, you know, and then when you do that, you know, then you come up and you start developing these leads with the trade community and you can do remarketing campaigns through email.

We’ve found success even doing it, you know, direct mail out as well as these [00:10:00] remarketing email campaign. So really kind of, you know, an omnichannel is the term it’s used and thrown down, you know, lately, but really means, you know, just using more than one touch. So how do we touch these trade, you know, members, these designers, these architects, these builders, these remodelers.

You know, multiple times in different ways. And so we’ve found a tremendous amount of success doing that. And, and then the last thing, right? I’ll say the fifth thing, and this is one of the most important things that any retailer needs to do today if they’re not doing right, but is really focused on your website.

You know, your website is now your number one store. You know, the statistics that they have out there, I think today are that, you know, 80%. You know, the first comp, you know, 80% of the consumers that you’ll come in contact with, you know, the first touch they have is through your website. So you wanna make sure that, you know, if we’re talking about the trade community, that you have a website, you know, with say it’s in the luxury space, right?

Where that mimics or mirrors a [00:11:00] similar type experience is if you’re bringing that trade CU customer or that, you know, trade customer or their client, right in your showroom. So you want to make sure that you have, you know, uh, videos incorporated into your brand pages. You know that your brand pages don’t look on the luxury, so that don’t look like they would for say, a, a value entry level dishwasher product, that they’re much more upgraded.

Um, we’ve been incorporating virtual tours, um, that, uh, some of larger luxury retailers have put on their website. We’ve been able to bring that, incorporate and embed them into our members’ website. So there’s some really cool things that you can do on the web, right, to help make sure that once you, you know, either are drawing, you know, the trade, uh, customer or the, you know, the trades into, you know, your organization and they go to your website, or it’s the first experience that they have with you, that’s a very positive experience.

Mark Kinsley: I don’t think that could be overstated enough that just the idea that if you are a designer or a [00:12:00] builder, and this is your client, any place you take them, you want that to represent you and your brand. And so are you gonna wanna take ’em into a dirty window store with, you know, cobwebs covering part of the appliances?

No, You’re gonna wanna first show them some experience online that illustrates this is luxury and here’s why we think this could be a good. For this build or this design, you wanna be able to poke around and virtual tours and do all the cool tech things that also begin to signal to that, to that customer that this is a, a tech enabled product, this is a luxury good.

And then whenever you actually do go into a showroom and you pay that off in the physical world, and you kind of get down to decision making time, you want that to be, again, an experience that represents your brand as a builder or a designer. So think about their, the experience that they’re trying to create for their consumer.

And make sure that you, you map to that in a very meaningful way. And, and when you do that, um, and you, you’re the one that’s helping the [00:13:00] builders create that better experience that’s gonna be business for you.

John O’Halloran: Yeah. And, and just to add on that, I love that what you just said, Mark. Is that, you know, there are even things like we have, you know, appointments, scheduling, so, uh, that’s on a website.

So, you know, when you’re sending your client to a retailer and, um, they schedule an appointment, you know that that client is gonna have that one on one experience with that retail sales person. So it makes you feel much more comfort. About the experience that they’re gonna have. Um, we now have, you know, a big thing that um, we’re trying to get more of our members involved with is chat.

Okay. And chat’s more than just texting back and forth these days. You know, we came out with, because we knew that our retailers needed a better experience with a chat platform. So we came out with a special chat called Chatter Box. Um, and it has multiple different capabilities, but one of the things that’s really neat, If I’m studying my client, or I could be with my client, we can [00:14:00] get online on November’s website and we can do a video chat in their showroom where that retail sales person is walking around to different vignettes, right?

Or talking about, Hey, here’s an idea of what that, Here’s what the refrigerator you’re talking about. Here’s what it actually looks like in a vignette. Okay? So video becomes very, very powerful.

Mark Kinsley: Wow, that is powerful. And, and in this day and age, you also have to think about one more thing. When somebody is ready to solve that problem, you need to be available to help them right at that moment.

I know this is like, not even in our industry, but I have a friend who works in the, the home healthcare space, you know, and seniors who are getting outta the hospital, but they need some help at home still. So think about in that situation, if, if the daughter or the son calls. They are trying to solve that problem right then in the first to answer wins.

So if you can just think about it in terms of be first. [00:15:00] Create the better experience, evaluate that experience from stem to stern. And then like John has outlined here for us today, concentrate on these five ways to market to builders and contractors and designers, association memberships, continuing education events in your store and outside dedicated salesperson.

Make sure you are marketing in the digital space. and 100% work with Nationwide Marketing Group or your web provider to make sure that website is on point. John, do we miss anything? You nailed

John O’Halloran: it. I love the last point. Make sure you’re working with Nationwide Marketing Group, right? Absolutely. We’re here to help support you.

Mark Kinsley: All right, we gotta, we gotta close the loop on this trivia question. Okay. Hit us back with it, Adrian, and then John and I are gonna guess right.

Adrienne Woods: What was the first electric appliance? The first electric appliance.

John O’Halloran: Hmm. Okay. I had a different guess when you just said appliance. [00:16:00] Okay. Sorry. Yep. Yes, that’s what I had written down.

Electric appliance. Okay. What’s your,

Mark Kinsley: what’s your guess? Mark? You wanna go first? Okay, I’ll go first. I’m gonna hack this one. Okay. Here’s what I do know. I know for a long time there was a race. Between gas and electricity when it came to refrigerators and somehow along the way the electricity beat out the gas.

Sure. But from what I heard back in the day, gas was pretty efficient. So the first electric appliance, I, I’m gonna, you know what I’m gonna say? I’m gonna go, I’m gonna go miniature electric appliance. I’m going toaster. Okay. Okay.

John O’Halloran: I, I am going back to probably one of the biggest categories in the appliance business.

Right. Washing machine. Washing machine, and maybe like an old Yes. Washing machine. That’s what I’m going with. Okay. I’m actually

Mark Kinsley: very, Wait, wait. Hold on a second. Hold on a second. Wait, wait, wait. Adrian, didn’t you say kitchen appliance though? I did say

Adrienne Woods: kitchen appliance

Mark Kinsley: first Selection. So I don’t appliance, [00:17:00] I don’t know, John.

I mean, I guess maybe all the washing and the cooking could have happened in one room.

John O’Halloran: Okay. Well listen, let me change my guess. Change your guesss. I’m going, I’m going with, uh, electric stove.

Adrienne Woods: So one of you is right, and here’s, here’s the interesting piece. So it actually was called an electric oven, but it was really a toaster.

So they call it under the patent, it was called el Toasto. And this was invented in 1905, but the toaster didn’t actually catch on until 1933 when sliced bread became a thing.

Mark Kinsley: Of course the greatest thing since slice spread there had to be an appliance to support that, you know, from, So what I heard there is John and I both got it right.

John O’Halloran: You kind of both did because the patent was actually submitted as an electric oven, but they also, the term name for it was L Toast Os by a guy named George Schneider in 1905. And then eventually in 1933, it caught on when loaves started to be sold at stores [00:18:00] sliced . Awesome. You say I something today.

Good. Good, good,

Mark Kinsley: good. That is awesome. You know, I think we’re gonna have to have you back on just to do a, a show at some point about smaller luxury appliances. What, what do they call that? There’s a category name for that, right?

John O’Halloran: Well, I mean, people classify as kind of just small appliances. Yeah. But, uh, well, I’ll tell you, you know, there is one out there.

It’s a countertop ice maker, a details, It’s life changing. I’d love

Mark Kinsley: to be back. . All right, we’re gonna, Hey, maybe that’s something we can tackle, you know, so it’s kind of like, Selling the iPod before you get the MacBook Pro. Maybe some of the smaller appliances are what, what retailers can sell as like that hook item and people fall in love with it now they come back and they work with the builders and the contractors and do the entire luxury appliances in their kitchen.

John o Haller and the Director of Luxury Appliances with Nationwide Marketing Group, appreciate you, my friend, and look forward to chatting with you in the near future, Adrian. [00:19:00] Um, I’m gonna take us out here. So, hey, thank you so much for tuning in. If you have a marketing tip that’s worked for you head. To and text us on our podium number and be sure to subscribe and never miss an idea.

They can make you a, you fill it in, , make you a, you fill it in. make you, hey, make you the, how about this? Make you the toast of the town, toaster of the town. It’s most of the town. And be sure to join us each week as we bring you more fam. Marketing magic.

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