Gift Ideas for Everyone on Your List

Santa Christmas List

365 days a year, Santa and his elves are busily preparing for Santa’s big night in the sky.

At his North Pole workshop, Santa is creating his list, penciling in names, and assigning Elf projects. We’re taking a page right out of Santa’s Nice List with our choices for this year’s gift guide. Who’s on your list?

The Fixer

[fik-ser] noun

  1. A person or thing that fixes
MultiScanner® i520

MultiScanner® i520

Everyone knows one, or may even have a person like this in the household, who is constantly tinkering and fixing things around the house. For them, the Zircon MultiScanner® i520 OneStep® is the perfect gift.

This all-in-one wall scanner finds studs, metal, and live electricity making it the ideal tool for your active DIYer. ACT™ Auto Correcting Technology automatically recalibrates to correct common errors automatically and the ultra-bright display screen makes for easy viewing in dark environments.

The Designer

[dih-zahy-ner] noun

     1.  A person who devises or executes designs, especially one who creates froms, structure, and patterns

ss_e50_product-400x1000

StudSensor™ e50

There’s always a creator or visionary in every family – the person who thinks that two non-congruent shapes go together or your sister who first insisted on taking down the wallpaper (or putting it up), or maybe the cousin who is regularly redesigning a space that already seemingly looks perfect. For the next new wall hanging, fanciful artwork, or framed picture that adorns the walls, your Designer would benefit from having the Zircon StudSensor™ e50 stud finder.

The e50 quickly and easily locates the edges of wood and metal studs behind walls, floors, and ceilings while also alerting the presence of live electricity. It’s a definite must-have around the house for projects, big and small.

The Weekend Warrior

[week-end wawr-ee-er] noun

      1. Any person who vigorously pursues activities outside of the work week, in a work-like and intensive manner

ExitPoint™ XL300

ExitPoint™ XL300

Have someone on your list who spends countless hours on various house projects and is a bonafide home improvement expert? If you’re looking for a gift that is both unique and useful, your recipient will love to unwrap the all new ExitPoint™ XL300.

A novel tool that can be used two ways: As a through-hole drill guide to locate exit points, or as an external stud finder when used in conjunction with a normal stud finder. Just place a transmitter magnet on your target point and scan with the receiver on the other side of the wall. The XL300 scans through most types of non-magnetic materials, such as wood, drywall, brick, and concrete up, to 11.81 in. thick. It’s perfect for running television cables and security wiring through walls for that clean, seamless look.

Make it easier for the elves in your household with these handy home improvement tools. Got another Zircon favorite that you hope makes its way into your Christmas stocking this year? Share the cheer with us. Follow us @zircontools, like us on Facebook, or visit zircon.com.

Join us every 1st and 3rd Thursday of the month at 11 am PST for our #diytrends chat. Let’s share, engage, and learn from each other.

Sharpen your tools with Sharon as she shares her key insights of the tool world and her impactful marketing strategies and tactics.

References:

http://www.dictionary.com

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The Zircon 411

At Zircon, we continuously challenge ourselves to learn, adapt, and produce the most innovative stud finders and multifunction scanners and detectors for DIYers and professionals alike. The journey is half the fun, right? Below are some ways that Zircon integrates our high quality, customer service philosophy with our state-of-the-art tools.

Product Solutions

We offer end-to-end product solutions that start with the end user’s needs in mind.

Zircon’s first through-hole drill guide, ExitPoint™ XL300 locates a precise spot, without measuring, before you drill or core.

Zircon’s first through-hole drill guide, ExitPoint™ XL300 locates a precise spot, without measuring, before you drill or core.

  • Design and Engineering – Innovative. Zircon revolutionized the home improvement industry with the introduction of the hand-held Original StudSensorTM stud finder in 1980. Our designers conceptualized the ground-breaking must-have nature of this tool by users worldwide. Today, we continue to visualize and engineer stud finders , scanners, and detectors that remove the guesswork from projects – saving time and money, whether used casually or for rigorous use day in, day out.
The Original StudSensor™ circa 1980

The Original StudSensor™ circa 1980

  • Manufacturing – We’ve shipped millions of stud finders and scanners to a global audience that spans over 20 countries; yet we’ve never lost the personal touch. From the second we conceptualize a new product design to the moment our products rest in your toolbox, we’re always thinking of our end users.

DIY Know-How: Training and Education

We live and breathe customer service each and every day.

Circa 1995, Our Engineers. Always Hands-On, Always Innovative.

Circa 1995, Our Engineers. Always Hands-On, Always Innovative.

  • Tip Minute Videos – What are the best stud finders for the job and how do you work with your stud finders when your wall is being “difficult”? These topics and others are easily explained on Zircon’s Tip Minute Video series. In just 60 seconds, these easy-to-follow videos provide insightful knowledge for DIYers of all skill levels.
  • Easy to follow Tips – On any given day, Zircon provides a quick tip on its social media channels to help home enthusiasts and contractors solve DIY problems.
  • Interactive Support Center – get 24/7 help from Zircon’s Interactive Support Center. Easily find answers to your stud finding questions.
  • Customer Service Line – Zircon’s customer service team is standing by to help solve your simplest to most complex stud finding challenges. Reach out to us toll-free at 1-800-245-9265 from 8:30 am to 5:30 pm PST.

Stud Finders, Multifunction Scanners and Other Electronic Tools

Zircon designs and manufactures a wide range of DIY and professional tools, such as StudSensorTM stud finders equipped with CenterVision® Technology to find the center and edges of studs, metal detectors to locate rebar in concrete, electrical scanners to alert the presence of live wire, and water detectors to help prevent water damage.

Want to learn more? Read more about our history and how it all began with our “Original StudSensorTM Story” or visit us at zircon.com, like us, or follow us.

Twitter Chat GenericPlease join us the 1st and 3rd Thursday of each month for #diytrends. Engage, learn and share. We would love to hear from you!

Sharpen your tools with Sharon as she shares her key insights of the tool world and her impactful marketing strategies and tactics. Sharon image

I’ll be Back! Relaunch Your Business, Terminator Style

Terminator: Genisys reignites the Terminator’s (Arnold Schwarzenegger’s) famous tagline and reenergizes the film series. The movie sequel, along with the Avengers, Mission Impossible, and Jurassic films point to a common theme – retro, prequels, and sequels are all the rage. What once was old is new and what once was new is old, but in a cool, touch-back to the 90’s kind of way.

Many brands can use retro ideas to relaunch their own “Terminator” cycle. Make old new again with these three tips:

1)  Vault Back-and-Forth. Determine what worked before and see if it makes sense to suit up again. Can the idea be retrofitted, reformatted, or revamped? Starting from scratch takes time and may not be the best option. As past Terminator movie-goers, we’re programmed to believe that Sarah Connor must live. Will Terminator: Genisys stick to this central theme or change the paradigm completely? While we toy with the idea, the movie vaults back to a familiar time period: pre-internet, pre-smartphone, and overall, pre-technology. How, in this time period, will our heroine and Terminator survive to live in another sequel? They stick with what they know – allowing, of course, for necessary sub-plot changes and a crafty redressing of who we think the Terminator is. In marketing, the same holds true. Take past sales campaigns, promotions, and partnerships and corral them into programs that are new again.

2)  Old is not necessarily obsolete. The Terminator of 1984 is not as we remember him. His random techno-talk and outer flesh-like layer show signs of aging and are in stark contrast to his younger selfie version. TERMINATOR-GENISYS-7

Yet, the older Terminator, also known as “Pops” now displays finesse, confidence, and a sense of humor – he has adapted to new technology, perfected his skills and enhanced his internal communication chip. Rather, in Genisys, we see that Kyle Reese (Jai Courtney) is the one who struggles with old vs. new, future vs. past, and tested vs. new relationships.

Old-time brands, likewise, are not obsolete. Continuous adaptation, a passion for reinvention, and a focus on nurturing long-term relationships are key attributes that will help thwart the competition. From an idea to patented technologies, Zircon anticipates ways to make DIYers work and lives easier, simpler, and more rewarding. Innovation began with the Original StudSensorTM and continues today with an ever-expanding sensor and scanner line. original-ss

3)  Determine parallel paths. Businesses can benefit from the ‘what if’ scenarios if they commit to making a decision, sometimes with limited information. To challenge the machines, Kyle Reese jumps back to 1984; this action changes the trajectory of not only his own path, but Sarah Connor’s as well. Brands, too, can propel their competitive position by brainstorming options, exploring parallel paths, and assessing risks. As with the Terminator, when the “end game” is at stake, brands need to act quickly and decisively.

See other retro business ideas from Terminator: Genisys? Please follow us @zircontools, like us on Facebook, or visit zircon.com.

Join us every 1st and 3rd Thursday of the month at 11 am PST for our #diytrends chat. Catch the next ones on 9/17 and 10/1. Let’s share, engage, and learn from each other.

Sharpen your tools with Sharon as she shares her key insights of the tool world and her impactful marketing strategies and tactics. Sharon image

 

The Shapes of Social Media

Social media is shaping business communication. A brand’s influence expands and contracts to the shapes of social media and a flow of new content provides companies with new ways to engage and share their brand with fans. Marketers can be, however, challenged to write content. By using the shapes of social media as your content template, you can more readily create new posts and articles.

Square

You’re at square one with a seemingly lack of content ideas. Know this: The ideas are there. Do you have a new product, service, or program to talk about? Perhaps you are challenged by an issue or would like to brainstorm? Go ahead and ask questions, write answers, query your readers, write how-to’s, provide tips, and lend ideas. Use your keyboard to talk to your readers. Let your imagination take you from Square One to a new dimension. Social media content providers also can help you with the idea generation. Hootsuite, for example, has content suggestions which are handy when you’re challenged to get started.

Inverted Triangle
Invert TriMore readily draw in new readers by using the inverted triangle approach. Start with a macro view and then continue to provide interest to your readers with specific details, ending with your product or service.

Hexagon

Want help from social media influencers?  Consider cross-promoting your blog with other bloggers. Guest blogging on someone else’s site, with a link back to your own, will open up a whole new audience to your products and services. Another cross-promotion strategy is to, within your own blog, reference and link back to articles of other bloggers.

You can also form an alliance with other bloggers, thereby multiplying the comments and shares of content to each other’s content. For examples, please take a look at these popular and successful blog sites for do-it-yourself tips and techniques: Range Hoods, Inc, Saw Dust Girl, and My Fix It Up Life.

Another simple to implement hexagonal idea is to blog roll – provide a list of links on your blog sidebar to the blogs that you like and also ask other bloggers to do the same for you. Bloggers are truly a community, so consider promoting your blog via these popular places: WordPress, Medium, StackStreet, Triberr, and LinkedIn Groups.

Circle

You don’t have to reinvent the wheel every time you need to create content, but it’s important to keep that wheel turning and the momentum going.  Repurpose your blog post and publish it to all your social media channels with catchy headlines and photos tailored for each platform. If you’ve got more than one blog, use reciprocal links with images, linking one blog to another and vice versa. Write posts for multiple platforms – one idea goes a long way. Your content was meant to be enjoyed and shared. Start posting and you’ll soon see a reciprocal effect. Zircon has four popular blog sites, Zircon’s Pro Expert, Zircon in the Real World, Zircon’s Marketing Toolbox, and Zircon Japan.

One or more of the social media shapes can help guide your content. Do you have a (different) shape that works best for you? We would love to hear from you. Join us every 1st and third Thursday, 11 am PST for our #diytrends chat, visit us at www.zircon.com, or like us on Facebook.

Sharpen your tools with Sharon as she shares her key insights of the tool world and her impactful marketing strategies and tactics. Follow us on Twitter or like us on Facebook. Sharon image

Your Recipe to Blog Success

The holiday season is upon us. And I don’t know about you, but even with Thanksgiving over, I’m still hungry. Hungry for cookies, treats, pies, and… great content. Yes, you read right – great content.

Yet, this hunger is year-round. And blogs are just what my appetite has in mind.

Blogs are everywhere, but not all are appealing. What makes a great blog… great? Well, as with all things, there are vital elements one needs to consider and, just like any culinary dish, having a great recipe to start from is key.

So where does one begin? How does one effectively create the main content course? Is there a ‘secret sauce’ to this marketing mix?

Blogging is one way to engage your audience, especially if you utilize some of these tasty ingredients (quick hints) from these successful bloggers.

Fill Your Heart and Mind

Heartwarming, informal stories can create lasting blogosphere fans. Anticipate what your audience wants to read about, much like you would tailor your dinner party to the guests you are hosting. Then, tie the message you want to convey via an easy-to-follow story as if the reader were right there with you. Zircon in the Real World readers are entertained while also receiving how-to tips through an informative, yet light-hearted blog series. Learning while also having fun? It can’t get any more engaging than that!

shutterstock_135988217What’s in a Name?

You’ve probably heard (and used) the saying, “Never judge a book by its cover,” but does that also hold true with blog titles? Titles should be captivating, relevant to the blog content, and compelling. Titles should give a quick glimpse into what the blog will be about in the two seconds it takes for a person to read it because let’s face it… we’re all short on time and nobody wants to invest time in something, only to feel misled and cheated because it was exactly not what he/she was looking for.

Preparation and Cooking Time

More modern culinary recipes note the time it will take to prepare the dish – even breaking it down to prep and cook time. And like we said before about time… it’s a luxury not all of us has. So while prep/research time for a blog can be unlimited, the actual cook/read time for a blog should follow a basic rule of thumb. If it’s not necessary to the reader, don’t include it. Less is definitely more!

Presentation – Tantalize with Key Product Attributes

A dish may taste good, but you also want it to look good! Never underestimate formatting. Make it easy to read and follow. Some prime examples are Amy Wax’s Color911 blog which focuses on color accenting, painting, and beautifying the home while seamlessly tying in the color911 mobile app. Zircon’s Pro Expert blog also shares in-depth ways to use Zircon’s stud finders in an easy-to-understand, step-by-step fashion.

Don’t Forget the Dressing – Photos of the Finished Product

Entice avid readers by including images, videos, and graphics that add interest, depth, and something to aspire to. Combining ‘before’ and ‘after’ photography and works-in-progress are some of the hallmarks of success for Riggins Construction’s blog. Likewise, Avente Tile’s blog effectively includes photos that produce a more impactful blog series while Home and Stone’s content informs and engages its audience with stylish imagery and functionality.

Variations

And as with any recipe, don’t be afraid to have fun with it and substitute ingredients to make a traditional blog your own. Giving your blog a slightly different taste of the same recipe will surely make your blog stand out from the crowd.

For hands on tips, please join our “Gifts” #diytrends Twitter Chat on Thurs, 12/18 at 11 am PST. Get insights on this gift giving season.

Please also check out these blogs from some of our #diytrends professionals:

@aecdaily@organized82@usspecproducts@kitchens4living@rangehoodsinc@pstldesigns,

@kitchen_sync@artofpowr@pegasuslighting@tradewindsimp@ronfeir@homeadvisor@improvecenter

Sharpen your tools with Sharon as she shares her key insights of the tool world and her impactful marketing strategies and tactics.  Sharon image

Living Large in a Small Space

Everyone wants to make the most of their personal space, whether it is their bedroom, man-cave, or office cubicle. As temporary or permanent as your location might be, the beauty is that you can easily change the space to reflect who you really are – from a splash of color to reorganization of furniture or the swapping of pictures on your walls. Your choices are endless.

Throughout college campuses across America, students have nestled into heir dorm rooms and are customizing their study, social and meeting enclaves. Dorm room accessories, along with text books, transportation, clothing, and general school supply purchases are on the rise, according to college marketing survey Fluent.

Here are some simple and cost effective ways to redesign your dorm room or small living space to be more “You”:

vanity-makeoverUse color. You may not be able to paint your new walls because of the transitory nature of your dorm space, but that doesn’t mean you cannot have color. Bring out your style through a colorful collection of bedding, blankets and linens, or adorn your floor with a woven throw rug that adds warmth and coziness. Or step into the unknown and repurpose your furniture with simple coats of paint as Brittany Bailey of PrettyHandyGirl.com did with her vanity nightstand.

Add seating. Dorm rooms are notorious for minimal space options, so create new seating by adding pillows, bean bag chairs, poufs, chairs or ottomans for your guests.

Adorn with Wall Décor. Use the hot new décor option, removable wallpaper, in the style and color palette that you like, post a simple cork board to pin your favorite photos or momentos, or choose decals, wall hangings, pictures, or other wall art.

Get Organized. Several storage choices are ideal for small living spaces – from storage boxes to over-the-door shoe organizers, garment bags, shower caddies, shelves, and more. These organizers are not only functional, but the latest trend. Just make sure to securely hang heavy items to the wall by using a Zircon® StudSensorTM e50 stud finder that quickly and easily locates the edges of wood and metal studs.

There are plenty of ways to personalize your living space, no matter how small, and while staying on a tight budget. Adding color, seating, wall décor, and getting organized are just a few sure-fire ways you can inject your personality and style into your new living space, time and time again.

For additional insights, please view our blog, “When a Wall is Not a Wall“.

Sharpen your tools with Sharon as she shares her key insights of the tool world and her impactful marketing strategies and tactics. Sharon image

For more info, follow us on Facebook or tweet us @zircontools.

Creating Lasting Marketing Value

Marketing imageMarketers strive for ways to attract and retain loyal customers and one way is to create lasting marketing value.  Companies want passionate brand advocates — you know the type?  They are the dream customers who write engaging reviews, generate exciting word-of-mouth endorsements, and purchase the very latest company brands.  Because a brand impression can last for days, if not months or years, marketing must trod out of the starting gate, bold and efficient, armed with marketing muscle and data.

shutterstock_91912871 (2)

I strive to make a strong tie with the customer from the inception.  How best can we expeditiously and effectively communicate with our product users?  Short term, why does the customer pick up the package?  What graphics, tone, and text conveys the brand message?  Long term, how do we cultivate this relationship through email, social media, advertising, promotions, and other tactical elements?  At Zircon, we want to create “stickiness”.  What is the glue that will hold us together with our customers?  We want to captivate their attention for not just mere seconds, but for hours while the tool is in the customer’s hands and have our admirers tells their friends about their positive Zircon experience.

Marketers are constantly testing the results of a campaign.  Leads are quantified from the latest industry tradeshow, media hits are counted, email open rates are examined, sales are tallied, return on investment is calculated and more.  These marketing statistics point to success or areas for improvement.  What sticks out to the customer, retailer, and consumer’s mind about the campaign and will the brand effect have legs to continue onward well past the campaign’s expiration date?  Through the years, the Zircon brand has taken different twists and turns, but all in response to customer needs.  For example, when asked for smaller, more nimble tools, Zircon responded with ergonomically designed stud finders that work well at any angle.

Creating lasting value begins with the customer.  From a strategic and from a tactical viewpoint, when the customer is front and center in the decision making processes, then, we’re heading in the right direction.  Beginning with the key marketing concepts, the customer is the star of the show.  Other companies may go astray and put only the product front and center; unfortunately, disconnected companies blindly float out of focus from the customer’s eye.  My goal is to lead the value discussion, put it on each marketing deliverable, and make it last for years to follow.

As a real life example of how Zircon is passionate about our customers, please take a look at our blog, “The Dog Ate My StudSensor“.

It’s invigorating to think of the customer – we anticipate his needs, we act upon them, we measure our results and we start over again.  With anticipation, each new campaign brings an opportunity to further solidify the customer bond.

Sharpen your tools with Sharon as she shares her key insights of the tool world and her impactful marketing strategies and tactics. Follow us on Twitter or like us on Facebook. Sharon image