Home Décor Choices for Millennials and Boomers – Any Generation

Image credit: DODByBrownWood

Are décor and design dictated by generations – does a millennial think differently about home décor? Or is design purely a personal decision? During our latest #decortrends chat, our participants shared how generational decisions may or may not affect design decisions.

Image credit: @Revashelf

Whether millennials or boomers, homeowners are searching for products that make their home feel unique and customized to their lives. They are willing to allocate a significant part of their budget to ensure that décor items also endure. As @revashelf mentioned, “Young homeowners are willing to splurge on items that have a huge return- high quality materials & long-lasting…”

With the diverse and plentiful décor and color options available, the need for personalization is paramount. “Millennials are exposed to many options & examples of what they could do, however, still want to make it unique,” shared @ncontours.

To make the most of space, an “open concept is big. Lots of storage options is a plus,” shared @jorgensonlocker. Living large in a small space continues to be popular across generations. “Think living large in a small space is important to both boomers/millennials,” stated @windowworksCA.

Image credit: @WindowWorksCA

Limited room sizes mean optimizing the space with creative ideas. Added co-host @DODByBrownWood, “We have found that what used to be hidden is now exposed and loved! #shiplap is very popular décor.”

Other practical storage options for a small home include using open shelving and utilizing the area under the stairs for storage.  Additionally, the items must be easily accessible and exude style and a personal flair.

While a connected life is commonplace for millennials, boomers as well have a need for a tech home.  “Regardless of age, you have to be open to the idea of a connected home. And to some, it’s too foreign of a concept to try,” shared @Revashelf. Participants noted that while millennials may not have as much of a need from down time from tech, boomers may benefit from periodic disconnection. Also, as @tonisabstyle noted, “Home tech should be thought of at the beginning of the design process and made easy.”

Join us weekly at #decortrends Thursdays at 11 am PST. Share, learn, and engage with like minded professionals! For other inspiring ideas, please follow us @zircontools, like us on Facebook, or visit zircon.com.

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

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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

Three Earthly Business Revelations from Independence Day: Resurgence

Independence Day: Resurgence catapults twenty years into the future from the original 1996 film. In future state Earth, new technological breakthroughs propel multiple space craft that not only journey through outer space, but readily transport crew to and from the Moon, Saturn, and Earth itself. Although reaching for the stars is just one space pod away, our planet again is at the brink of extinction from aliens.

Independence Day Image

Credit: 20th Century Fox

Without Captain Steven Hiller (Will Smith), the movie arches with other heroes from the original film, along with the next gen comprised of a legacy squad of pilots and new original characters who apply stealth tactics and dry wit to combat the enemy.

Here are three business lessons every human, alien, or other space creature can benefit from:

  1. Know Friend vs. Foe

Testing the resolve of the Moon’s captain, the U.S. President, and its allies, the white elliptical sphere that patterns its way around the Moon seemingly poses a threat. World renowned Dr. Levinson (Jeff Goldblum), backed by President Whitmore (Bill Pullman) and his luminescent dreams, strongly implore that the look and feel of this twinkling light vessel does not have the same ominous presence as prior enemy space craft. Rather than face potential annihilation, however, their analyses are cast aside and the threat is neutralized immediately. It is only after its destruction that the military and politicians alike determine that the Sphere was actually an ally who had shared the same formidable Mother Ship alien enemy.

In our earthly life, fortunately, identifying friend vs. foe is not usually a life or death perilous situation. Nevertheless, building in-depth ties with true allies will help your business during the more tumultuous cycles. From trusted advice to working on complex projects, brands need strong partners who can lend expertise that is often outside the company’s core sphere. At Zircon, for example, our company continues to prosper with the extensive network of retailers and distributors who have supported our product lines since its worldly inception in the 1980’s.

  1. Strengthen Your Core

The Pacific Defense Missile System was no competition to the alien’s superior technological prowess. Outmatched from a tech standpoint, how could Dr. Levinson and the worthy heroes continue Earth’s human existence? Drawing upon man’s core strength of ingenuity and calculated risk taking, the pilot squad, President Whitmore, and the extended political, military, and scientific team fight to ward off the alien invasion.

While Generals in the film brace for alien impact, our day-to-day lives can simulate this type of war room – where decisions are sometimes needed immediately and with limited data. In high growth times, maybe even now, this is the opportunity to build up the reserves and to strengthen your core competencies.

  • Offer a hard to replicate service that customers need? Great. Look for more customers during your growth period.
  • Have a selected number of key experts in specialized fields? Wonderful. Perhaps it is time to cross percolate the training between these individuals.
  • Are resources keenly distributed between multiple regions? Excellent. Review and refuel those best efforts for when your options may be limited.

In lean times, you’ll be happy that you tested your system pilots, thoroughly trained your operatives, and did your research on the competitive landscape.

  1. Brainstorming for the Best Alien Answers

Once doubts and competitive rivalries were put aside and collective minds shared a common goal, one sensed triumph in the air. Embracing those who think differently or colleagues who have various self-interests may prove to be the best defense against the competition. Uniting together for a singular cause can merit results faster and more extensively than thinking alone for the “perfect’ answer. Sometimes the optimal solutions can be found through the collective reasoning, the creative thought process, and through group brainstorming. Whether it is a formal meeting of 8 – 10 or a water cooler chat, reach out and extend a hand to someone new – give you and your company that added leverage that can be achieved through diverse ideas. No need to wait for the next alien encounter. Get started today – your future competitive invasion more than likely will not take 20 years – you’ll need every human brain working toward your objective today in 2016, Earth years.

See other intergalactic business ideas from Independence Day: Resurgence? 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. Let’s share, engage, and learn from each other.

Twitter Chat Generic

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 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

Is Content Still Meaningful?

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Is the written word still viable?  In our fast-paced world that often resorts to the shortest method to communicate, from text messages to tweets, companies may question if a blog, article, or more substantial content is still relevant. Businesses do still indeed need written content – and lots of it – to continue to embrace the company’s brand followers and attract new customers. Use these helpful tips to develop your next content piece.

  • Make it content worthy. Content, in its many forms, is defined as relevant information that provides value and insight to the reader. It can take many forms, including written content for web pages, e-books, white papers, infographics, and blog article. To be valuable, how does your content solve a problem, answer a question, or inform your customers?
  • Use the E word. Engage, engage, engage. Engaging content prompts a response from the reader. Ask your customers thought provoking questions and propel discussions. Will the person reading your content find it useful enough to share, favorite, bookmark or link to your piece? If not, see how you can add or change your content piece to make it one that will propel your message by your followers and fans.
  • Ignite Your Vibe. Although the voice and style of writing depends on the type of content and platform used (i.e. e-books are more formal and social media is more laid back), many times, the same content can be used on multiple platforms. Rather than starting from scratch, subtle edits can be made to the content to make it viable for different channels. For example, the writer may want to utilize the same blog article on various social media platforms (e.g. Facebook, Twitter) by posting a comment with a link back to the blog post.
  • Create or Curate? Original content, true to its name, means that the content is created by the originator. It is an original work, whether it is a blog, article, e-book or more. On the other hand, curated content can consist of third party data that the writer aggregates and make sense of, for the reader, through commentary. Another form of curated content is when a company adds an organizational perspective to existing third party content; this form is fairly common in social media.

At Zircon Corporation, the company has an extensive library of content that it continuously produces for its domestic, as well as international, audience. Content includes videos, news releases, white papers, emails, ads, web copy, packaging, merchandising, instructions, and more.

Zircon bloggers and social media experts seek to inform and engage readers via the Zircon Pro ExpertZircon in the Real World, and Zircon’s Marketing ToolBox blog sites, as well as the Zircon Facebook page and Zircon Twitter. The “How to Use” tab on Zircon’s website contains a wealth of information in the form of tips, how-to instructions and videos. If you’ve ever learned anything from these sources, we’d love to hear from you!

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

The Two-Way Marketing Street

From the early days of transactional marketing to today’s highly engaging relationship marketing, marketers have learned to adapt to the changing customer culture. Today’s marketers are entrenched in a two-way marketing street – one that is give and take, listen and respond, lead and reciprocate, and go forward and take a step back.

Marketing image

Customers are directing traffic to and from your website, stopping to converse from the sidelines of third party sites or they are sitting in the driver’s seat, steering your discussion via the social media stratosphere.

How can companies benefit from the two-way street of marketing? Here are five superhighway ideas for your brand:

  • Rev It Up. Ignite your customer engine by understanding first what’s on your audience’s mind. What do they want? What are they thinking? Customer centricity is #1, replacing a sometimes contrasting sales mentality. Get the customer insights directly from the source. Conduct customer surveys, create polls, and engage in social listening via online services, such as NUVI, to understand what is most important to your audience. With survey tools, such as SurveyMonkey, Zoomerang, and SurveyTool, you no longer need to guess what your customer really wants.
  • Remove Roadblocks. How does your brand reduce customer pain points? Show how your product saves time, creates value, and eliminates guesswork. Offer hands-on YouTube tutorials, create an online knowledge center, and offer how-to tips via social media. By sharing time and money saving ideas to your fans and followers, you’ll reap the benefits via enhanced customer loyalty and a more engaged audience. At Zircon, the company’s Interactive Support Center offers 24/7 troubleshooting, customers can call tech support to talk to a live tool technician, and the company’s social media channels offer timely DIY shortcuts and useful project hints for tool enthusiasts.
  • Create Curb Appeal. To develop the road to customer engagement success and an enthusiastic, on-going dialog, communicate your brand’s uniqueness in a clear, succinct, yet creative manner. Amp up your shares, likes, and followers through knowledgeable and resourceful content that resonates with your audience. Out of ideas? Research industry influencers, conduct in-office brainstorming sessions, and develop partnerships with like minded companies to nurture, create, and catapult ideas. DIY industry leaders, such as @HGTV, @industryedgeNHS and @kbtribechat have insightful content that may springboard your own blog, video, and content ideas.
  • Test Drive. Take a test drive to gain a new business perspective and meet customers where they are. Although you can find your customers at the retail point of sale, smart devices are also making traditional offline moments into online opportunities. Cultivate your brand by providing a QR code to click to your brand’s website or develop an interactive mobile app. Be proactive in posting timely responses to both positive and negative online reviews. Join in the social media conversation by searching industry #topics, participating in Twitter chats, and replying to @brand mentions. Test different dates, times and social media tweets and posts to ensure you’re reaching the optimal audience members when they are most apt to engage.
  • Tune Up. Review your customer diagnostics and compare the results to your company goals. If expectations are not met, what changes are required? If it does not appear that you’re engaging enough with customers or your content is not providing you with new fans or followers, perhaps a new approach is needed. Are you on the right track? Test a new “vehicle” –a promotion vehicle, that is. For example, a social media ad campaign or a cross promotion with a marketing partner can provide you with a new audience.

Make your two-way marketing street the optimal road to a new and refreshing conversation with your customers. In addition to these five steps, you may have your own avenues to success and we would love to hear from you. 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 6/18 and 7/2. 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

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.

Flooring it! Stand out Merchandising Tips for Your Brand

Within the retail setting, companies are challenged on how to stand out among the competition. Marketers need to differentiate their brand from dozens of other products that line retailers’ shelves.

Companies only have a few seconds to grab the customer’s attention. In addition to aesthetically appealing, functional and informative packaging (please click here for our “It’s All in the Packaging” blog), what entices a customer to pick up and purchase a product? In-store merchandising is an effective vehicle to engage the customer to help make the purchase decision. As an accompaniment to packaging, merchandising works hand-in-hand at the point-of-sale (POS) to elevate a company’s brand presence and sales.

Zircon Merchandiser

Vibrant graphics and consistent messaging on this Zircon merchandiser entice customers while reinforcing the brand.

Retail merchandising activities encompass in-store displays, shelf talkers, and product demonstrations just to name a few. A focused and engaging point-of-sale display that delivers on the key benefits of the product can increase the number of packages sold. Ever notice how the home center floors are covered with displays during the back-to-school or holiday seasons? Manufacturers and retailers alike understand that a stand-out display practically beckons you to take a closer look, pick up the product, and ultimately, make the purchase.

At Zircon, a point-of-sale display is often part of promoting their brand new stud finders and scanners into the marketplace and to distinguish their unique product advantages. Informational display graphics are integrated with colorful packaging visuals to compel the customer during the pivotal buying process. Merchandising is an effective marketing tool for Zircon and other companies. As products technologically advance, increased education from the manufacturer to the customer will be pertinent, further emphasizing merchandising’s focal role as part of the marketer’s plans.

And even after the sale is made, customers continue their quests for information, advice, and instructions on how best to use their new products. Companies have an opportunity to deepen their customer relationships by providing thorough how-to’s and stellar customer service. Excellent tips on how to meet after market service needs can be found in the blog, “Buy Today, Gone Tomorrow“.

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

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

What is a Blog (Part II)

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In Part I, we explored what a blog is versus other forms of writing.  Optimize your blog today by reading our “How to Blog” tips!

Keep it light.  Readers turn to blogs that are conversational in tone and have a humorous, airy, and entertaining tone. Successful blogs have a “voice” that resonates with readers.

Be thought provoking. It is important to hold the attention of the reader and provide tangible and useful information. Blogs should read well and offer information or a key takeway that the individual can use in his everyday work/job site environment.

Tone down the technical.  Although a blog, similar to other Zircon content, must be 100% accurate, the content should appeal to a broad audience and shouldn’t be an instruction manual, white paper, or technical paper. The objective of the blog is to engage the reader, not necessarily provide a complete how to use the product.

Make it short, but sweet.  Keep the copy simple and concise.  Content that gets to the point and isn’t bogged down in unnecessary jargon or details will obtain higher readership, better shares, and more likes if the information is not too stuffy, confusing or lengthy.  Keep it brief, but not too vague.

Bright Idea iconBring on the visuals.  As strong as words are, think of how the blog can be enhanced with images.  It is often easier for you to get to a key point with a pictogram than many words. One strong visual, in concert with writing, creates the emphasis.

Zircon bloggers tackle everyday business challenges via the Zircon Pro Expert, Zircon in the Real World, and Zircon’s Marketing ToolBox blog sites.  Check out these blogs to get an idea of what a blog is.  What topics would you like to blog or read about?  Comment on our Facebook page or follow us on Twitter and share your blog with us. We’d love to hear from you!

Green is the New Black

Heard of the saying that good space is at a premium? Whether you’re looking for a tiny loft in NYC or squeezing into a tight airline seat, everyone is economizing on space to properly “fit” in. Due to escalating fuel costs, environmental considerations, and an increased population, the shift toward doing more with less continues in almost every economic sector. For new home builders, they’re designing multi-functional living spaces while airlines tighten seats in economy class. Consumer goods manufacturers, too, battle the package sizing war. With less packaging real estate, companies have less space to tell the product message.

Packaging houses, protects and promotes the product.

Packaging houses, protects and promotes the product.

Retail shelving space is at a premium, and manufacturers, such as Zircon, look for ways to effectively promote the product’s features and benefits, yet economize on packaging. By reducing the size of clamshell and blister carded materials used for its products, Zircon reduces the amount of discarded packaging that ends up in landfills and optimizes retail space for other Zircon tools.

As products become more compact, yet feature-rich, less materials and resources are endured to produce the product. Zircon tools are designed to be nimble enough for everyday use, yet rugged for the toughest industrial applications. Through consumer feedback and robust environmental testing, each new tool is ergonomically designed and enhanced for superior functionally while also reducing unneeded materials.

Packaging evolution!  Zircon's original StudSensor, circa 1980 vs. the new StudSensor Edge, 2014.

Packaging evolution! Zircon’s original StudSensor, circa 1980 vs. the new StudSensor Edge, 2014.

The packaging reduction aids the environment. Less plastic materials produced mean a decrease in carbon emissions. Companies and individuals alike benefit from reducing emissions and producing a more eco-friendly world. We all can, and should, make a difference.