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Cinde W. Ingram

Agio consumer ad campaign to boost specialty sales

Agio plans to launch a national ad campaign in February to attract interest of readers of 12 consumer magazines and encourage them to visit its specialty dealers.

The advertisements will feature six of Agio's best-selling Agio Reserve Collections and provide direction to a Web site, which will include dealer locations.

"The goal of this is to help drive consumers to specific Agio retailers throughout the country via our Web site," Agio President Bob Gaylord said. "What we're trying to do is to go after middle America and above.

"We're not trying to advertise just to designers — that is going for the top 1% and we think it sells the consumer and the dealer short," Gaylord said. "We believe the average consumer wants the selection, service and the knowledge that's available at specialty dealers. That's the reason we're trying to do whatever we can to drive business to the dealers."

Agio will invest $1.5 million to advertise in a dozen selected consumer magazines from February through July 2007. The key magazines include Better Homes and Gardens, Country Living, Coastal Living, Southern Living, Home, Metropolitan Home, House Beautiful, House and Garden, Sunset and Veranda. Circulation of the selected magazines is 17.5 million per month and should result in 150 million impressions on readers, Gaylord said.

"Obviously with this list of magazines, we are absolutely going at the demographics of the consumer that everybody would like to sell," he said. "Based on our history, this will generate over 3 million hits to our Web site. We expect at least a half a million people will hit the 'Where to Buy' button."

The Web site created to support this initiative will feature multiple photos of each collection. One sling and cushion collection as well as two each of cast aluminum and all-weather wicker will be promoted.

"One thing we know for sure, consumers are used to falling in love with the beautiful photos and settings they see, whether in catalogs or on the Web," Gaylord said. "Why can't they fall in love with furniture in the photos they see in magazines, put in there by the casual manufacturer? We think this is the best of both worlds, instead of buying out of a catalog or online, they can go to their local retailer and sit in the furniture and take it home."

About 200 dealers across the nation participate in the Agio Reserve program, which allows them to mix sets of collections within containers and does not require minimum orders. Product stays stocked in China to allow delivery within six weeks or less.

"We promoted this program at the Casual Show and it was definitely meaningful. In fact we had a lot of our core non-Reserve customers who said, "I've got to get some of this in,'" Gaylord said.

Six collections from Agio's Reserve line, such as the Fontana collection above, will be featured in the company's new $1.5 million consumer advertising campaign.

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