Outdoor Elegance LaVerne, Calif.
Kristine Ellis -- Casual Living, 9/1/2012 2:00:00 AM
After attending the icfa's webinar with Right On - No Bull Marketing, Doug Sanicola took the message to heart and hired the firm to work with Outdoor Elegance.
"Social media is now huge for us," said Sanicola, who owns the business with his wife, Sharon. "They are really great, great people."
In addition to using Facebook Pinterest, LinkedIn and other social media, the company does extensive email outreach to customers and is also launching a revamped website.
In the meantime, Outdoor Elegance doesn't neglect its face-to-face time with consumers through frequent events as well as superb customer service.
"We've probably hosted more than 30 events in the last year, including cooking classes," Sanicola said. "We'll bring in a profession al chef who gives hands-on lessons. People learn, and then they buy their barbecues from us."
Outdoor Elegance caters to celebrities and others with expansive disposable income. Relationships with designers, therefore, are sought and nurtured. Sanicola sits on the board of a local ASID chapter, and the company brought the past president of another local ASID chapter on staff. As a result, that business is booming.
"Our business with designers is probably up 20%, maybe even 30%," he said.
Sanicola is also reaching out to architects now, urging them to be more cognizant and specific about including outdoor furnishings in their bidding process.
"There needs some kind of accountability toward it, because everyone who builds makes changes. People end up with those little plastic chairs after building a $1 million house," Sanicola said.
Outdoor Elegance won the Apollo Award in 2010.
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