Re-tooling online reviews

February 1, 2012  |  Marketing

New tech provides an added punch. By Joe Dysart New free tools from Google™, Bing™ and Twitter™ are making it virtually effortless for businesses to solicit a positive review from a satisfied customer—and then instantly redistribute that review to the customer’s online …
Creatively competitive strategies

January 1, 2012  |  Features, Marketing

Strategies that are paying off in today’s marketplace. By Barb Ernster Competition can be stiff in this economy, but business owners are dealing with it in a variety of creative ways. Some face competition from cheaper products coming from overseas, others from cheaper products coming from the…
Fabric graphics companies read the signs

December 1, 2011  |  Features, Graphics, Marketing

Companies in the banner and signage industry adapt to the prevailing business climate. By Janice Kleinschmidt Increasing competition, a volatile economy, new technology, changing standards—just surviving in business these days, let alone flourishing, demands the qualities of a nursery rhyme he…
Jim Miller unleashes innovation

November 1, 2011  |  Awnings & Canopies, Fabric Structures, Features, Marketing, Perspective

Jim Miller experiments with improbable concepts until they become a reality. By Sigrid Tornquist “We love working with architects because they often have great ideas and challenge us more than anyone else,” says Jim Miller, president of J. Miller Canvas Inc. in Santa Ana, Calif. “Sometimes I t…
How to market retractable awnings

November 1, 2011  |  Awnings & Canopies, Features, Marketing

By Jamie Swedberg Some shops make a good living selling retractable awnings. They have managed to make retractables their bread and butter, while others simply maintain a thriving retractable awning trade as part of a larger custom awning or patio furniture business. Yet across the specialty fabrics…
A guide to trade show networking

September 1, 2011  |  Marketing

By Galynn Nordstrom Business events and trade shows offer one of the best opportunities to make yourself known within your profession or industry. The converse is equally important: trade shows offer a unique opportunity to get to know people in your industry—the professional contacts who can …
Invigorate email marketing with social media

August 1, 2011  |  Marketing

Each effort should include an element of the other. By Joe Dysart Specialty fabrics businesses trying to get a handle on social media as a promotional tool have found one easy solution: simply integrate the medium into existing email marketing programs. For some, this fusion of social media and emai…
Bringing products from lab to market

June 1, 2011  |  Features, Marketing

Careful planning and tenacity take a new product from the idea stage to successful commercialization. By Barb Ernster From grassroots efforts to sophisticated business processes, companies are finding the means to bring new technologies and products from the lab to the marketplace. Those that are su…
Brand success

June 1, 2011  |  Marketing

Smart branding helps to build strong connections with customers. By Brenda Haines What prompts a customer to choose one company over another? For many companies, the frustrating answer is price. To avoid competing exclusively on price, companies must build a strong emotional connection with customer…
Mark Mordecai discovers new business opportunities

March 1, 2011  |  Advanced Textiles, Features, Marketing, Perspective

Mark Mordecai engages customers and employees in the process of creating high-performance products. By Sigrid Tornquist “Keeping product lines relevant is really a question of how we can harness the energy and talent of our whole team to make that happen,” says Mark Mordecai, director of busines…