Archive for May 2012


New Kids’ Toilets Meet Texas Accessibility Standards

Posted on May 24, 2012 by Nora DePalma

With a maximum height of 12 inches to the top of the seat, the new round-front FloWise Baby Devoro kids’ toilets from American Standard meet the 2010 Texas Accessibility Standards and 2012 ADA Standards for children ages three and four. The easily accessible, 10-¼ inch low-rim height allows kids to feel more secure, and helps prevent the accidents that can occur when small children try to scramble on top of a standard height toilet, which can be as high 16 inches from the floor.

Designed to help ease the transition from kids’ potty seats to the real deal, the Baby Devoro kids’ toilets make it easier for children to be safe and comfortable in the bathroom, all while reducing water consumption.

The Baby Devoro is available as a flush-valve or two-piece model and consumes as little as 1.28 gpf — 20 percent less water than standard 1.6 gpf models.

For more information on this announcement, view the complete press release for the new Baby Devoro toilet or email us.


Manufacturer Sees Strong Growth Removing Outdoor Mold

Posted on May 22, 2012 by Joel Williams

The Chicago Tribune highlighted the strong retail growth experienced by Wet and Forget, a non-caustic, non-acidic and bleach-free, biodegradable outdoor cleaner.

Before and after image of a wood patio treated with Wet & Forget.

In six short years, positions at retail for the outdoor cleaning product have exploded.

From initial distribution at 200 stores in 2006, the brand has grown to availability at five major national chains totaling nearly 10,000 locations.  Sales this year for the non-caustic, non-acidic, bleach-free cleaner have doubled at Meyer, and generated strong numbers at, Ace Hardware, Costco Wholesale, Sam’s Club and Walmart.

Wet and Forget is the ultimate outdoor moss, mold, mildew and algae stain remover. There’s no scrubbing, no rinsing and no power washing.

The “wet it and forget it” stain remover works on exterior commercial and residential buildings, as well as siding, roofs, decks, brick, concrete, pavement, awnings, patio furniture, pool surrounds, boats, RV’s and any outdoor surface imaginable.  The progressive cleaner works over time as the product, and the rain, breakdown the biological growth and wash it away.

Once clean, surfaces need only a simple maintenance application at the first sign of regrowth to remain clean.  Since Wet & Forget contains no bleach, it has an unlimited shelf life.

Visit to find the nearest location.  Wet & Forget is also available for commercial use via



Uponor Names Brent Noonan VP-Sales

Posted on May 22, 2012 by John OReilly

Brent Noonan

Industry veteran Brent Noonan has accepted the position of vice president of U.S. Sales for Uponor, effective May 21, 2012. Noonan has served as Uponor’s South regional sales director since 2010, where he was responsible for providing leadership for the profitable growth of the heating, plumbing and fire sprinkler businesses in the Southern U.S. market.

Noonan has 13 years of managerial experience in the plumbing industry, as well as a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Colorado at Boulder. He will relocate to Uponor North America’s headquarters in Apple Valley, Minn., later this summer.

“We are confident that Brent’s proven experience and success with Uponor and his existing relationships with our customers will continue to build on our growth and momentum,” says Bill Gray, president, Uponor North America. “Brent’s strong leadership abilities, his knowledge of our systems and history of providing creative solutions along with his drive and desire to succeed are great assets to Uponor.”


Doing Virtual Events Right

Posted on May 22, 2012 by Nora DePalma

I’m at the 2012 Social Media Success Summit conference all this month. In my office, in between phone calls, and meetings. Also on Linked In, Twitter and email.

Where did you expect a social media conference to be held? Hoboken?

Billing itself as “The World’s Largest Online Social Media Marketing Conference” created an engagement platform by retaining compelling thought leaders such as Brian Solis. I can watch sessions live online, or catch the archived content with a password.

I can chat about the content with attendees on Twitter, via a companion Linked In group and a Facebook page.  Which means I get to “hear” every conversation, not just the ones in the small circle around the hot hors d’oeuvre table.

It’s all the benefits of an in-person conference except face-to-face.

But no bad breakfast buffets, either.

“Virtual” trade shows have been around for awhile, without much success. This, however, is the future of online training, folks.


American Standard Stainless Steel Sinks in Woman’s Day

Posted on May 21, 2012 by Nora DePalma

The sleek and functional Prevoir Collection of stainless steel kitchen sinks is highlighted in a Woman’s Day feature on contemporary kitchen trends.

The appliance sink, pictured above, features deep, spacious, straight-sided bowls to easily hold large loads of pots, pans, dishes, and glasses. Its brushed stainless steel surface is designed to complement stainless steel appliances, while the drop-in installation style adds to the clean, contemporary look of the sink. A trio of useful accessories comes standard with the appliance sink: a colander and glass cutting board that slide along the ledge of the sink for increased stability and convenience, and a roll-up stainless steel grid to protect the surface of the sink.


Why Is the Building Products Industry so Bad at Lead Nurturing?

Posted on May 16, 2012 by Nora DePalma

For an industry with a generally long purchase cycle and an incredibly complex route-to-market system, we collectively do a really terrible job of nurturing prospects when they raise their hands.  Does this sound like your marketing department?

  1. You collect leads at trade shows and mail every one the same generic “information” package after the show. You have no idea if anyone ever closed that sales loop
  2.  You have no idea that you get leads from certain publishers related to your advertising and media relations investment.  Or you have no idea who handles them in your department, if anyone.
  3. You have no idea why or how many people have registered at your website, nor if anyone has closed the sales loop.  Nonetheless, you feel compelled to send them all the same enewsletter of things you think they should know about you.
  4. You supply every lead to channel customers and field offices and they never do anything with them.
  5. Your channel customers and field offices say they never do anything with your leads because they’re lame.

Marketers across all industries are stepping up their game to better capitalize on and manage sales leads, according to a survey conducted by marketing automation service provider Eloqua.   Of responding marketing executives across a variety of industries, 88% reported increased their lead analytics activity, with almost three-quarters forming a better understanding of conversion rates.

Two-thirds are digging deeper into the funnel in search of shorter sales cycles and improved sales intelligence.

The biggest hurdle reported—perhaps answering the question in the headline of this article—is a lack of processes.

Yet with the changing the shape and nature of the sales funnel driven by the increase in social media, content marketing and mobile, is it a process you can afford to put off much longer?


[email protected] from Mr. Steam featured in KBDN

Posted on May 11, 2012 by Nora DePalma

The May issue of Kitchen & Bath Design News highlighted the new [email protected] steam generator from Mr. Steam.

Sized to fit smaller baths and smaller budgets, the new [email protected] from Mr. Steam is 20 percent more compact than regular Mr. Steam generators. Available in three different models designed for 3′x4′ tile showers, 3′x5′ tile showers, and for existing acrylic units, list prices for the generator range from $1,250 to $1,450. [email protected] units feature a 20-minute timer, polished chrome in-shower control. It also comes standard with a cool-to-the-touch AromaSteam steamhead that can hold essential oils to infuse aromatherapy into the steamroom.

This is the second time Kitchen & Bath Design News has featured this product; the [email protected] generator was also included in the April 2012 issue.


American Standard and WinWholesale Partner to Bring Water Conservation Exhibit to Life at Ohio Museum

Posted on May 10, 2012 by Nora DePalma

American Standard and WinWholesale have partnered with the Boonshoft Museum of Discovery in Dayton, Ohio to create a new interactive exhibit designed to teach children about the importance of water conservation.

Through the “Splash!” exhibit, museum goers of all ages learn about the earth’s water cycle, the impacts that humans have on water access and quality, and about careers — like plumbing, geology and environmental conservation — related to water stewardship. The eye-catching displays employ familiar plumbing fixtures to help visitors understand how individual actions impact water resources – including aquifers, rivers, and lakes.

For more information on this announcement, view the complete press release on the American Standard partnership with the Boonshoft Museum or email us.


O’Reilly-DePalma Wins Golden Trumpet from the Publicity Club of Chicago

Posted on May 9, 2012 by Nora DePalma

We’re feeling good today! Nothing like being able to blow our own horn, winning a Golden Trumpet from the Publicity Club of Chicago for good solid brand journalism, based on a client case study that generated more than 40 million impressions.

The Publicity Club of Chicago is recognizing our story on how the  Loews hotel chain saw maintenance calls for clogged toilets plunge 80% after the American Standard Champion 4 toilet was installed.

You could say we really blew the lid off that story.   Our team member Joel Williams, who wrote the toilet success feature, garnered more than 40 million impressions, including coverage on the travel blogs of USA Today (below) and The Economist, as well as a related humor feature on AOL.

“‘Think about the embarrassment and inconvenience of a toilet clog,’ Dick Senechal, Loews’ senior vice president of facilities, who calls American Standard’s Champion 4 toilet an industry breakthrough, told me. ‘Eliminating that is a great service for our guests.’” — From Barbara DeLollis of USA Today Hotel Check-In.

The story previously won a Phoenix Award from the Public Relations Society of America, Georgia Chapter.


Grundfos Speaks at Congressional Energy Independence Forum

Posted on May 3, 2012 by Joel Williams

Grundfos North America President Jes Munk Hansen joined Danish Trade Minister Pia Olsen Dyhr at a recent congressional forum in Washington, D.C., to discuss how Grundfos’ home country, Denmark, is meeting the economic, environmental and energy challenges of the coming decades and how the U.S. can apply these lessons.

Jes Munk Hansen, president of Grundfos North America, (standing) spoke at a recent congressional forum exploring the nexus of energy, water and climate change that was sponsored by The Royal Danish Embassy and the Environmental and Energy Study Institute.

Hansen challenged American policymakers to enact an energy-efficiency labeling system—more sophisticated, but similar to the EPA’s Energy Star program— that would allow non-technical purchasers and specifiers to easily identify energy-efficient products.

“A labeling system would lift the entire industry to new heights,” Hansen said. “Our elected officials must set ambitious energy goals. Producing energy is one of the biggest consumers of energy. At the same time, moving water accounts for up to 20 percent of electricity use. We need to address this nexus now in order to ensure a positive and prosperous future.”

More information on the congressional forum may be found here.