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Think: Multi-channel Marketing Masterminds
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Highlands Announces an Expanded Partnership with KFI Seating

April 6, 2018

Highlands is pleased to announce they will now be representing KFI Seating in the Office Products Channel. KFI is a manufacturer of tables and chairs, which fit the needs of many institutions: commercial, hospitality, education, government and healthcare. Located in Louisville, Kentucky, all KFI products are assembled in the USA. KFI invests their efforts in speed, service, and design, with a heavy emphasis on the need for a great customer experience and community involvement. 

“KFI has had great success working with Highlands on strategic e-commerce accounts. We have been impressed with the professional sales approach, strategic thinking, marketing and most importantly, relationships with key accounts. That being said, we are excited to now work with the entire Highlands family,” says Chris Smith, President and Owner of KFI Seating.

Bob O’Gara, CEO of Highlands, adds “We have been very impressed by the repositioning of KFI by Chris Smith and Scott Williamson, COO and Owner of KFI Seating. Their emphasis on affordable design is what many customer segments require today. This is the perfect time to extend our relationship.” 

For more information on KFI Seating, please visit KFI.com.
social media content

Social Media Content

March 27, 2018

Are you struggling with getting on the social media train in 2018? Did you know there were 3.03 billion ACTIVE social media users as of November 2017? If you aren’t currently utilizing social media, or are doing so with very minimal efforts, you might be breaking a sweat as you continue to read this. 

What is Social Media Content?
Social media content is any form of content shared via social media. Sounds simple, but there are various ways of attracting consumers via content. What type of content should you use? Which platform is acceptable for your brand? How do you know when to post these items? This blog aims to help you understand social media content and which trends you should consider executing to increase your brand’s reach.

Social Media Content Strategy
Successful social media starts with a social media strategy. Research needs to be done in order to effectively execute your social media strategy.
Before spending copious amounts of time creating and posting content, follow these steps to improve your chance of success with social media content:

1. Think of your intended audience first. Who are these people? How can you relate to them? Where are they?
2. Establish your "brand voice" and REMAIN CONSISTENT. If you missed our last blog - "Content that Supports Brand Messaging", you can find it here.
3. Develop content surrounding your findings. We will get into social media content “trends” next, which may help you discover your preferred style of content.
4. Post on the relevant social media platforms. There are many social media management platforms that can post for you. Start by setting up a calendar, adding content, and let the management platform do the hard work - maintaining a schedule.
5. Set goals for your strategy. What is your desired outcome? Increase ROI, website traffic, etc.
6. Lastly, analyze your results and adjust your goals and content accordingly. A great way of monitoring your success is to use Google Analytics.

Trends to Watch for in 2018
• Increased engagement between brands and customers - Jay Baer, President of Convince and Convert, found that 42% of users complaining about a brand via social media, expect a response in less than one hour. Gone are the days when consumers had the patience for 1-800 numbers and their automated systems. 
• Videos as top priority - With predictions that video will account for 80% of global internet traffic by 2019, you should ask yourself, “is your current content strategy poised to embrace this trend?” Keep in mind, consumers are 73% more likely to purchase product(s) after watching a video.
• Chatbots - Oracle conducted a survey, which suggested that 80% of marketing executives are currently using chatbots for business, or plan to by 2020. 

If you would like more information on providing great content for your customers, contact us.  


Maura Penna

Maura Penna Joins Highlands as Director, Strategic Accounts

March 22, 2018

Highlands announces that Maura Penna has joined the Highlands team as Director, Strategic Accounts.  She will be responsible for managing our relationship with Staples.  Most recently, Maura worked as a National Account Manager at Newell Brands - Rubbermaid and served the company for almost 30 years.  She managed the Staples account for the majority of her time spent at Newell.

Shannon Blake, Partner and Senior VP of Strategic Accounts adds, “Maura’s extensive sales experience and relationships at Staples will be a tremendous addition to the Highlands team.  Maura is great at finding creative solutions for the buyers and sellers to maximize category results.  We look forward to introducing her to our partners and building stronger partnerships between our suppliers and Staples.”

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It is with Sad Regret that Highlands Announces the Loss of Kevin O'Gara

March 19, 2018

On March 11th, at the age of 82, Kevin O’Gara passed away in Ponte Vedra, Florida. A fixture in the office products industry for over 30 years, Kevin was the founder of KOGCO, the precursor to what is today called Highlands, and retired in 1995. 

“Any success Highlands has achieved would not have happened without the foundational work my father did over thirty years from 1962 until 1995.  He was a great business person but also a great mentor to many.  All of us who were lucky enough to work with him will carry some part of him with us for the rest of our lives.  For many, this will be the best part,” says Bob O’Gara.

Kevin’s funeral will be held on March 24, 2018 at 10:00 am, at the Holy Spirit Church in Atlanta, Georgia. In lieu of flowers, the family appreciates contributions to City of Hope in his remembrance. 

City of Hope donations can be directed to:

City of Hope - NBPI
C/O Kevin O'Gara Memorial
1500 E. Duarte Road
Duarte, CA 91010
Attn: Matt Dodd

Bridget Kress5

Bridget Kress Joins Highlands as Account Manager for Central US

March 14, 2018

Highlands is pleased to announce that Bridget Kress, the newest addition to the Highlands team, has joined the Central Region as Account Manager covering the Illinois and Wisconsin markets.


“Bridget brings to Highlands valuable, high level sales experience in the Business Products and Jan San industries,” says Mike Douglas, VP of Sales for the Central and West, at Highlands. “Previous positions with R3 and Newell Brands as Business Development Director and Key Accounts Manager, along with a well-earned reputation as one of the top professionals in the marketplace make her a great addition to the Highlands team.”



branded content

Content that Supports Brand Messaging

March 12, 2018

With the ever-increasing use of falsified beauty, such as: false eyelashes, Spanx (to keep it all together), and Botox, - particularly in television and entertainment - it’s less and less likely that the average woman feels beautiful on a daily basis. ‘Dove’ introduced a new outlook on ‘beauty’ when they introduced the ‘You’re more beautiful than you think’ video.  This was a statement about what the Dove brand stood for: You don’t need to be a super-model to be beautiful with Dove.

Consumers grew connected to the stories that ‘Dove’ told and that’s how many people remember this brand; it made them feel good. This is a fine display of content that supported the brand message - content which strays from the more traditional advertising methods. This type of content brings relevant value to the consumer through emotional storytelling, will entertain consumers, or even teach them something and offers clear differentiation amongst competitor brands. This results in increased brand engagement, ultimately (hopefully) increasing sales growth for that brand.

Key Aspects of Content that supports brand messaging:

• Clarity and Consistency: Be clear on what your brand stands for, if you aren’t, then your target audience won’t be. And, be consistent. Being consistent will reinforce your message.
• Know your audience: Content can be created in different ways; it changes according to the target audience. For example, kids understand pictorial representation; the same cannot be used for an official purpose. 
• Differentiation: Be different and be prepared to be different. Have a distinct message for your brand that resonates with your audience and establishes ‘clear, blue water’ between you and your competitors.
• Remember Company Culture: Never compromise on these, whatever you create. Company output should reflect the vision, mission, culture or any of those qualities which represent your business.
• Stay Updated: Check out your competitors; know what the audience wants and provide what they are looking for.

All of these points play a key role in connecting your audience with your brand message. Deliver what is apt for your product and audience, or we could help you. In Highlands’ next blog, we will look at how content can be created specifically for social media.



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