New Article in Nation’s Building News

 

Lifestylist® Suzanne Felber was honored this week to be featured in a story on education in the Nation’s Building News – a publication that goes out to the over 200,000 members of the National Association of Home Builders.

She has been active in the association for over 25 years, is a member of the Institute of Residential Marketing and is also a national instructor of the IRM III course: Lifestyle Merchandising, Advertising & Promotion Strategies. Felber has also been a a speaker at the MHI Congress and Expo for many years, and this year will be speaking on design trends in Land Lease Communities.

Attending classes and learning what’s new as well as teaching classes is a necessary part of how we offer our clients the best in merchandising, trend tracking and marketing. We will be attending the International Builders Show Feb. 8-12 to search out the latest trends in building and design. Join us on Twitter to get our reports directly from the show.

What’s Mine is Not Yours: Intellectual Property

Seth Godin is my guru. He is so no nonsense but funny at times, intellectual but down to earth, and what I really love about him is that he can get a point across faster than anyone else I know. His Purple Cow book started me on a new road to being more involved in marketing and social media so I’m forever grateful. When I worked on the Purple Cow House Campaign with Patriot Homes I made sure to get permission from Mr. Godin, and we credited him for the phrase (and gave out his Purple Cow Book).

 

Today I got a great post from him titled “Simple Thoughts About Fair Use“. So timely, and as always so well written. In this new blogging, social world I’m always stunned to see how many people are using other people’s photography, ads, brands, and stories without permission. This article is a must read for anyone who is even thinking about posting on Facebook, Twitter, or a blog and using someones text or images.

 

I’m fortunate enough to have access to a very talented photographer – Lisa Stewart of Lisa Stewart Photography. The images you see in my blogs, on my Lifestylist Design Facebook page and on my website have been shot specifically for my use. I do that so I’m not using other people’s work and having copyright infringements.

 

Lifestylist® is a term that I successfully trademarked in 2002 – my registration number is 2583235. I’m very proud of this because I thought I had a good idea and made the extra effort do “do the right thing” and spend the time, effort, and money to trademark it. You would be amazed at how much time I’ve had to spend since them protecting my mark because people haven’t bothered to do their homework and see that it’s trademarked before they use it in their own businesses.

 

Before you decide that you have discovered the next great phrase, or “borrow” a photo from someone else be sure to read Seth’s post. Wondering where to learn more about these topics? The US Patent and Trademark Office has a great site, and it is also where you can search trademark registrations and applications.

How Memorable are Your Homes?

As a Lifestylist®, the biggest compliment I can receive is when people come up to me and tell me they remember a home because of the lifestyle we displayed in the home. My job is to play up the special features included in the home by using artwork, furniture and accessories. I’m thrilled when the homes are remembered and talked about during a show, but what’s really gratifying is when someone tells about a home they loved so much they bought it.

That was the case at Rolling Hills Village in Battle Creek, Michigan. Bob Wolfe, president of Wolfe Commercial saw the “dog house” I did for Patriot Homes in 2008.  Even though at the time he wasn’t a Patriot customer at that time he knew he had to own that home, and a great partnership was born. Every time I would run into Mr. Wolfe at an event he would tell me how much he loved that home, and he would tell everyone around him what a great job I did as well.

Fast forward to 2012, and in 2 weeks I’ll be heading to Michigan to do a new model home and update the community center. I’d say that going the extra mile and LifeStyling a model with character not only helped Rolling Hills sell more homes, it also helped me earn a customer for life.

If you are in the market for model homes that are memorable and help sell homes, let’s talk. We can be reached at: answers@lifestylist.com

 

Trend Tracking With Pinterest

As a Lifestylist®, I spend a lot of time researching trends and learning what consumers want – then sharing that information with my clients. There are lots of places I do my research and new sites are popping up every day. I want to share with you one of my new favorites.

Have you discovered Pinterest yet? The site describes itself as “an online pinboard where you can organize and share things you love” but it is truly so much more than that. Words don’t do justice to this site – it’s definitely a visual experience.

Pinterest lets you do your own digital wish books where you can browse through thousands of images, recipes and inspirations that others have shared and “pin” them onto your own boards. You can also follow people who have a style that you like and share your favorite finds using Facebook or Twitter.

This is a great tool to see what consumers are liking and sharing. I have a huge appreciation for the laws governing intellectual property and don’t publish other people’s photos or articles on my sites without permission. Pinterest gives you the opportunity to share other people’s images without violating copyright rules, and it’s also a great way to share what you like and don’t like with others.

Our boards can be found at: pinterest.com/lifestylist take a look and let us know what you think. We’d love to see what your boards look like as well. Email us at: answers@lifestylist.com with your Pinterest name and we’ll take a look.

Social Media Lifestylist® Guidelines for 2012

Happy New Year from the Lifestylist® family! I’m really excited about 2012, and the opportunities that come with it.

A lot of being a Lifestylist® is about being a trend tracker and doing research. Today I read something that was written by someone else titled “Social Media Lifestylist Guidelines for 2012” – boy does that sound dull! The first thing that comes to mind is a big dusty manual full of rules and regulations, and that is exactly what social media (and being a Lifestylist®) is not about.

The tag line I have always used for my Lifestylist® brand is “It’s All About You”. I didn’t want the brand to be about me telling people what to do – I wanted to listen to people’s wants, needs, and dreams, and help them achieve those even when they didn’t know that’s what they were really searching for. I don’t want to dictate, I want to educate. I’ve learned that listening is so much more important than anything I will ever have to say, because sometimes if you let people express their thoughts they will find their answers.

Social media is such an exciting new frontier because it gives everyone the chance to tell their story to the universe. It’s become a great equalizer because almost anyone  on any budget can get access to a computer and a free site and share their thoughts.

There’s a down side to this though as well -there’s not as much editing as we’ve seen in the past. We have to learn that even though someone may have written it, there is the possibility it might not be true. Before we share or depend on information we find we have to be sure and check the facts. As the guardian of the Lifestylist® trademark for almost 10 years now I’ve seen how many people want to tie into my brand but aren’t willing to go through the legal process to acquire a brand of their own.

So what are the real Lifestylist’s guidelines for 2012? Never call them guidelines, live your life to the fullest, listen to those around you and you can never laugh too much or have too much great food and wine!

Here’s to a boisterous 2012!