KB Home Finds Convenient Sales Vehicle

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Richard Sewell, director of marketing for KB Home’s Phoenix division, knows it pays to watch how companies outside the industry do things.

September 01, 2002

 

Circle K's ZapLink kiosks are an effective way for KB Home to present its new community information.

Richard Sewell, director of marketing for KB Home's Phoenix division, knows it pays to watch how companies outside the industry do things. His observation on a simple jaunt to a local Circle K convenience store has given KB Home a unique, effective and exclusive marketing edge: featured exposure on Circle K stores' ZapLink kiosks.

Three months ago, KB Home arranged for the kiosks to include KB floor plans, new community information and financing options. Users can send inquiries through e-mail or voiceover phone to a KB sales office or call center, and print coupons and special offers redeemable in sales offices. ZapLinks also have a dual-language portal, so all KB information can be accessed in Spanish.

In addition, 30-second KB commercials loop continuously on a screen over the checkout counter, driving and directing traffic to the kiosk. Sewell says the kiosks have been a great way to capitalize on the Internet's growing primacy as the source of information for potential home buyers.

"The demographic of the Circle K customer -- average age, average income -- fits the demographic of the people buying our homes," he says. "It was also a great way to reach the Spanish buyer, who is using the kiosks more than any other group."

The kiosks have a tracking mechanism to monitor activity, hits to Web sites (the KB Home site consistently ranks in the top 15 of all sites visited at the kiosks) and the number of coupons printed. KB has contracted to be the only home builder featured on all ZapLink kiosks. The company now has its information on 35 Phoenix-area kiosks but plans to expand to all 14,000 Circle K locations in the South and West.

"Guerilla marketing is the norm for packaged goods manufacturers, but it's largely unheard-of in our industry, and we're changing that," Sewell says. "We're cultivating brand loyalty, and that's hard for a home builder."

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