The Duluth Fall Festival – 2011

The 2011 Duluth Fall Festival is just around the corner and we are getting really excited about it. It is quickly becoming one of the largest and best Arts and Crafts festivals in the Southeast.

Like last year, we are the anchor tent at Man’s Corner. There will be no lace or froofy smelling candles over in this area. We’re talking Power Equipment, Grills and Smokers, The Georgia Force, Gwinnett Gladiators, Gwinnett Braves, All Terrain Vehicles, Cars, Trucks, Woodworking Accessories, Sporting Goods and Fitness, 2 HUGE TVs with Football on… Oh, and did you know that our Big Green Eggs are gonna be fired up with some sample awesomeness.

The event takes place the last weekend in September, September 24th and 25th. It is free admission and free parking. There will be a parade, music and entertainment, carnival rides, food, a 5k road race and worship service on Sunday and over 240 arts and crafts booths!

This year, Howard Brothers is also a sponsor for special guest, Walter Reeves, The Georgia Gardner from noon to 3:00 on Saturday the 24th. “The Lawn and Garden Show with Walter Reeves” is Atlanta’s best source of weekly gardening information. It airs each Saturday from 6:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. on AM750 WSB and FM95.5.  The show is a must-listen for those who want to be successful with their lawn, landscape or garden. Walter’s practical, and sometimes humorous, advice is understandable by the novice as well as the experienced gardener.

Walter Reeves will be at the Howard Brothers booth in Man’s Corner from 12-1 meeting folks and then will be at the Gazebo Stage  from 1-3.

It is a great way to kick start fall. For more information, check out the Duluth Fall Festival Website Proceeds from the Duluth Fall Festival are used for improving the downtown area – and as you will see, this mission is paying off!

Leave a comment below to let us know if you’re coming. Stop by our booth for some free giveaways and to sample some food off the Big Green Egg.

———

Join us. Friend Us. Like Us.

Sign up for our monthly E-Mail Newsletter in the right column. We promise not to pile SPAM in you inbox. We’ll make it worth your sign-up!

We Tried to Give Away an Exmark Navigator

Do you know what QR codes are? They’re popping up everywhere. I’ve seen one on the back of a ketchup bottle at a restaurant that I’ve eaten at recently. QR code is the shortened abbreviation for Quick Response Code. Basically, it is a barcode that can be read by smartphones or other mobile devices.

QR codes allow the creator to send specific information to the scanner and while they were originally used in systems for tracking inventory, more and more they are providing a means to redirect a user to a specific webpage or other online content. We’re beginning to see them regularly appear on items in our stores. Exmark is using them on engines and equipment. Large commercial fans that we have from ProTemp are using them right on the fans, and we’re seeing them on all types of items in the hardware department.

Last Thursday night we decided to test out QR technology at an event that we were attending. We wanted to see if the code would grab the attention of the 1200+ people who would be walking past it. So we printed a 24″ square version of the code and placed it on a sign. Our goal was to get traffic to our new website that we had just launched. The gimmick was to give away a 1/16th scale toy replica of an Exmark Navigator (what, you thought we were giving away an actual mower?) The code directed the user to a page that was not available directly on the website and you could only (easily) get to the page through use of the code. Here is a link to the actual page that offered the giveaway.

The giveaway involved sharing our new website on Twitter or Facebook. I was certain that it would be successful.

It was not.

We did see about 25 hits to the page from the code, but no one took the next step to win the prize. We believe that there are still possibilities to use this technology to drive our customers to relevant information about the product or service that they are searching for in the first place. We’re not going to give up on it yet. We’ll try it out at other events and in other capacities.

So What Happened to the Toy?

It is still sitting on my desk. Awaiting a winner.  So we’re going to try this again.

All you have to do to win is Like Us on Facebook or Follow us on Twitter and then share the following with your circle of influence:

“Howard Brothers has a new website. Check it out! http://Howardbrothers.wpengine.com | #HowardBrothersNewSite”

You will also receive an entry just for leaving a comment below even if you don’t share, but you will also receive one entry each for sharing us on Facebook and Twitter. That gives you three chances of winning.

We’ll give you through September 4th. On Monday, September 5th we’ll compile all the entries and select one random to win the Toy Exmark Navigator. We’ll announce the winner right here on the blog as an incentive for you to come back!

Oh, one other thing, leave a comment below telling me which method you use so that I get the entries correct.

Join us. Friend Us. Like Us.

Sign up for our monthly E-Mail Newsletter in the right column. We promise not to pile SPAM in you inbox. We’ll make it worth your sign-up!

Shhhhh. Do Not Share this Post with Anyone

Did you recently see the QR code at the Northeast Georgia Sportsman’s Feast?

Of course you did, because this page isn’t being advertised anywhere else.

Well, you could have stumbled upon it in someway… or you’ve already subscribed to our RSS Feed…and if you did, then I bid you welcome and congratulations.

Here’s the deal, we just launched a new website. It is going to be a living and breathing component of the Howard Brothers online world from now on.

Even though we’re still working on it a little, We want you to be the first to check it out and we really want you to join our social media efforts in telling Metro Atlanta and North Georgia about it. And we’re going to give away an Exmark Navigator to entice you.

(OK, so it is a Collectible Toy Replica of the Navigator… 1:16 Scale Size… but still)

All you have to do to win is Like Us on Facebook or Follow us on Twitter and then share the following with your circle of influence:

“Howard Brothers has a new website. Check it out and Follow them! http://Howardbrothers.wpengine.com/newsite | #HowardBrothersNewSite”

You will also receive an entry just for leaving a comment below even if you don’t share, but you will also receive one entry each for sharing us on Facebook and Twitter. That gives you three chances of winning.

We’ll give you the weekend to participate. On Monday, August 29th we’ll compile all the entries and select one random to win the Toy Exmark Navigator. We’ll announce the winner right here on the blog as an incentive for you to come back!

Oh, one other thing, leave a comment below telling me which method you use so that I get the entries correct.

Join us. Friend Us. Like Us.

Sign up for our monthly E-Mail Newsletter in the right column. We promise not to pile SPAM in you inbox. We’ll make it worth your sign-up!

Ways You Can Follow Us

One of the best parts of the job that I have is meeting customers. Have you ever walked in one of our stores and seen a group of us standing around in a circle? We often laugh that a grenade could take us all out. But often times in those circles we talk about the people who we’ve seen and helped in a given day.

We want to be the Benchmark of Excellence in our industry

As long as I’ve worked here, I always remember hearing from Ed and John and Doug talk up the importance of Relationships.

Today more than ever we have so many ways to connect with each other. The online world has provided avenues to converse and keep track of each other. Rest assured, we will never replace the personal interaction that you can get when you come into one of our locations in an online environment, but we do invite you to join the conversation and discussion that happens online.

On Facebook and Twitter, we’ll be promoting sales and other educational content that you will be able to keep up with us. We’re also excited to begin doing videos online that will educate you on the brands we sell and represent. We’re going to begin a monthly newsletter to promote sales at the store and also point you at more popular content on our website. (We may even reward our mayors on FourSquare…)

To encourage you to engage with us, there will be a lot of Specials and Giveaways that you will only hear about online.

And we want your involvement! If you have a good experience or a bad experience, we want to hear from you.

We want to WOW you with our people, our products and our services.

Join us. Friend Us. Like Us.

Sign up for our monthly E-Mail Newsletter in the right column. We promise not to pile SPAM in you inbox. We’ll make it worth your sign-up!

Also, you can follow our blog in an RSS Reader.

The Idea House

True Value has launched a new website recently called StartRightStartHere that is worth checking out. The interactive site allows you to play around in True Value Hardware’s Idea House. The site promotes itself as the place for detailed, printable ”how-to” home improvement project ideas.

Whether you’re a first-time homeowner or a D.I.Y. master, you’ll find all kinds of great home improvement projects for painting, gardening and home repair. You’ll also find great features like customizable shopping lists, helpful advice, special offers and more. There’s even a store locator so you can find your closest True Value hardware store (you’ll be coming to Howard’s…Right?) and put these do-it-yourself home improvement project ideas to work.

A few example projects are building a retaining wall, getting rid of unwanted outdoor pests (I know of  a momma and two baby deer that feasted on my inlaw’s okra and peas this season… they’ve moved on to the hostas and muscadines) patching foundation cracks and learn about how paint is affected by the lighting of your house.

Take a look around. Great ideas are everywhere. Let us know what you think about it.