Cosentino shows beauty and value of green as it debuts Eco in the US

In April, Cosentino, a Spain-based stone surfaces company, introduced Eco, a new kitchen and bathroom surface product comprising 75% recycled materials.

Client: Cosentino US (Stafford, TX)
PR agency:
Sharp Communications (New York)
Campaign: Launch of Eco by Cosentino
Duration: April through August 2009
Budget: Less than $80,000

In April, Cosentino, a Spain-based stone surfaces company, introduced Eco, a new kitchen and bathroom surface product comprising 75% recycled materials.

In the US, the company looked to PR to position the brand as "eco-chic" and educate architects and designers about the category's value, says Lorenzo Marquez, VP of marketing at Cosentino.

"The perception in the market is if you go green, it's expensive and ugly," he adds. "We're changing that."

Strategy
The company enlisted Sharp Communications as its AOR for the brand. The team produced a documentary on the industry to communicate the harm that traditional materials inflict on the environment, says Elizabeth Hewitt, VP at Sharp.

A strategic launch in April would also enable the brand to participate in a variety of trade shows and host media events on Earth Day that would reach both consumers and architects.

Tactics
Sharp conducted national outreach to shelter, design, and green consumer and trade press and blogs. Eco sponsored the annual American Institute of Architecture luncheon in New York the day before the launch. It also debuted the product a week later at an event for the National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA).

The team also tapped influencers like ex-NKBA president Sara Busby to educate the press and take part in the documentary.

Results
Following the NKBA event, Lowe's extended the Eco product distribution from 150 to 1,600 stores. Since its rollout, Eco has generated about $9 million in sales, which surpassed projected figures by $3 million.

Future
The team will continue to promote the product using social media. In addition, it is working on plans to create an online video contest with Ed Sanders, a designer on Extreme Makeover: Home Edition.

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