Sharp Home Electronics Co. of America has been hard at work promoting the health and flavor-retaining benefits of products like its SuperSteam+ oven around the industry. But now, the outreach to business sectors beyond those retailers who customarily handle Sharp’s countertop microwave ovens is being underscored by the company with events like the one we recently attended in Sharp’s spectacular new Montvale, N.J. headquarters, which Sharp has occupied since January.
On April 18, Sharp played host to the monthly networking cocktail party/meeting/educational session that the local Northern New Jersey chapter of the National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA), the trade organization, holds. NKBA owns the Kitchen & Bath Industry Show (KBIS), and boasts nearly 14,000 member companies representing tens of thousands of members in all business segments.
The chapter members were likely well familiar with Sharp’s built-in microwave oven drawer. But what was unique about this event was that attendees got the chance not only to look at a static display of Sharp’s models – in particular, the Sharp SuperSteam+ combination steam/convection oven – but also, to taste the vast difference that that method of cooking makes for something as pedestrian as a meatball: crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside. There’s nothing that can create an “oven evangelist” like sampling a great meatball.
Above all, according to Victoria Reczkowski, the chapter’s vice president of programs, who is also the branch manager for Ferguson Bath, Kitchen & Lighting Gallery, the reception gave the chapter’s members the opportunity to be exposed to the full Sharp story. And the Sharp executives here, for their part, could talk to certified kitchen and bath industry professionals – and what’s really valuable, get their input on products.
“It’s a chance to talk about creativity, too,” said Sharp’s senior vice president of sales and marketing, Peter Weedfald, who, along with Jim Sanduski, president, welcomed and interacted with the members. “We’re brand arbiters of our own businesses, and this is all about creating relationships with people like builders and architects.”