“Clay and Chief Outsiders are the only consultants who have ever delivered any value to us. They brought a lot of resources to the table that we wouldn’t have known to go get. This is the best money we have spent.” Mike Feigin, CEO & Founder, MainStreet America
MainStreet America is a destination site showcasing everything possible in home design, remodeling and decorating. Communicating a simplified message had become challenging due to the breadth of offerings at the site. The company engaged ChiefOutsider, Clay Spitz to strengthen marketing discipline, create a growth strategy, and coach the marketing team. The company gained a communications strategy to drive traffic, processes to hold managers accountable, measurements for continuous improvement, and a more effective partner marketing program.
Simplifying Home Buying and Remodeling
Mike Feigin set out to solve consumers’ challenges, and educate and simplify the home buying and remodeling process twelve years ago when he developed the concept of MainStreet America.
“Being a custom home builder, I knew consumers could do anything in a custom home but they typically could not envision it. I wanted to build a place that demonstrates what ‘anything and everything’ is,” said Feigin, CEO & Founder of MainStreet America.
Custom Home Heaven
Today, 20 miles north of Houston in Spring, Texas, consumers will find a beautifully designed and manicured street (really a small theme park) featuring a perpetual showcase of 12 custom homes, a one-stop shop for home-related pursuits created by Feigin.
MainStreet America enterprises include a custom home building company, remodeling company, furniture and accessories store, architecture firm, mortgage company and a realty agency specializing in residential lots.
The concentration of home-related businesses, combined with two restaurants and a culinary school, makes it one of Houston’s destination sites for home buyers, those in the process of remodeling their homes – even locals just wanting to get some new design ideas (and items) for their homes.
Visitors will find 12 beautiful custom home models, ranging from an 1,800 square foot beach home up through a 6000+ square foot Italian-style villa. All of the homes were custom-built by Feigin’s homebuilding company, Design Tech Homes, and include all of the detailed appointments and technology that you would expect in a luxury home.
Home Improvement Shopping Technology
Using MainStreet America’s proprietary Technological Educational Device (TED), a specialized app on a Google Nexus 7 tablet, visitors scan RFID tags attached to walls, appliances and furniture to obtain an audio tour of each home and details about the homes and products.
Visitors save selected items to a web-based wish list for later reference or purchase them at MainStreet America’s furniture store, or through one of its vendor partners. “TED also helps manufacturers showcase their products and assists them with new product roll-out efforts,” said Feigin.
Simplify the Message
To date, well over 50,000 visitors have been wowed at the park. However, communicating a simplified message for this home buyer/remodeler destination site had become extremely challenging due to the breadth of offerings.
“We have a complex marketing situation”, says Feigin. “I equate MainStreet America to creating the leading home improvement store in 1950, when all other home improvement stores only sold lumber.
“MainStreet America is the same – we sell everything, a complex situation with a lot of different businesses under one roof, owned by one person – all trying to tell the consumer who we are,” Feigin continues.
As Feigin works to keep MainStreet America at the forefront of home design trends, he also wants to ensure that he continually obtains the voice of the customer and maintains a steady stream of traffic to the ten businesses within the complex. That’s where Chief Outsiders comes into play.
Marketing Coach and Mentor
Feigin brought in Clay Spitz, Regional Managing Partner of Chief Outsiders, to beef up their marketing discipline, act as his strategic advisor, and coach and mentor the five-person marketing team.
“We needed someone from the outside to analyze us and help us create a strategy for our future growth. One of the reasons we chose Chief Outsiders is their large network of CMOs and their vast experience combined with their results-oriented approach,” said Feigin.
Acting as MainStreet America’s Chief Marketing Officer, Spitz worked with the team to develop strategy and messaging in a data-driven manner, “focused on who we are and where we are going,” said Feigin.
Spitz took it a step further to ensure no decisions were made until he understood the business. He experienced it as a customer from end-to-end, even before Chief Outsiders was awarded the business.
Through Chief Outsiders, MainStreet America has gained an integrated communications strategy to drive visitor traffic to MainStreet America.
Control and Continuous Improvement
Spitz implemented business management processes enabling Feigin and his wife, Barbara, the CFO, to focus on results of the various business units and to hold the unit managers accountable. New customer feedback loops and satisfaction measurements facilitate continuous improvement in the enterprise.
Effective Partner Marketing
A more effective partner marketing program was designed to bring more productive leads and product sales opportunities to the vendor partners, who are paying fees to MainStreet America for exposure to their consumer traffic.
Moving the Business Forward
Feigin summed up the role of ChiefOutsiders in his unqualified recommendation. “ChiefOutsiders was the key to moving the MainStreet America business forward. Clay is really an Insider and part of our team. I would like to tell any other CEO that my experience is nothing but the best.”