April 26, 2007, 12:00 AM

FirstStreet spreads its brand and products through marketing partners

To expand the reach of its brand and product selection to its targeted audience of Baby Boomers and older adults, e-retailer FirstStreet is creating a branding buzz in blogs and finding selling partners like RL.tv, the new web site of Retirement Living.

To expand the reach of its brand and product selection to its targeted audience of Baby Boomers and older adults, housewares and gifts e-retailer FirstStreet is creating a branding buzz in blogs and finding selling partners like RL.tv, the new web site of Retirement Living, director of Internet marketing Daniel Yonts tells InternetRetailer.com.

FirstStreet, an online and catalog retailer that operates on the web at FirstStreetOnline.com and is No. 357 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide, targets a mature audience with the tag line “For Boomers and Beyond.” Specializing in useful products for the home, garden and other personal use, it has recently migrated away from emphasizing highly innovative products to ones that are unusual but practical and serving an established need among mature consumers, Yonts says.

One such product is the Garden Groom Mini, a lightweight brush and hedge trimmer that it recently advertised on gardening blogs. “Within two days, the New York Times wrote an article on the Mini both online and in their print gardening section,” Yonts says.

While FirstStreet is still waiting to see the effect of the Times exposure in sales, the retailer is already leveraging the publicity it builds through blogs and other means. This week, for instance, it went live with a co-branded site that serves as the shopping section of RL.tv, which provides e-commerce sales of products that Retirement Living may feature in online videos about topics ranging from gardening to home security.

In the first of three recent partnerships FirstStreet has formed with informational content sites that cater to niche audiences, the retailer is providing content including product details and images that its partners feature in informational online videos and other forms of online content. FirstStreet provides e-commerce, contact center and fulfillment functions, and it shares e-commerce sales revenue with its partners.

In some cases, FirstStreet’s partners publish content about products in print or broadcast reports, and refer inquiring consumers to a toll-free telephone number connected to FirstStreet’s contact center.

“Our partners are going after the same consumer demographic we are, so we help them market products,” Yonts says. FirstStreet is a unit of TechnoBrands Inc.

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