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HVAC Marketing/Fighting Against Reputation

 
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Old 01-17-2008, 03:33 PM   #1
 
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HVAC Marketing/Fighting Against Reputation


Hi,

I'm new to this board and like it very much. I thought you all might be able to help me...

Any creative ideas for marketing an HVAC company that moved to a new state for family reasons and is now up against competitors with 30 years experience/history in the area? They don't even have to advertise and they are booked solid due to word of mouth.

We need something different and new. We offer more customized solutions than anyone around here b/c we actually do load calcs whereas many of our competitors bid on square footage alone!!!

Please offer any ideas...it would be much appreciated.

CustomAir
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Old 01-17-2008, 03:44 PM   #2
 
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Re: HVAC Marketing/Fighting Against Reputation


Quote:
Originally Posted by CustomAir View Post
Hi,

I'm new to this board and like it very much. I thought you all might be able to help me...

Any creative ideas for marketing an HVAC company that moved to a new state for family reasons and is now up against competitors with 30 years experience/history in the area? They don't even have to advertise and they are booked solid due to word of mouth.

We need something different and new. We offer more customized solutions than anyone around here b/c we actually do load calcs whereas many of our competitors bid on square footage alone!!!

Please offer any ideas...it would be much appreciated.

CustomAir
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Old 01-17-2008, 04:32 PM   #3
 
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Re: HVAC Marketing/Fighting Against Reputation


That seems simple enough; however, most people already know a "guy" so we need advertising that will help build our reputation quickly. Most people around here will not rush to the phonebook or online YP---they'll ask a friend. We need to make an impact that gets us beyond that point.

Advertise where? How? What solutions lie beyond the yellow pages for this industry?

Let's get creative and help each other out from different areas.

We even thought of some community wide initiative to promote more efficient equipment- something like "if 10 households sign up- they qualify for a community discount" as a community effort to lower energy bills. But how to advertise? door hangers are annoying right?

Oh and we do not market to the price conscious but rather value seeker, which makes advertising in the right place more difficult.

Thanks.
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Old 01-17-2008, 04:42 PM   #4
 
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Re: HVAC Marketing/Fighting Against Reputation


Advertising does work. Obviously, you are not going to get busy overnight, it will take time and patience. No quick answers in my opinion. Maybe call your competitors and ask for some overflow work or sub-contract for them until you get on your feet. Good luck, I've been there!
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Old 01-20-2008, 12:15 PM   #5
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Re: HVAC Marketing/Fighting Against Reputation


Good questions....
It's dangerous to suggest a customized solution (ironic since that is what you offer) on an internet thread but here are some questions that may help you find your answers:
1. Do you have really good testimonials/references/satisfied clients at your old location who wouldn't mind a call or two from people in the new area? Any chance any of them have family/friends in your new area, who would respond to a direct referral and could give you some local experience/backing?
2. How many competitors are you dealing with; are they all doing the same old thing, the same old way (so good they are, of course, keeping their clients satisfied)?
3. What are the real advantages (to the client) of your load calculation model?
With these elements covered, you may be in the fortunate position to truly disrupt the market through creative promotion/publicity. To do this:
1. Make sure your website is really good, include useful content, and make it search engine friendly; No need to spend a fortune to achieve these standards.
2. Consider media publicity -- strategize how you can "get press" in the local newspaper, magazine, radio and TV.
3. Design printed and collatoral materials which convey your advantages.
4. (Possibly) join your local HBA (renovators council) or similar organizations where practical networking and referrals can be generated.
5. If you are going to advertise (outside of internet keyword ads), proceed with caution -- don't expect a quick splash or instant results; and if the local media is small enough, insist on editorial with the advertising.
6. Use the testimonials from the first 1. above in your advertising/and/or in your marketing materials. Encourage people to check you out. Coupled with your unique model, you should be able to achieve position in the marketplace.

These are my 'theoretical' suggestions -- but I'm especially interested in observations from others here who may have experienced and overcome a similar challenge -- these are the stories I am especially interested in reporting on.

Last edited by Publisher1; 01-20-2008 at 12:17 PM.
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Old 01-21-2008, 02:55 AM   #6
 
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Re: HVAC Marketing/Fighting Against Reputation


Would it be possible for you to join one of the local associations related to the trade? As Publisher said, possibly join the National Association of Home Builders through your local chapter. Find out if they host social events and gatherings, this would allow you to mingle with the players in your market and spread your name to them. The building community is tight knit and many people have a short list of suppliers and don't change much. You'll want to gain entry into that circle.

Try to identify what differentiates you from your competition and figure out how this "advantage" will create value for your customer. Will your product be cheaper? Somtimes that alone will work. Will it save time? Time is money. Is the quality of work and product better? Will this lead to less future maintenance and repair?

Advertising like stated above is very important. Do you have a website? This is a MUST in my honest opinion. It's basically a digital brochure which you can put as much content as you desire on and update as frequently as you want without having to do reprints. Be sure to include your website address on everything.. fliers, business cards, paper brochures...

Another idea I have is to put a decal on your car with your company name and contact info on there. You know those decals that many college students put on their vehicle's rear windows? Something like that. Rear window is the best area I think because it's the area of the car that is the most noticed on the road and also when you're parked in parking lots assuming you don't back in to park. This again is just another tool of getting your name out there. All the little tools add up.

Hope you are successful,
StairJunkie

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Last edited by StairJunkie; 01-21-2008 at 03:26 AM.
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