Extra Edition / Business Management

Take the Orville Redenbacher Approach to Marketing

June 7, 2010
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Orville Redenbacher’s gourmet popcorn is one of the most popular popcorn brands in the United States. In fact, it is one of the most recognizable and popular brands of any product. Due to the company’s television advertising campaign, using the folksy Mr. Redenbacher as spokesperson, the brand quickly blossomed and stood out from the pack.

Redenbacher personally stood behind his products. In one of his ads about his popcorn, he stated, “You’ll taste the difference or my name isn’t Orville Redenbacher.” He let the public know that, with his name on the product, he was personally guaranteeing that it was quality popcorn.

Back in the early years of my marketing communications career, I did some advertising work for a gentleman, also named Orville, who likewise personally stood behind his products. He owned a small humidifier manufacturing company and every one of his print ads included his signature. Whatever claims we made in those ads, his signature indicated that he was standing behind them. You weren’t just buying a product from an impersonal corporation, you were buying a product from a real, live person.

HVAC contractors can take a cue from Redenbacher, and from that small humidifier company owner that I once worked for. In the marketing of your company’s brand, you might consider stepping front and center and let consumers know that you personally stand behind your company’s products and services. In your advertising, your sales brochures, your direct mail, your website - everything you do to promote your brand - let consumers know who you are and that you’re the person guaranteeing their satisfaction.

I know that some HVAC contractors already take this approach in their TV and radio advertising. They serve as the spokesperson for the company. But I would recommend that you extend that approach to all your marketing efforts and put a consistent name and face on everything. Put your signature on your print ads. Put your photo and signature in your sales brochure and on your website. Put a video of yourself on your website highlighting your company’s services.

The Orville Redenbacher approach may be corny (pun intended) but it worked, and it’s still working today. People relate to people, not to companies. They like to see a person standing behind their new, or newly repaired, HVAC system, not just a warranty certificate. That person inspires more confidence in the product.

I know I was very impressed by that small humidifier company. The personal approach really does stand out.

Before joining the editorial staff of The NEWS in 1996, Greg Mazurkiewicz worked in public relations and advertising for more than 20 years. In this periodic series of articles, he shares some of his expertise in the field of marketing communications.

Publication date: 06/07/2010

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