Have you been toying with the idea of rebranding your HVAC company? Maybe a customer mentioned that your logo looks outdated. Or you recently purchased the company and inherited a brand that doesn’t reflect your values or new services. Or maybe you just can’t stand the colors your partner picked out 20 years ago when you started the business.
Refreshing a stagnant brand can breathe new life into your company, boost your profits, and improve the quality of your leads. It’s not an exaggeration to say a unique, recognizable, professional looking brand is one of the best investments you will ever make for your business.
Not to say that rebranding is simple. Or easy, for that matter. It’s not. It's a major undertaking with a lot of moving parts.
However, if well executed, your new brand will tell your story and communicate your values. Over time, you’ll find you have more local brand awareness and word-of-mouth business. Your leads will begin to cost less as people search for you by name (instead of “furnace repair near me”), and because you look sharp, relevant, and appealing, you’ll attract higher quality talent. Company culture and retention will improve when techs understand your mission and feel good about the work they do.
And here’s a bonus: When customers perceive you to be a company that’s on point, you’ll be able to charge more.
Sounds pretty appealing, doesn’t it? The truth is, having a strong brand is the difference between looking like an industry leader or just a guy in a truck.
Grandpa Will Forgive You
I get it — your blood, sweat, and tears are wrapped up in your company. It’s personal. Letting go of your name/logo can feel like you’re losing a part of your very identity. You’re worried about upsetting your grandpa, who started the company 60 years ago. Or insulting your brother, who sketched your logo on a legal pad way back when you were working out of your garage. You’ve been told your SEO rankings will tank and your existing customers will be confused and jump ship.
Don’t allow fear or nostalgia to keep you from making wise business decisions. I assure you, Grandpa and your bro will forgive you when your profit margins increase exponentially. And customers will still be able to find you. Changing your online identity actually increases the number of opportunities you have to tell the web who you are. And yes, your website traffic will dip for a month or two, but if properly managed, it will rebound.
It's No Small Task
There are DBAs to be filed, bank accounts, and credit cards to update. Uniforms, van wraps, social platforms, and websites to convert. Marketing materials and signage. And you definitely want to make sure Google can still find you. You’ll need to align yourself with a quality HVAC marketing firm whose digital experts know how to get ahead of possible adverse effects.
Are You Ready?
If you’re tempted to redesign your company identity but are still on the fence, ask yourself these questions.
Did the ‘80s call and ask for their logo back?!?
Look at your logo with a critical eye. Is it old and outdated? Many HVAC logos were created before the internet was even a thing. They were never intended to be used on a website or on small devices. Your logo needs to work as well on a billboard as it does on an iPhone. If it doesn’t, it’s time for an update.
Are you hanging on to it for sentimental, instead of business, reasons?
Family is important, and a brand reboot may cause hurt feelings for a while. But you’re running a business, and successful businesses evolve with the times. Phone books were replaced by smartphones and there’s no going back. Onward and upward.
Are you adding services?
Adding a plumbing or electric department or smart home products should trigger a brand audit to ensure you are clearly communicating the services you offer.
Does it look like everyone else’s brand?
Sunshine and snowflakes. Red and blue. Flames and icicles. Why would you want to look like every other HVAC contractor out there?
Do your customers regularly confuse you with your competitors?
Not a good sign.
Are you using your last name?
Names can be hard to spell, search, and are not appealing to buyers when you’re ready to retire and sell the company. People who share your surname can end up in the news for nefarious reasons. Even if they’re not related to you, it can negatively impact your business.
Is it simply time for a change?
You've outgrown your brand. It doesn’t reflect who you are anymore. A partner left or a new one joined.
Are you having trouble finding techs?
Techs have more choices now that the labor pool is limited and demand is up. Quality techs want to work at a successful company with a positive company culture. They want to feel good about the uniform they wear and the trucks they drive. When employees feel like they are a part of something meaningful their performance will improve.
Are you considering retiring or selling the business in the next 5 to 10 years?
Ever heard of brand equity? If you’re planning on retiring someday, a strong, recognizable brand translates to a higher asking price for your company.
If you answered yes to one or more of these questions, then consider adding a strategic rebrand to your marketing calendar this year.
Rebranding your company is challenging and costly. But if your current company identity isn’t cutting it, the benefits of a brand reboot far outweigh the two to three months of inconvenience and expense.