Luxaire Distributors got a preview of the company's marketing strategy from Sean Hall, Mark Ritz, and Doug Widenman (left to right).
SAVANNAH, GA — Forgive the folks at Luxaire, a division of York International, if they are feeling a bit “charitable” these days. They’ve got good reason to.

In a major effort to associate its brand name with caring and charitable organizations, Luxaire rolled out its plans for marketing its brand name to consumers in 2002. A big portion of the plan is its forthcoming partnership with one of the country’s most recognizable charities, the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

At a recent meeting, Luxaire distributors were given a preview of the plans by Doug Widenman, Mark Ritz, and Sean Hall. Each man presented an overview of the changes that will take place in the coming months.

The charitable partnership was greeted with enthusiastic support. In a nutshell, Luxaire is planning to make donations from the sale of Luxaire equipment to their dealer’s local branch of the Make-A-Wish Foundation. The premise of the charity is to help the wishes of terminally ill children come true. A child in each dealer’s geographic location will be identified and the money will go directly to that child’s “wish.”

The total minimum commitment to Make-A-Wish is $250,000.

Widenman explained the logic of choosing a charity to donate to. “We want to do things that are non-traditional,” he said. Widenman noted that since women make so many of the buying decisions in the home, it is natural to appeal to their needs and emotions. In the past, Luxaire had sponsored sporting events, which had more of an appeal to the male audience.

“Donating to Make-A-Wish provides an emotional connection between the dealer and the homeowner,” he said.

Luxaire distributor Michael Senter of ABCO Refrigeration is a big supporter of the effort. “The one area that would provide the biggest impact would be partnering with a charity,” he said.

“A portion of every sale would be to help a child who is terminally ill, which is an amazing closing to a sale. We are giving our own contractors something that will set them apart from everyone else.”

While its donation to Make-A-Wish will be a vital part of Luxaire’s 2002 advertising campaign, it is part of the overall plan to promote Luxaire contractors as a vital part their respective communties.

Mark Ritz said the Luxaire strategy is summed up in the company’s tagline, “Setting The Performance Standard.”

“We want to make sure we keep that message clear in everything we do,” he said.

The strategy touches on the product and on a message. The product will be characterized by “peak performance,” “performance plus,” and “high performance.” The message is “performance as promised,” with the promise to be “on time, on budget, and on our best behavior.”

“Do things for your dealers,” Widenman encouraged distributors. “Show them how to practice better business.

“We have tremendous offerings for our dealers. There’s a whole heck of a lot out there that is available to them. But you have to go out and sell this complete strategy to your dealers.

“We have momentum but we haven’t captured what we are after yet. The new Luxaire tagline is designed to do this as is our plan to play up each dealer’s position in their community.”

These new initiatives are designed to change the Luxaire brand direction in 2002, what Widenman cites as a “180-degree turn.”

“We want to change the image of our products and dealers. We don’t want to ‘add things’ to make a sale; we want to ‘add things of value.’”

One effort — the charitable donations to Make-A-Wish — highlights this new value-added approach in Luxaire’s marketing plans.

Publication date: 12/10/2001