LAS VEGAS - At perhaps the most important meeting in the history of International Comfort Products (ICP), several hundred people gathered for a distributor meeting in early November 2005. The purpose of the meeting was to bring principals from the North American distribution companies, representing all five ICP brands, to unveil a complete new product line of split, package, furnace, and indoor air quality (IAQ) equipment.

The event began with an outdoor reception at the Green Valley Ranch Resort and Spa, with a view of the Las Vegas Strip. After ICP President Herman Kling teased the audience with information about the coming attractions, the distributors spent the next full day in breakout sessions with their respective brands: Arcoaire®, Comfortmaker®, Heil®, KeepRite®, and Tempstar®. Each session highlighted 97 new model series, a complete line of newly developed launch materials, stronger warranty programs, and additional advantages in customer service programs.

Kling told the distributor audience that after the owners received the launch information first-hand in Las Vegas that ICP would once again hit the road with its popular Victory Tour to concentrate on the dealer message. He estimated that the tour would touch more than 4,500 North American dealers in the following three months. ICP also hosted more than 800 distributor sales, marketing, and technical personnel for a series of 2006 product launch meetings in Nashville during the week of Dec. 12-16, 2005.

The company initiated the Victory Tour concept earlier in 2005 as part of ICP's transition to the new world of 13 SEER energy-efficiency standards. Though the company had already been selling high-efficiency products to its dealer networks, the educational tour was seen as a necessary preliminary ingredient to a successful transition for all its channel partners. The 2006 Victory Tour will visit 45 cities between Jan. 9 and the beginning of the peak cooling season.


Lisa Townley, director of marketing for ICP, discussed the company's popular no-hassle product warranties. She was met with applause several times as she detailed the particular warranty programs for various products, and particularly upon the announcement that 2006 product launch kits would be sent to distributor locations at no charge, a change from recent years.

A resounding theme during the two-day meeting was the benefits list associated with the ICP line of products: tough, quieter, easier to install, easier to service, and easier to sell. As evidence of the "easier to ..." concept, Townley informed the audience that after ICP research had found that more than half of consumers never received color literature from dealers, the company is now making it easier by also providing sales literature on consumer Websites. In addition, an enhanced new consumer Website and new advertising materials will be available to assist distributors and dealers in the selling process.

The company expects consumer financing to become much more important as the installed cost of systems rises an average of $1,000. With the increased cost, ICP executives expect the warranty to become an even more important part of the puzzle, as consumers ask for more protection for their investments.

See your local distributor for more information.

Publication date: 01/30/2006