Marketing an HVAC company is a continuous process that, by its nature, is never finished. Whether it’s the season of the year or the state of the economy, internal and external factors will shape the way you promote your business to your target audience. However, there is one facet of your marketing strategy that should remain constant: Your business may grow and your customer base may evolve, but your core message will stay the same. Read on as we explore the most compelling ways you can communicate your business’s message to the world.
WHY IS A CORE MESSAGE SO CRITICAL?
Do you know what your core message is? This may seem like a simple question, but it can be surprisingly hard to provide a simple, honest answer. Well, let’s start with examining the meaning of “core message”. Think of your core message as the “theme” of your business, or the “It Factor”. If you had to define your business’s purpose in a few words, you would eventually discover its core message. The core message is how you would describe your company to your customers if you were only allowed to use the same sentence each time. It’s the sum of all your values, strengths, and differentiating attributes that set you apart from your competitors. When viewed this way, we like to think of it as your “USP”, or Unique Selling Proposition. What do your customers need to know to choose you over the competition? That’s your core message. This message should resonate throughout your marketing strategy. It should inform all your promotional efforts, whether implicitly or explicitly.
HOW TO CONVEY YOUR COMPANY'S CORE MESSAGE
Your USP should be the subtext of everything you communicate to your customers, whether it be advertisements, blogs, or an informational webpage. But how do you convey a core message to your customer base? Well, that depends on what the message is. In general, most HVAC company USPs fall under three broad categories: Trust, Value and Fixed Now.
TRUST: THE EMOTIONAL APPEAL
This is perhaps the most powerful way to attract consumers to your business. As humans, we’re guided by our emotions, and the way we feel greatly affects the choices we make. This is particularly true in the world of HVAC. The success of your business depends on the trust that you cultivate between your company and the people you service. As a result, pulling back the curtain and relating to your customers on a personal level is a great way to strengthen that connection. Are you a family business? Have you served the same community for decades? Is there a charity you’re passionately involved in? Does your company focus on green, environmentally friendly comfort solutions? Be vocal about what drives you, and consumers will identify with and gravitate towards your business. If trust is a major part of your core message, social media is critical to your marketing strategy. Social media allows consumers to get to know the people behind your company, reinforcing the sentiment conveyed through your core message. In addition, blogs provide an excellent space to illustrate your company’s USP. Choose topics such as “5 Tips to Save Energy and Reduce Your Carbon Footprint” or “Jones Heating & Air: Serving Our Community for 50 Years” to build a bond with your audience.
VALUE: WHAT ALL CONSUMERS WANT
While trust is important, there is a significant demographic that considers value above all else when choosing an HVAC provider. If your business satisfies their needs, then your core message is simple: “We provide the maximum value for HVAC services in our area”. Of course, you must be able to back up a core message centered on value. Today’s HVAC customer will use any and all resources available on the internet to make an informed, shrewd decision as to which contractor is most valuable to them. Furthermore, if they don’t believe your value lives up to your core message, they’ll make sure the world knows it via online reviews. Remember that value isn’t synonymous with low-priced. You want to maximum your customer’s perceived value so they feel their dollars have been well spent. Excellent HVAC service at a moderate price is much more valuable than mediocre service at an “unbeatable price”. If you offer more value than your competition, then all you need to do is spread the message far and wide. TV, radio and digital ads all reach large customer bases in various geographic areas. Whether your focus is quality service or unbeatable HVAC repair coupons, the goal is maximum exposure.
FIXED NOW: THE SIMPLE, EFFECTIVE MESSAGE
At the end of the day, people want fast, reliable HVAC services. Marketing for contractors is all about raising “top-of-mind awareness” among customers. Nonetheless, the fact remains that many consumers only think about HVAC when they need repair. They want their furnace or air conditioner “fixed now”, plain and simple. If your company excels at quick response time and efficient repair, then fixed now should be at the heart of your core message. Your slogans and taglines should be phrased to reflect this USP. In addition, promote preventative maintenance plans which offer priority or emergency HVAC service to preferred customers. Prompt service is one of the most effective USPs an HVAC contractor can boast.
The three tenets of Trust, Value and Fixed Now provide an intuitive, straightforward template to help you craft your business’s core message. However, they also serve as guideposts for a healthy HVAC company. While you may find that your USP mostly aligns with one of these principles, the fact of the matter is that you need all three in order for your business to be successful. Promoting quick service is a great way to attract customers, but if they don’t feel a sense of trust with your company, or their perceived value is low, they won’t be coming back. Broadcast your strengths, but make sure your whole house is in order.
Once you determine your core message, the rest of your marketing plan will fall into place. In fact, you may even discover a direction that breathes new life into your business! Identify your USP, craft a distinct core message, and customers will gravitate towards your company.