How to advertise your plumbing business and achieve brand recognition
This case study is a great example of how to advertise your plumbing business, build a strong brand and generate word-of-mouth.
The Client: Thos. R. Birnie & Sons Ltd.
Hamilton’s most recognized plumbing company
Family owned and operated plumbing business
Thos. R. Birnie & Sons. is a family owned and operated plumbing business in Hamilton, Ontario with over 90 years of history. They are the perfect example of a thriving local business, with a great family history and a commitment to excellence. And, as any successful business, they are all about keeping their customers happy.
“I’ve had people come to me and tell me <<Your advertising is amazing!>> Go ahead and ask anyone in Hamilton if they’ve heard of 5Stinky and they will know exactly who you’re talking about. “
-Rob Birnie, President
Continue reading about the company here.
So how did they get their widespread popularity? How did they build their brand?
The Challenge: how to advertise your plumbing business in a way that people remember?
“How do you tell people what you do, simply?”
“Our brand was not consistent. We needed a simple message, something that would make the brand stick.” Rob explains.
The company had always done their own marketing and designs, which led to an inconsistent image across their marketing materials. What we found was the culmination of years of trying different strategies in the branding of their business.
The challenge was to find a way to summarize everything that Thos. R. Birnie & Sons does. We had to find a way to capture the essence of their brand and communicate it in a way that makes an impact.
“We needed our name out there. We needed recognition and we wanted to simplify the message.”
In other words, the company needed brand awareness. Their clients had to know precisely who they are and what they do. Not only that, but they had to create a message that would catch the immediate attention of their clients. They needed to differentiate themselves from the competition.
The Solution: “Gord helped us put it all together in a package.”
The essence: Family, pride in their history, capability, with a positive, upbeat attitude
After interviews with the companies’ three principals we designed a look that reflected the true culture of the company – family, pride in their history, capability and the positive, upbeat attitude they have in the daily running of their business.
A few issues came to light with the legal name of the business which was long (Thos. R. Birnie and Sons) and had the abbreviation of the name Thomas (Thos.). The other issue was the last name which could have easily been misspelled.The tagline 5 Stinky was then used to make it easier for customers to remember.
The plumbing company was soon partly referred to as “The Stinky People” as well as the formal name.
How to advertise your plumbing business on your service trucks:
“Gord helped us understand the fact that you don’t have to advertise everything on your trucks – that your name, what you do and your phone number are enough. Keep it simple. The trucks will drive traffic to the website for more information. ”
The company’s graphics, starting with the truck graphic, included the key pieces of logos, tagline and the contact information. This was accomplished by a red stripe in the form of a wave to represent flow as well as adding a dynamic to the graphic.
Integration: The key to brand building
“Everything flowed together.”
These marketing elements were then transferred to stationary, signage, sales brochures, direct mail pieces and the website. All elements of the graphic are consistent in their use which is essential in building brand.
Thos. R. Birnie & Sons then used their brand new look to advertise on TV, Yellow Pages and Newspaper.
The Results: “Our brand outdid our name.”
“Did we get sales? Yes. Did we get recognition? Yes. We achieved a streamlining of our brand. Arteest provides the type of marketing I need. When working with them, I have someone who to bounce ideas off of. Gord has always been going with my crazy ideas. Other marketing companies didn’t understand what we are trying to do. We want to keep our brand intact and keep the same theme.”
5Stinky quickly grew in popularity within the Hamilton area. Their trucks rapidly became one of the most recognized brands in town.
“I believe Gord raised the bar above my competition in the area. His work is clean, concise and professional. People know us.”
Why do you love working with Arteest Marketing?
“They bend over backwards. You’re confident that what you need gets delivered.”
A special thank you to Rob Birnie, President of Thos. R. Birnie & Sons Ltd.
Find out more about 5 Stinky at: http://www.5stinky.com
To wrap up the case study, here’s how to advertise your plumbing business – start with a solid foundation: your trucks, your logo and your tagline. Make sure your look is consistent! Next, transfer to all other marketing materials such as direct mail pieces. Lastly, focus on newspaper, radio and TV advertising.
If you’re not sure where to start, view our Small Business Branding Package – an integrated package for brand building.
Interested in learning more about small business branding solutions? This case study is part 4 of a 4 part series for small business owners. Read the other 3 parts here:
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