Articulate Your Advantage (Identity)

Shea / 18 February / Comments Off on Articulate Your Advantage (Identity) / 149


An air conditioning repair company I know of in Phoenix harnessed the power of their Identity and tripled the size of its business in less than a year. Articulate Your AdvantageBefore developing and articulating their Identity, the company had been guilty of running “me-too” advertising.  I told them they need to articulate your advantage.  Their website (where 40% of their business came from), 30% from direct mail, and 30% from the Yellow Pages had the company name plastered across the top in huge letters. Bullet points let everyone know that they provided 24-hour service, that they serviced most major brands, that they had 22 years of experience, etc.  Because everyone else’s website, direct mail, and Yellow Page ad said essentially the same thing, and since their marketing seemed to be relatively professional-looking, they were able to build a respectable business in spite of their me-too approach. Each year they were able to generate enough revenue to do the following:

  • Add a new truck or two to their fleet.
  • Keep their repairmen busy most of the time.
  • Generate a small profit for the owners.
  • Continue to market the way have.

What more could small-business owners ask for?
A lot more! The first step in developing their Identity was to determine what customers wanted most from an air conditioning repair company. In the 8-month long Phoenix summer, even a couple of hours without an air conditioner is sheer misery. Clearly, fast service was to be the premise for their Identity.

But everyone else already claimed to have fast service. Some companies even put FAST SERVICE in big headlines at the top of their website and ads. It wasn’t as if nobody else had ever figured out that being fast was important. The funny thing was that nobody else had ever figured out a way to say it in a way that would allow them to stand head and shoulders above the competition.  The next year they changed the copy on their website and ran a half page ad as usual (no additional expense), but changed the wording to say, “Because we have 58 repairmen on call 24 hours a day to man our 27 service trucks, we can guarantee that your home or business will be cool within 2 hours of your call – or there’s no charge for the repair.” And that was just the headline!

The rest of the ad went on to explain that if the crews were too busy to fix the unit right then, or if the repair would take longer than 2 hours, portable units would be brought in to cool the house at no extra charge until the repair was completed. Bottom line, the customer would be cool in a hurry, period.

The company put a lot of faith in their new Identity based on previous test results – they actually only had 17 repair trucks and about 40 technicians when they first placed the ad. They were counting on the ad to generate enough business to afford them the additional trucks and personnel.

The number of calls the revamped website and Yellow Page ad generated quadrupled in less than one month after the new book came out. More importantly, they were able to convert 50% of the calls into jobs – up from 38% before. Gross revenues soared, and new trucks were bought to keep up with demand. The end of the year profit for the owners was higher than they thought they would ever see.  The new articulation of their Identity “fast service” was the key element in the company’s turnaround. Obviously, other factors contributed as well, like the company’s underlying dedication to fulfilling the “big promise” of fast service. The company also employed several of the other techniques which will be discussed in this report.

The point is this: a simple re-articulation of the company’s Identity “fast service” increased their bottom line by over 425% with no additional advertising cost.

What else?  What are some more thoughts on articulating your Identity (advantage)?

Shea Ellison | Updated: 05/22/2015 | Categories: Strategic Planning