The following story can be found on Matt Michel’s blog: comanchemarketing.blogspot.com.
In 2002, Texarkana contractor, John Price rebranded his company. After a trip to Maui, he changed his company name from "Price Service Company" to "Aloha Aire."
The new name spoke to the market about island breezes, comfort, and paradise. It promised benefits.
Changing a company name is not a casual move. If the existing name has equity in the market, the move should be made slowly.
John's decision was easier because his company was relatively new. He established it just seven years earlier. Plus, he put more effort into building equipment manufacturer brand equity over those seven years than in building equity for his own company's brand.
If John had 70 years of local presence rather than seven, he probably would have hesitated more. As it was, he didn't have much to lose.
Still, John proceeded methodically. He sought the council of friends who owned businesses. For months, he and his wife Marilyn considered the change. Then, he acted.
John launched Aloha. At first, he tried to operate both old and new brands, but quickly dropped that idea. Marilyn drafted a letter to existing customers explaining why the company was making the move.
If nothing else, employee and owner enthusiasm for the new brand won the day. They were excited and got the customers excited. Over time, the Aloha brand has grown and established a position.
Aloha Aire is a fun brand. Technicians wear Hawaiian shirts with embroidered company logos. Reach John's voice mail and he answers, "Aloha."
In time, John dropped the manufacturer identity entirely and focused exclusively on the Aloha brand. Today, he's even branded his own line of heating and air conditioning equipment through the Retail Contractor Coalition.
Shortly after rebranding, Aloha Aire's local brand awareness began to exceed Price Service Company's brand awareness. It's continued to grow by leaps and bounds. This shouldn't be a surprise. Look at the trucks.
If the shipping company DHL could build a national brand awareness of 60% by 2007, largely on the basis their fleet of delivery vehicles, how much brand awareness can John build for Aloha? Certainly it's more than he built when the Price Service Company brand was subordinated to an equipment manufacturer's brand.
Aloha's brand promise is "Come home to paradise." And the company delivers.
Matt Michel is the CEO of the Service Roundtable. He welcomes your social media connections on Facebook, Linked In, Twitter, his Comanche Marketing blog, or you can simply email him or call him at 877.262.3341.