Case Study: J's Heating and Air Conditioning

Over the past few months, I’ve had the awesome opportunity to help out a small family business with their business identity marketing. It has been a fun ride and I hope to continue helping them with their services in the near future.

A Little History

J’s Heating and Air Conditioning is a small business located just several miles away from Philadelphia in Collingdale, PA. Although the business has been running since 2010, the owner, Jon, has had HVAC licensing since 2002. The small family aimed to assist local residents and commercial businesses with their heating and ventilation needs using honesty and efficiency - something that is hard to find in the saturated world of HVAC.

Challenges

As in any small business, there are few people with multiple hats trying to balance everything. Somewhere down the line, the marketing plan dwindled and the focus was on the business needs of the current customers. J’s has a great customer base but needed help in maintaining them and generating new residential referrals. However, their business cards were running low and their Facebook page was being neglected. Thus, they asked for my help in building a marketing program through my design.

Suggestions

I saw that the effort was there, but the execution wasn’t fully effective. The first order of business was researching other HVAC services in their area, the “competition” as it were, to see how they market themselves. There was an unfortunate discovery that another HVAC company with a similar name in the same area had bad reviews. I then noticed that they had a logo. My “aha” moment was realizing that J’s Heating and Air Conditioning needed a logo that distinguished them from other HVAC services with a “J” name in the area.

Logo

After a meet-up, the owners only asked that a thermometer be part of the design somewhere. I had free reign over the logo design and came up with this:

J's Heating and Air Conditioning Logo

Cool isn’t it? I figured because the owners usually abbreviated their company name to “J’s” that maybe something can be done with the apostrophe. The hot-red J and the ice-cold S signified their business motives - to make a place hot or cool again. After a couple of drafts, the owners wanted to add some detail to the J and S and suggested a flame and frost. Thus, the final result above.

Business Cards

Next was the redesign of the J’s business cards. Here’s a before-and-after:

J%27s+Business+Card+-+Before+%26+After

As you can see, the original business card was very text heavy and there was confusing messages between the text and little pictures. Who was this? What do they do? Where’s the logo? Why is the Facebook link so long? Lots of questions to answer.

Meanwhile, the redesigned single-sided second card is clean, shows the logo very clearly, more visual and there is no confusion of what kind of work they do. Even if you see the red-to-blue gradient, you can connect that to hot and cold, heat and cool, so it must have something to do with HVAC of some sort.

I wanted to make the logo stand out to be memorable and top-of-mind to customers. According to color psychology, red is the first color a person sees. So pointing out a red letter should make the customer’s eyes focus on the J, thus the full name.

I wanted to use a dark color for the text to make it “pop” above the colorful gradient. I did not want to use black since it can be so dramatic and stark in contrast. Gray was the color of choice because it was easy on the eyes and it can be connected to HVAC machinery which is normally gray. Ha!

Instead of pressuring all the text to the middle, I spread them out to follow the Z-formation.

Print Marketing: Machinery Tags & Magnets

The owner and head technician, Jon, sees so many heaters, boilers and the like everyday. He saw that prior companies who serviced the machines had left hanging tags with their information on it. He asked to have his own machinery tag and even a magnet as a gift for the customer to place on their refrigerators.

Both are memorable and provides helpful information about the company. It also serves as a basic reminder to use their services again in the future, which was the main focus of these pieces of marketing.

More Marketing & Design

From there, other forms of marketing came into fruition:

Yard Signs

To place in the lawns of residential customers during work periods. These promote to potential new customers while actual work is being done for a current customer.

J’s Yard Sign - Picture courtesy of J’s

J’s Yard Sign - Picture courtesy of J’s

J's Car Magnet - Before (top) and After (bottom)

J's Car Magnet - Before (top) and After (bottom)

Car Magnets

This was another form of promotion for potential customers driving, parked on a street or even walking down the street. An effective way to promote the business without spoken word. The car magnets were redesigned to match with the other collateral, in particular, the business cards.

Website and Social Media

J’s originally had a web domain that had expired and was taken by another “J”-named HVAC business. However, all of us agreed that using a shorter form of the domain name would be sufficient. Thus, jsheatandair.com came to life. From there, it was used on all marketing collateral, including a new website. The website consists of business history, current services, maintenance tips, testimonials, and a much needed email contact system that was organized to categorize each customer query.

Facebook and Yelp


These two were in conjunction with each other to provide helpful, heartfelt reviews about the business from new and current customers. Some of the testimonials from the website were repeated in these platforms in detail and even with pictures. Both also served as a place where residential and light commercial customers could come together and support J’s.

Results

Not only was the winter season busy, but it was super busy, almost overwhelming! The print marketing, business card referrals, social media and website proved very helpful to the small business. There was a 20% uptick of service to residential customers based off of these alone. The new email system proved valuable to distinguish general inquiries to actual services being performed. Also with the social media pages being updated, customers were more interactive with the business and its posts.

“Where was Denise all this time? If it wasn’t for her, J’s would not be where it is now. Our look is much more professional to our customers.”

- Jon and Lynn-Net Sowell, Owners of J’s Heating and Air Conditioning

All in all, J’s Heating and Air Conditioning is here to stay and aim to provide the best HVAC services in the greater Philadelphia area. With the advent of promotional marketing and a new branding identity, they are now distinguished from the others in their area. If you would like to know more about J’s, check out their website at jsheatandair.com or follow them on Facebook.