I recently attended the AHR Expo trade show in Dallas. As always, some of the industry’s largest manufacturers and suppliers exhibited. One was called Big Ass Fan Co.

I recently attended the AHR Expo trade show in Dallas.

As always, some of the industry’s largest manufacturers and suppliers exhibited. One was called Big Ass Fan Co.

That isn’t a typo. People were talking about the name constantly.

The name created the buzz about the company. Attendees had to stop at the booth to see the “Big Ass Fans.” While there, they received information about the fans and whoopee cushions. Sales staff determined their likelihood of being a company client.

If you stopped by the booth on the first day of the show, you could have met William “The Refrigerator” Perry, a former offensive guard for the Chicago Bears. It was definitely a memorable experience. The company achieved its goal of standing out and being noticed by potential fan purchasers on a show floor full of competition.

My guess is that someone looked at their fans (and yes, they are big) and said, “That’s a big-ass fan.” The name stuck.

Contractors are not likely to forget the name. It’s bold. It’s descriptive. It’s memorable.

I am not suggesting that you use a similar name for your company. Many customers wouldn’t appreciate it. I am asking you to create something memorable to define your company.

By being memorable, your company’s name will stick in their brains and be easily recalled when they need your services.

For example, many years ago we created a radio campaign for a contractor in a highly competitive area. We had to get people’s attention with something memorable. We created the ads around “This great guy, Mike,” who really was one of the company’s better technicians. “Mike” started getting requested by customers and potential customers so we knew the advertisements were working. And Mike was requested months and years after the ads were no longer being aired. He became memorable.

To create something memorable, look at what you are really selling. It’s not heating and air conditioning. It’s the results of heating and air-conditioning products and services. You sell reliability, comfort, convenience, relief, peace of mind and many other emotions.

What does this really mean? The box or the part you install, maintain or repair is the least important thing you provide to customers. The most important? Ask your customers. My bet is they will give you one or more of the following answers:

3 Being here on time (reliability).

3 Explaining what is happening in words I understand (education and trust).

3 Fixing the problem right the first time (more reliability).

3 Being here when I need you (reliability yet again).

If reliability is your customers’ answer, put reliability into your marketing messages. Communicate that your company is reliable. Testimonials help. Stories, especially those written by the media of how your employees went out of their way to quickly take care of your customers’ needs also demonstrates reliability. Testimonials and media stories are better than your own words.

Your customers and potential customers will remember the stories far longer than a generic ad. You are communicating emotions rather than facts. Emotions and stories are memorable. A list of facts isn’t.

So what’s in a name? A lot - if it is memorable. Make sure you create a memorable name or message and “live” it. Your customers will create legends around your company and know exactly where to call when they need your services.

Copyright 2007, Ruth King. All rights reserved. Write to Ruth King, 1650 Oakbrook Drive, Suite 405, Norcross, GA 30093. Call (800) 511-6844; e-mail ruthking@hvacchannel.tv.