Air Mechanical Case Study

AMI Case History

AIR MECHANICAL

SOULO CASE STUDY

A REIMAGINED BRAND WITH NEW OPPORTUNITIES FOR ENGAGEMENT

 

airmechanical.com

OVERVIEW

Air Mechanical is one of the leading HVAC companies in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area. SOULO has worked with them for over a decade. Air Mechanical has had the same brand identity since its founding in 1985. While their brand presence has been effective in helping the company succeed, the leadership at Air Mechanical believed there was an opportunity to freshen its identity to better represent the full range of their services. The reimagined brand needed to resonate with the existing customer base as well as a new audience of Millennials.

OVERVIEW

Air Mechanical is one of the leading HVAC companies in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area. SOULO has worked with them for over a decade. Air Mechanical has had the same brand identity since its founding in 1985. While their brand presence has been effective in helping the company succeed, the leadership at Air Mechanical believed there was an opportunity to freshen its identity to better represent the full range of their services. The reimagined brand needed to resonate with the existing customer base as well as a new audience of Millennials.

CHALLENGE

Air Mechanical’s brand promises, such as high-quality service, reliability, trustworthiness, and a no-nonsense/get-it-done company culture had to be elevated. We also wanted to understand the key visual equities of the brand, and ensure it was communicated to customers. The new identity was to be utilized across a wide range of channels, including vehicle wraps, invoices and other printed materials, promotional materials, and an industry-leading advertising campaign. We knew we had to get it right.

PROCESS

We considered the visual brand equities the most important components of creating a new identity. We started with creating a master brand that would embrace all of Air Mechanical’s key service areas but maintain enough flexibility for new initiatives. It was important to show how the logo and brand identity could evolve into fresh new territories, while also retaining the key visual equities that drive brand recognition and affinity.

DESIGN FRAMEWORK

Using SOULO’s Logo Brand ID Design Process and Innovation Spectrum, we asked Air Mechanical to help determine how “close-in” or “far out” the design exploratory process should be. Throughout the project, it was determined the brand was in the future while also anchored in the past. The brand rested at an “8” on the scale below.

CONSUMER INPUT

The key positioning: Air Mechanical is taking care of your home mechanical needs, so you have time for your family.

Air Mechanical and SOULO had to be certain that this new brand would be appealing and not disruptive to current customers with strong loyalty to the brand. Consumer research (qualitative focus groups) was conducted to verify that the new approach represented a step in the right direction, reflecting both Air Mechanical’s core equities as well as the customers’ own experiences with AMI. Consumers embraced the new identity enthusiastically.

BRAND ARCHITECTURE

Beyond creating a master brand, AMI needed a system that showed their service areas and could be conveyed clearly and contextually. We created a simple, easy-to-understand system that identified the service areas with meaningful and relevant icons and colors, consistent with the overall brand identity. The colors tied directly back to the logo and each service area would have a mini-toolbox of assets that could be used in any instance where the brand was used.

 

INTEGRATED COMMUNICATIONS CAMPAIGN

Creating a new brand identity requires an integrated multi-channel advertising campaign to build rapid awareness of the new identity. Individual service areas convey the key benefits and reasons-to-believe for consumers. The campaign also provides educational content to promote Air Mechanical’s expertise. SOULO’s process included:

  • Profile Key Customer Segments and how receptive they were to different types of advertising messaging and media.
  • Create a wide variety of advertising communications (from direct mail to billboards) that reached Air Mechanical’s customer targets on a broad basis as well as a 1:1 basis.
  • Reflect the knowledge and expectations of AMI’s customers. The rich database of customer knowledge allowed SOULO to identify the key wants and needs of their different segments and provide the right content at just the right time.
  • Develop a digital content capability for the brand that can speak to single topics within the company’s service areas and enable a speed-to-market approach for timely message delivery.

WORK CREATED FOR AMI INCLUDES:

After creating and rolling out the new brand identity, SOULO created an advertising campaign for the AMI brand as well as smaller, focused campaigns for each service area. This helped the AMI team shift easily from talking about the broad solutions AMI provides its customers to discussing how AMI can solve specific problems.

This message spoke both to someone who needed one company to handle all the mechanical maintenance of a large building and to a person who just had a clogged drain. This keeps both the AMI brand and the specific service area identities relevant to every audience. It also helps AMI talk to their customers in a way that resonates with them and their needs. Furthermore, these campaigns reinforce AMI’s position as experts, helping strengthen their relationship with their customers.

RESULTS

A strong brand identity relaunch campaign helped elevate the brand, both with current and potential customers. It also broadened AMI’s appeal by referencing all of their services, including air conditioning and heating systems, smart home installation, plumbing, and electrical.

Throughout the brand relaunch, AMI experienced strong demand. The right-place, right-time rollout kept Air Mechanical front-and-center, re-introducing their look to existing customers and expanding their appeal to new customers. Having an updated look that matches their quality work and vision for the future, AMI’s phone continues to ring off the hook.

We are proud to have played a part.

We had been working with SOULO for years, so when we started discussing a rebrand they were a natural starting point. Our company had grown from a Heating & Air Conditioning company to a full service Plumbing/Electrical services company. We needed to let our customers know what we offered as well as freshening up our name and logo to reflect our growth.

We learned a lot about everything that goes into this process in the initial discovery meetings – way more than we imagined! The SOULO team walked us through the steps to develop a rebranding plan. When we hit stumbling blocks or weren’t comfortable, we had constructive conversations with the SOULO team to find solutions that ultimately led to an improved outcome. SOULO performed market research with our current customers to help define how they saw our original branding and public image vs. how we saw ourselves. This was the launching point that drove the brand redesign’s goals (largely to incorporate our full range of services).

During the process we wanted to be sure we were on the right track, so we asked for and SOULO facilitated a couple small focus groups, during which we gained confidence that we were doing the right thing for our business, customers, and our brand moving forward.

Since the launch (September 2019) we have seen resoundingly positive results. Our employees are proud to wear our brand, and our customers are more keyed-in to our full services. We have become more recognizable to the public at large. I would recommend the SOULO team for anyone that wishes to improve their business.

–Ross & Julie Erickson  /  Owners-Air Mechanical

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