Steven Shapiro, owner of Lake Cook Plumbing, began working as an apprentice plumber under his father at his family-owned shop in 1982. Originally founded in 1954, the company was started by his grandfather, Wally Shapiro, who ran the company until the early 1980s when his father, Allan Shapiro, took the reins.
Upon his father’s unexpected passing in 2005, Steven Shapiro, for legal reasons, moved the company to the northern suburbs of Chicago and renamed it Lake Cook Plumbing — reflecting the two primary service areas: Lake and Cook Counties.
“I had one advantage as a start-up company — although I could not keep the original name, I was fortunate enough to keep most of the customer base,” Shapiro says. “Unfortunately, success didn’t come easy. In 2013, I was at my wits end and ready to close the doors for good.”
A co-worker suggested he find a training program for the technicians and staff. After seeing an ad for the Nexstar Network, Shapiro decided to give the group a call.
With the help of Susan Kimball, Nexstar marketing coach, and the design staff at Sign Zoo, Shapiro and his wife, Kim, began the rebranding process. At the same time, Shapiro bought two Isuzu trucks — a 2006 Isuzu Diesel NPR and a 2007 Isuzu Diesel NQR — both with 14-ft. long Hackney truck bodies. “We wanted a more personal, less industrial image to convey a sense of family and home,” he explains. The wraps include a new company logo, which was designed at the same time as the truck wraps by Kimball, Shapiro and his wife, utilizing the design service Logo Tournament.
Shapiro chose Isuzu for its reliability, tight turning radius, roominess and comfort. The shelving inside has been customized for a plumbing setup, but also allows for quick and simple reconfiguration to suit the changing needs of the service and repair plumbing company. In addition, custom ramps were added to the trucks to allow for easy loading and unloading of larger items.
When designing the sides of the truck, Shapiro wanted to include the new logo, a house and a family — something easy on the eyes that would allow people to easily identify with the company. The family currently on the side is a stock photo. Having recently purchased a third Isuzu with the same Hackney box, Shapiro plans to change the family on the side of the new truck to be a picture of his younger sister, Heather Cox; her husband, Brett; and their three children.
For the back, he wanted to make an impression. “The ones who will spend the most time viewing the trucks are the folks driving behind them,” he says. “We wanted to list the services we provide, as well as something fun and memorable. The Egbert image filled the bill perfectly.”
With 10 employees and six trucks, the company now focuses on residential and commercial plumbing with an emphasis on service and repair. When in a home working, the technicians receive many requests from neighbors for literature about the company and for future services.
“We love our new logo, brand and trucks,” Shapiro says. “We never realized the number of decisions that would go into finalizing this design, but wow, was it fun! The day the new trucks rolled out of our warehouse, fully wrapped and stocked, was a proud day for our company.”