Changing how customers view contractors is one of Kenneth D. Goodrich’s top goals as president of The Sunny Plumber. A 30-year veteran of the plumbing and heating industry, he started off helping his father, J. Duncan Goodrich, in his HVAC business, Racee Air Conditioning, and went from being the official flashlight holder to buying, growing and selling multiple companies — including his father’s.
In 2013, Goodrich purchased Rescue Rooter, a Phoenix-based company, and enlisted the support of a marketing group to determine a new name to promote the idea of a friendly company people would be happy doing business with. Thus, The Sunny Plumber was born.
Goodrich expanded the business into Tucson, Ariz.; Las Vegas; and Corona, Calif. All together it has 142 employees and 108 trucks, covering residential and commercial plumbing as well as HVAC service, repair and replacement under the name Honeybee AC.
Of the trucks, Goodrich says his top four would include the Nissan NV 2500 (pictured), Nissan NV 200, Ford E-350 and Ford Transit. “I like the new Nissans best because they are reliable vehicles and have a lot of today’s upgraded safety features, including Bluetooth and backup cameras,” he says. “Most importantly, they have a distinctive look. They are the public’s first impression and a good wrap communicates who we are.”
Goodrich also wanted the wrap to convey that his technicians had a sunny disposition. “I knew I wanted a new look, something completely different than the industry norm,” he notes. “We spent time determining the right colors and style for our name, logo and overall brand. We are striving to reinvent everything about our business, including how people perceive contractors.”
The wrap, designed by Dan Antonelli and his team from Washington, N.J.-based Graphic D-Signs, can be seen on the entire fleet. “It is important to have a consistent message to the marketplace,” Goodrich says. “Brand cohesion helps people recognize and remember your business. I wanted our trucks to convey professionalism, cleanliness and a friendly attitude.”
The company’s slogan, “Bright and sunny repairmen,” also was chosen to promote a cohesive brand and convey what the company is about. “We strive to implement the latest technology to help us improve our service experience with our customers,” Goodrich adds.
He hired the College of Southern Nevada to develop a training program to teach his plumbing and heating technicians how to interpret a person’s cognitive ability as he or she ages. The goal of the training is for technicians to be better equipped in determining whether they are talking to someone who can make a decision or if they should involve family members without offending them. “I think it’s one of the key issues we have with handling our baby-boomer or senior consumers,” he says.
A member of the Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors Association, Service Roundtable and Service Alliance, The Sunny Plumber offers 100% unconditional satisfaction guarantees, 24/7 emergency service and a 26-year warranty. The company’s internal “Positive Impact” campaign encourages employees to make a positive impact on its customers, fellow employees, industry and community.
“I am looking at reinventing our industry in all aspects — from branding concepts to the way we bring our product to the consumer,” Goodrich explains. “I am always looking for better ways to improve our processes. Our current innovation includes opening up a retail center with a storefront in a Whole Foods Market shopping center so people can feel free to walk in, ask questions and set appointments in person. This way, we become a friendly brand they know because of top-of-mind awareness.”
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This article was originally titled “First impressions” in the September 2015 print edition of Plumbing & Mechanical.