hall of fame
Alyssa Young

Learn why a nostalgic image works—and when it doesn’t

The first time a consumer with a broken pipe, clogged drain or busted water heater is hosed by a plumber whose service is less than stellar or pricing is unreasonable, that customer—and his or her friends and family who have heard the story—sets higher standards for hiring the next tradesman.

Negative experiences and perceptions make it more difficult for the entire service industry to succeed. That’s why a strong brand is crucial for a plumbing contractor who wants to grow business.

Benefits of Going Retro for Plumbing Branding

Retro branding conveys reliability and customer service—characteristics that consumers seek when they need emergency help or expect to make a significant investment.

A proven way to capture attention as a trustworthy, reputable craftsman is to go retro. Retro branding conveys reliability and customer service—characteristics that consumers seek when they need emergency help or expect to make a significant investment. A nostalgic look feels wholesome and comforting, so it instills confidence. Countering negative industry connotations, it says: “This company is going to take care of me.” That’s key for consumers when they have no hot water, their floor is flooded, or a bathroom or kitchen fixture is out of commission.

Retro branding also is unique in most markets. Since it’s not mainstream, it stands out and makes the company’s name and logo more memorable (especially among a sea of weak, nondescript brands). When a plumbing emergency strikes, it’s easier to recall.

Still not sure why retro works for plumbers? Here are three reasons to adopt an old-school image.

1. Emphasize Experience with a Retro Brand

When a company has roots, a nostalgic image helps emphasize its history. It shows consumers that it’s more established than other plumbers. Communicate longevity, because the fact that the business has been around for a very long time enhances its trustworthiness. Stability shows the company has been doing something right.

2. Create an Established Brand Image

A newer company can build its image around a great brand. A retro style suggests experience and continuity. If a plumber doesn’t necessarily have those characteristics yet, but delivers service like an established company, then perception becomes reality.

3. Customer-Focused Service

People appreciate personal service. It’s a characteristic remembered fondly about life in the 1940s, ‘50s and ‘60s that makes folks refer to that era as “the good ol’ days.” A brand that hearkens those values will win consumers’ affection. Hear it from Tim Miller, president of Prestige Plumbing, Heating & Cooling, whose brand we developed and implemented on the company’s website, vehicles and print collateral: “We offer standout service, and it’s important that our brand reflects that. Our retro-themed advertising is unique to the market and reminds consumers that we are skilled, friendly and focused on customer support.”

Browse our portfolio for other examples of retro brands that breathed new life into contractors’ businesses.

A retro brand isn’t the right fit for every plumber. When a plumbing contractor is focused on offering the latest technology, energy efficiency and innovative solutions, a modern, up-to-date look is more appropriate.

When a plumbing company brand does go retro, it’s important to deliver on the brand promise with every customer interaction. Earn the trust and positive reputation, and then enjoy the success that it fosters.

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