Plumbing and Mechanical’s September Success Story From: Plumbing and Mechanical Magazine, Sept 2013
One would think 44-year-old John Gennaro is a baseball fan.
Gennaro is the owner of Tampa, Fla.-based Red Cap Plumbing, a 27-employee, 17-truck contracting firm that does primarily residential service work throughout Hillsborough County. His techs dress in baseball jerseys and red baseball caps that depict the company logo.
“I’m actually not a big baseball fan,” he says. “Our guys are dressed a little differently. They have the pinstriped jerseys with their own number on the back. The hats and jerseys make us stand out.”
Gennaro’s company hasn’t always gone by the Red Cap moniker. After working as a plumbing service tech for another company, Gennaro and his wife, Ann, started Plumbing Solutions of Tampa Bay. However, the couple soon discovered variations of that name were working their way into the market.
“Companies came in behind us with similar names and we had issues with callbacks. We were running callbacks for other companies,” he explains. “When I was on a call one day I was wearing a red ball cap. That led to my ‘Red Cap’ service guarantee and pretty soon customers were writing checks made out to Red Cap Plumbing. That’s when I decided to get a whole new look.”
The photos shown above feature one of the company’s new logo designs with the Red Cap signature hat exploding out from the side and back of a Ford E350 van with a Spartan box. Red Cap’s logos are designed by Shirley/Hutchinson CreativeWorks in Tampa and the wraps are produced by Sign Zoo.
“The best response we receive is from the exploding logo,” Gennaro says.
Gennaro is a big fan of the Ford service vans and the Spartan box. “That particular E350 van is great for our market here,” he says. “It’s bigger than a regular van and you can walk in it, but it’s still small enough to get in people’s yards and not take down trees. It gives our guys a nice working area.”
Red Cap’s advertising focuses on television commercials, billboards, direct mail and several forms of social media. The company, which has won numerous local service awards, is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year with a special website promotion, which includes opportunities to receive a Red Cap hat and to enter to win a gift card.
Gennaro adds that the company has greatly benefitted from its relationship with best practices group Nexstar. “We joined Nexstar a year-and-a-half ago and they have helped us refine our marketing,” he says. “We’ve almost doubled our revenue in that time. Nexstar gives us a good platform to work with.”
While the baseball hats and jerseys give Red Cap a distinctive look in the marketplace, superior customer service remains the No. 1 priority.
“Our only focus is on service,” Gennaro says. “We have a guarantee where we’ll basically ‘buy the tech’s cap back.’ If a tech doesn’t perform like he’s supposed to, we’ll pay the customer $100. We’ll do whatever it takes to make sure all our customers are satisfied.”