Publisher Terry Tanker spoke with Chad and Veda Terrinoni owners of Hummingbird Heating and Cooling Syracuse NY, one of our winning entries in the HVACR Business Tops in Trucks Fleet Design contest. The three discussed renaming the company, deciding on new designs, logos, and branding as well as the cost, time, and effort that has gone into the project.
1. How did you get started in the HVAC industry?
I had a rental property, and I was trying to troubleshoot the furnace via YouTube, and I liked the challenge of it. I saw my buddy on TV doing a commercial for his HVACR company. When I couldn't figure it out, I called him. He ended up selling me a furnace. I watched and even helped him install it. Then, I ended up going to work for him.
2. How did you start your company?
I’ve always been a bit of a hustler. After I had some experience, I decided I would do side jobs at night or on weekends. I got a URL called 247HVAC. I thought I could work with my buddy during the day and then do my stuff at night. That’s how I came up with the name 247HVAC.
3. What did your friend think about you doing side jobs?
I was upfront with him. He knew and was okay with it. I’d bring him with me on jobs if I thought it was going to be too much for me.
4. How long did you work for him?
I worked for about two years before I went off on my own. I wasn't a great HVAC tech. I knew I needed to learn more which I did by hiring some great installers who taught me a lot – sheet metal work too. And I went to school and got certified and licensed. I worked for about ten years before I decided to try and scale the business because by then I thought I had all the necessary skills.
5. You recently rebranded the company, why?
Initially, it was just going to be a logo redesign of our company name 247HVAC. It was my life for many years. I was literally ready to work 24/7. If you had a problem, and you called me I'd come to you no matter what. I would leave Christmas morning, I'd go Thanksgiving, I didn't care. If my phone rang, I was coming to you and that was my motto.
6. How did you move from a logo redesign to a rebrand?
I spoke with a lot of people. One of them was Amanda Triolo at Grasshopper one of your Tops in Trucks runner-ups from last year. I really like her design. It was so different. We hired a designer and talked through the pros and cons and available options. I decided a rebrand made sense.
7. Was it difficult to let go of your former name 24/7 HVAC?
It was an emotional transition to let go of our name. We had that name for over 10 years. Everybody knew us by that name. Thinking back, it was terrifying to take such a big step. We realized the size of the investment to rebrand the entire company not only monetarily but in time, effort, stress, and workload. And then there are the things you don’t know. Changing information on bank accounts is a recent one we didn’t think of.
8. Can you describe the creative process for changing your name?
We had several meetings about our company, values, views, and operations. We also discussed other brands and designs we liked. The designer came up with six or seven names and designs for us to select from.
9. How did you settle on Hummingbird?
During this process my wife and I bought a house, the owner had all kinds of bird feeders in the backyard, and we started watching them. It all started to make sense. The Hummingbird is hyper and speedy, and that would be a good description of my personality too! We also did a poll and found out Hummingbirds just make people happy, and the name is easy to remember. Once we decided on the name the design was developed and we loved it.
10. Congratulations on the effort! How does it feel to be a Tops In Trucks winner?
It feels like the investment, and long hours of branding work have all been worth it and are starting to pay off.
11. How many vehicles have the new design in your fleet?
Currently, we have 5 wrapped, a Mercedes Sprinter, Nissan NV200, Nissan NV200, Toyota Prius, Nissan NV2500
12. When was this design implemented?
We started to implement the design in December 2022, and it was officially launched in March 2023.
13. What type of investment did you make for the entire rebranding effort?
It will be more than $100k once everything is complete. We changed everything.
14. Have you seen a return on this investment?
Not yet, it’s too early to tell, but based on the number of calls we’ve had from people noticing our fleet and now, being named a Tops in Trucks Fleet Design Contest winner, I think it’s safe to say this is going to pay off huge for us.
15. How, have customers responded to your fleet design?
The initial feedback has been amazing. There have been so many local people reaching out to us to let us know they noticed our vehicles driving to and from service appointments.
16. How have your employees responded?
They are very excited about driving around. They talk about all the heads that turn and how the vehicles stick out in traffic. We’ve become the talk of the town in a short period. It’s been very exciting to experience.
17. What do you think is the most important element of your fleet design?
Definitely the bright colors and how well people relate to the “Hummingbird” name.
18. Is there anything you would do differently?
Not one thing!!!!
19. What is the length of time this effort has taken?
It’s been about eight months in total.
20. What is the next step?
We’re going to invest in advertising the new brand. We’re just coming off a very busy heating season and we’re gearing up for the cooling season and that will include a big advertising push for the new brand.