Many of us know first-hand the power of a brand name, especially in the home improvement industry. Gutter Helmet is one of those names – and Harry Helmet, based on the East Coast, is one of their largest dealers, with offices in 10 major metropolitan areas.
We recently checked in with Delphin Thebaud, owner of Harry Helmet, to see how his leads were performing. They got to talking about the Gutter Helmet name, Harry Helmet’s growth and how something as small as a caricature can have a massive impact on a company. What started as a check-in evolved into a deep and interesting conversation about brands, growth and the future.
We found the conversation so compelling; we’ve decided to share it:
Delphin, why did you choose to be a Gutter Helmet dealer?
My father was one of the first three dealers when Gutter Helmet started over 30 years ago – we are now a second-generation dealer. Outside of Maryland, New Jersey, North Carolina and Massachusetts, the Gutter Helmet name was virtually nonexistent. Since we’ve started with the product, we’ve grown to more than 200 counties in more than 14 states. Gutter Helmet is now our core product line.
How have you differentiated yourself from other Gutter Helmet dealers?
We use our brand logo to differentiate ourselves – our Harry Helmet caricature has been our unique identifier for 25 years. It dictates our culture and spirit as a company: service, integrity, respect and teamwork.
There is typically a lot of brand confusion with Gutter Helmet, many companies use the same websites. We’ve built a strong online presence through our own colors and images. Harry Helmet backs up what Gutter Helmet does, it builds on an already excellent reputation – it’s like a mascot for a sports team.
I love that you linked the caricature to the culture and spirit of the company. Talk to me a bit about your growth. How long did it take you to grow Harry Helmet to 14 states?
Our most explosive growth has been in the last 10 years. We went from 3 markets to 10 major metropolitan areas.
That’s amazing. How did you decide which areas to expand to?
We looked at economic conditions, primarily — house prices, future growth prospects, age of housing in the area, demographic changes. Weather is also another factor – the location must have four seasons throughout the year. That is typically conducive to a harsher weathering on the exterior of homes.
Makes sense. What marketing tools and strategies have you used to help grow Harry Helmet?
We’ve implemented a CRM system and marketing tools that help us automate and improve our conversion from a lead generation standpoint — everything starts in our business as a lead. Our focus is converting that lead to a happy customer.
That’s the name of the game.
What’s important is that we never do the same thing over and again. Whether that’s TV commercials, radio scripting, financing offers, creative or mixing up our market spend strategy. We always try to put a different spin on it with the end goal of double-digit growth.
If you were to give yourself one piece of advice when you were first starting out, what would it be?
Never take any sale, small or large, for granted. Winning over a homeowner’s trust is the most important thing in this business, whether that is a small or large job. It’s the passion behind our people.