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Founded in 1950 by the Sennett family in Schenectady, N.Y., Central Plumbing and Heating Supply Co. (www.centralplumbingandheating.com) has been serving upstate New York’s Capital Region for more than 70 years. Today, the plumbing and heating distributor is owned and operated by the third generation of Sennetts.
For the past 20 years, Central Plumbing and Heating Supply has focused on cultivating a wide range of high-quality kitchen and bath products from top-name brands. Its emphasis is on displaying the latest items in its 10,000-square-foot showroom built in 2006 to give consumers a realistic impression of how these products will appear in their own homes. The new building also houses 40,000 square feet of storage space, and a plumbing and heating parts counter.
“Being a longstanding fixture in the community, most of our business was derived by word of mouth,” says owner Mark Sennet. “However, national retail chains [such as] Home Depot and Lowes have made significant investment[s] into their online presence. We found it necessary to bring ourselves into parity by promoting what we do best — selling a superior quality product with superior service.
“Our overarching strategy is to educate the consumer about the advantages an independent wholesaler such as Central Plumbing and Heating Supply has over [big-box] retail.”
Company management knew they needed to get the word out about marketing. Working closely with Kariann Morris, CEO of MadAddie Marketing (www.madaddiemarketing.us), the distributor created a new website and video content to educate people on the differences between the quality of the products it carries and the benefits of its kind of customer service it offers over the big brands.
The new website has an extensive knowledge basis to help educate people. It includes an FAQ page, intellectual industry articles, educational videos of products, showroom videos and photos, video customer testimonials and live interviews of industry experts. The team also created new social media accounts on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube and LinkedIn.