Reaching new heights

Sunday, November 30, 2008

LOUISVILLE, Ky.--Premier HomeCare’s branding campaign reached lofty heights this year when the provider lent its name and logo to a hot air balloon.

“What’s more eye-catching and impressive than a hot air balloon,” said Wayne Knewasser, public relations officer.

The 80-foot tall red, white and blue balloon is actually owned by Premier’s vehicle fleet manager, Roy Stinson, who is also a pilot. The company’s logo is printed on a Velcro banner that is attached to the balloon for events. Premier compensates him out of its advertising budget for time and travel.

So far, the balloon has made appearances at the grand opening of Premier’s newest location in Richmond, Ky., and a few community and healthcare-related charity events. The company occasionally raffles off drawings for rides.

Premier, which focuses on respiratory and DME, doesn’t have a large retail business and getting the company’s message out to the community requires thinking beyond the yellow pages, said Knewasser.

When developing a brand, says consultant Chris Kast, there are several key points a company should consider: Who am I; why am I; what do I offer; and why do I exist for my customers?
“When the customer sees X Medical’s brand, they don’t just see a walker,” said Kast, a principal with Kast Marketing in Portland, Maine. “They see a company that provides a sense of greater mobility and independence.”

So far, it seems to be working, said Knewasser. The balloon’s presence has already been requested at a community event scheduled for April 2009.