When a contractor is looking to make a splash in the market it most-often turns to its marketing efforts, where the logo and corporate colors can be changed to demonstrate a revitalized, high-impact presence. If it's done right name recognition grows, business grows, profits grow, and the company is on track for market dominance.
Looks like Quality Shopping Center Maintenance did it right. They redesigned their logo and introduced a highly recognized color scheme, and anyone living or working in the New Jersey/Staten Island market has probably seen and remembered the bright red, white, and blue construction equipment with the Twin Towers incorporated into the logo.
Michael Piazza, vice president and partner with Ted Albanese, president, says that as Quality Shopping Center Maintenance was reconsidering its marketing scheme, New York City underwent the attack on the World Trade Center and suffered the loss of almost 3,000 people. Everything came together at once – the company considering a new logo, new color scheme, and a desire to honor the people who died in the World Trade Center and demonstrate the patriotism the company felt for the country – and the direction was clear.
"We know quite a few people who were in the towers, and we know people who had friends and family in the towers. We wanted to do something to commemorate them," Piazza says.
So first they established a corporate color for equipment…white, which was soon followed by red and blue. Ever since 9-11 every unit Quality Shopping Center Maintenance puts in the field has a red, white, and blue color scheme. Even the contractor's wheelbarrows and light towers are painted red, white, and blue.
In addition, Quality Shopping Center Maintenance designed a new logo using the downed Twin Towers as the "L" and the "I" in "Quality." Plus, each piece of equipment flies Old Glory with the contractor's logo embroidered in the fabric of the flag.
"We're trying to set a precedent," Piazza says. "We're out there sweeping every day, our trucks are out there, and our maintenance vehicles are out there. We get so much eye traffic because of the red, white, and blue. Ever since we added the red, white, and blue color scheme business has just taken off."
Albanese and Benny Guzman do most of the painting, and trucks are painted when they're acquired and touched up or repainted on an as-needed basis. The contractor has its own spray shop on site, and stick-on letters and stencils are used for the intricate designs and logo. Piazza estimates it would cost between $2,500 and $4,000 to paint a piece of equipment in three colors.
In addition to painting the equipment, Albanese names many of it. Some of the monikers include the Liberator, Stars & Stripes, the Patriot, the Veteran and Old Soldier.
"They all thought I was nuts when I said I wanted the equipment painted in three colors, but they don't think I'm nuts anymore," Piazza says. "We really set the market for ourselves since we went to the new colors and logo."
Now a one-call contractor
Ted Albanese should give lectures in how to transform a business. He started the company in 1970 as trucking and excavating business, adding paving in 1973. He added parking lot sweeping and shopping center maintenance in 1985, and today does no trucking or excavating, instead concentrating on servicing the commercial customer.
"Until he brought me in Ted did everything," says Piazza, son-in-law to Albanese, also known as Cousin Vinny. "He was operations, mechanic, estimator, payroll, everything, but there's only so much one guy can do. When I came aboard that freed him up and now he has the time to do other things, which are helping us grow like we have."
Piazza says he is more an office-type where Albanese enjoys being out on the jobs. "We're a great team and it's a great team effort. We're hoping we can grow two times or even four times over the next few years.
"We view ourselves as a one-call contractor for shopping centers and that's how we want our clients to view us too," Piazza says.