Ringing in the New Year- Part II

Continued from Ringing in the New Year- Part I

If you’ve read Ringing in the New Year- Part I, we left off by explaining that as a company we had come to the realization that after over 100 years of doing business in Maine and having a thriving customer base, there was still a fairly significant aspect of our business that needed to be addressed- the way in which people perceived our company.

Now, just to be clear, we’re not talking about changing negative perceptions about us in the marketplace. If anything it was quite the opposite.

From what we could observe part of the problem may have actually been that we had been so entirely focused on taking care of our new & existing customers, that we paid very little attention to our message that we consciously or unconsciously told our public- the story of who we actually are. In other words we didn’t properly manage our own image.

What’s in a Name?

The real problem lied in the fact that there was still a great deal of customers in our own backyard that didn’t truly understand the full scope of service that Ward Water (known by most of those customers as Ward Plumbing) specialized in.

For so many years we had been known as Ward Plumbing. A great deal of our customers from the earlier generations had simply thought of us as “who you called anytime you had a plumbing issue”- this in turn had been passed down to future generations and other friends & family members. In a sense, it became sort of a self imposed stereotype.

It was a name that had been so well known and set in place for so many years that we never even really gave any thought to it- it was just who we were!

But was it?

Rewind 30 Years

Going back in time approximately thirty years, our current and fourth generation owner- Charlie Ward, began noticing a tremendous amount of need for water treatment and purification services. (For a more detailed version of the story read Ward Water’s Second Century Looks Bright in Water Conditioning & Purification Magazine).

“We started seeing more and more of the clients we worked for experiencing plumbing related issued that stemmed from poor water quality” says Charlie.

“We would perform plumbing repairs for clients that had come about as a result of excessive minerals in their water, such as Hardness, Iron or Manganese- only to have to return again to re-address the same exact problem or repair…in some case after only a very short amount of time! It didn’t take long to realize that we needed to start addressing the root causes of the problems so that we could manage the outcomes.

Specializing in water treatment and purification became the next logical progression for the business.”

Fast Forward to 2012

Today, water treatment, filtration and purification make up over 2/3 of the business Ward Water conducts. The largest portion of that business stems from transactions in the residential Maine Real Estate market- from people buying and selling their homes.

We specialize in the installation of virtually all forms of residential and commercial treatment systems. Some of the more common issues addressed include:

  • Radon water mitigation
  • Arsenic removal
  • Uranium treatment
  • Bacteria disinfection and ultraviolet purification
  • Treatment for Hardness, Iron, Manganese and many other contaminants

A More Accurate Message

We still carry our namesake Ward Plumbing, but last year we finally incorporated the name Ward Water into the company and have carefully started implementing branding efforts that reflect the true nature of our business.

“Without neglecting our loyal base of long-standing plumbing customers, we wanted to let the rest of the world know exactly what it is we do. We felt the best place to start would be to call ourselves by our more appropriate name- Ward Water.”

A New Website

After taking a stab at creating our own company website 2 years ago, we decided it best to leave this part to the pros, and have things done properly.

We took our time and looked for someone who could help us put together our new site the way we could envision it for ourselves. After several months of looking we decided to work with Nathan O’Leary from Mainely SEO.

Nathan did a great job! We wanted a site that was not only attractive but also easy to use by our customers. We wanted people to be able to come to our site and use it as an educational resource without feeling overwhelmed or more confused than when they started. We’re extremely pleased with the final product.”

A New Water Resource Blog

Possibly the most important addition to our list of upgrades, and our proudest, is our new Ward Water Resource Blog.

Because so much of our business, and the water treatment industry in general, stems from the purchase and sale of residential homes we wanted to give Realtors and Buyers/Sellers a resource that could be their own- a place where they could find tools and information designed to help inform homeowners and also to aid Realtors in managing this part of their business.

Each week we will be adding new articles that cover the full range of water related issues encountered when dealing with Maine homes & businesses with private well water supplies.

Looking Forward

Moving forward our plans at Ward Water for the next few years have been laid out and are quite simple.

“Very little will actually change pertaining to the way in which we conduct our day to day business. We’ll still continue to be a small, local, family run water treatment company. We’ll be a little bit larger (due to new generations entering the business) and we’ll be a lot smarter about the way in which we use technology and information to inform the public about who we are.”

You could say the majority of our company goals for the years ahead could be more or less summed up in two words-

Increasing Awareness.