You can’t touch this!

When I joined the fireplace industry I was amazed as to how many Canadians primarily heat their homes with wood.  Coming from the city I was used to the open brick fireplace that actually removes heat from a home – and I was not familiar with new efficient wood burning appliances.

I soon learned that these Canadians heat with wood because its the only sustainable carbon neutral way to heat a home (yes – wood burning IS the most environmentally friendly solution), the warm radiant heat produced by a wood appliance is unlike any furnace,  but most importantly – heating with wood saves thousands of dollars on annual heating costs.  What would you do with tens of thousands of spare dollars when you retire?

These are the main benefits typically associated with heating with wood.  Last winter however, another important benefit surfaced:  As certain propane suppliers ran out of fuel, some homes who did not have a wood (or pellet) burning appliance did not have heat.  It never occurred to me  that if you heat with wood – you will never run out of fuel.  This does not seem that important until power outages start occurring (most furnaces don’t work if there’s no hydro) or if fuel suppliers (propane / oil / natural gas…) can’t supply for some reason or another – as what happened last winter.  What about nuclear?  It sounds great until a quick Google search reveals how competent the Government has been at managing these types of projects.  What would the Government do with tens of billions of dollars had it not been wasted?

Wood burning is good for the environment, very safe, allows home owners to save thousands of dollars on their heating bills, and now – provides peace of mind that their home will remain warm and cozy forever – no matter how mismanaged the large utility or fossil fuel companies are.

In future blogs we will discuss these benefits but for now – rest assured….

“You can take my propane, you can take my electricity, but you can never take my wood!”  Braveheart movie anyone?

Keep warm – with wood!

Less Can Be More

A trend in the fireplace & BBQ industry is the infinite increase in choices (options) being offered by manufacturers.  Manufacturers call this giving consumers what they want.  We call this trend sku creation on steroids.  The fireplace & BBQ industries are not alone (I recently purchased a couch that had 4 different shades of red as options).

In this competitive world, I appreciate the desire for manufacturers to increase their business by offering more variations of existing products in the hopes of increasing sales.  However, what manufacturers are ignoring are the significant pitfalls with offering too many options:

1. Out of Stock

How can retailers or distributors stock product when hundreds of different configurations exist for a particular fireplace?  This creates the dreaded back order which eventually turns into the dreaded emergency or angry consumer (or even lost sale).  How do you feel as a consumer nowadays in our instantaneous society waiting for back ordered product ?

2. Manufacturing Costs

It costs more to manufacturer different options than a single sku.  Manufacturers are often hesitant to drop a low volume sku as they fear losing those sales.  But, if that option was eliminated, maybe manufacturing costs could be reduced hence making the product more affordable to more people.

3. Confusion

On average, when shopping for a fireplace, a consumer needs to chose the location, fireplace, size, brick interior, front, surround, venting, and then finishing.  Some manufacturers also allow for different log patterns, burner configurations, heat distribution methods and fireplace controls.  If six options are available for each choice (how many finishing options are available nowadays?) – that translates into thousands of different configurations for one fireplace (recall algebra class – 6 to the power of 6 to the power of 6…..).  Imagine the poor customer who is looking for 2 fireplaces for their home?  Its almost like the same person who created the income tax form is deciding on the availability fireplace options….

4 – Delayed Purchase Decisions

The more options available, the more difficult it is to make a decision.  We have seen consumers chose their fireplace in 10 minutes, but take 1-2 weeks (or more) to decide the best ‘front’ for the fireplace.

Recommendation

To swim against the manufacturing trend of trying to be all things to all people, Friendly Fires has implemented a few internal processes to simplify our business (at the chagrin of some distributors and manufacturers).

Firstly, we have reduced the number of manufacturers and distributors we do business with.  This has allowed our sales team and installation crews to become more educated with specific product, allowed us to stock more and negotiate better pricing.  Secondly, we only display best of breed product from Tier 1 suppliers.  Tier 2 suppliers who do not manufacturer great product or support our customers need not apply – no matter how large the market is (such as the $500 Chinese BBQ category – no thanks – not for us).  And lastly, we always re-evaluate our customers, so if a particular ‘exotic’ fireplace becomes more mainstream, we will display and stock up and replace a low-volume sku.

Was Henry Ford ahead of his time when he proudly pronounced: “You can have any colour you want, as long as its black?”

No one says we have to be that rigid… but what would Henry Ford have said if the consumer could have chosen between 4 different shades of black?

Built in Canada… or is it ?

One nice thing about our industry is that we get to sell and promote products that are made in Canada.  In fact, almost 80% of what Friendly Fires sells and installs is made in Canada.  In our industry, Canadian-made product is simply better quality and often comes with superior after-sales support.  Some of the best fireplace & BBQ manufacturers in the world are Canadian – we lead in this manufacturing category.

However, there is one troubling trend.  It seems that as Canadian manufacturers grow they tend to add new skus.  As the number of skus increase, these manufacturers eventually get drawn into the mass merchants addiction and then – what happens ?  Production begins to move offshore.

For example, a major Canadian manufacturer makes some of the best BBQs available today and has been an incredible Canadian manufacturing success story.  They have done a great job building their brand through quality products and great support.  However, this same company now has overseas manufacturing and sells these products to the mass merchants.  Customers are often surprised to learn that a BBQ with the same brand name in our showroom is made in Canada whereas the one at the Big Box Bargain Store was made overseas with cheaper components.  As an aside, this BBQ manufacturer is not alone …. Many Canadian and U.S. manufacturers employ this strategy.  This allows the mass merchant to have a cheaper priced (and produced) product that shows well in their weekly flyer.

Its been our experience that customers will pay more for quality when appropriate and explained.  Its unfortunate that so many manufacturers sometimes forego quality in order to get short term sales gains with the mass merchants.

Formerly great manufacturing brands have been decimated overtime by the lowering of their manufacturing standards to meet the bargain box store expectations and weekly sales flyers.  Hopefully, our great Canadian fireplace & BBQ manufacturers will resist and fight this temptation and continue to produce great high quality products right here in Canada.

Social media not so social

A successful business nowadays must be best of breed in many categories including finding great employees (the most important), product (high quality), its processes (must be efficient), aware of rules and regulations (getting more complicated and onerous everyday), traditional marketing / branding – and now – social media.

5 years ago a marketing plan consisted of a brand strategy, some standard radio or print ads as well as a website.

Today – a marketing strategy consists of the above – as well as regular content on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, You Tube, Houzz & Pintrest.  Did I miss one?

Social media has allowed our customers and team members to interact and share content in ways never imagined just a few years ago.  For example, our Facebook page gets over 700 impressions every week and our Tweets are constantly shared with even higher numbers.   In addition, social media is a great venue for our customers to ask questions, send us pictures of their fireplaces or meals that they are cooking on their BBQs, and ways for our team to reach out to the public.  Also of interest, is that Friendly Fires gets contacted from customers and other fireplace / BBQ stores across North America because of our social media pages.

Outrageous Prediction….

I wish we could predict Social Media in the future.  I’m probably wrong, but something tells me that ‘less is more’ will become more and more prevalent in the future.  Although I won’t predict which social media site will be gone – does anyone remember Alta Vista? Yahoo Search?  Lycos? My Space?

Before they do disappear – let’s enjoy them.  And boy – do I ever look forward to reading this blog post in 10 years.  But for now, please visit our amazing social media sites as our team cares and does a great job keeping them updated with relevant content that hopefully you find interesting.

Happy surfing.

What an amazing team we have!

Last Friday, the Hearth Patio & BBQ Association (HPBA) held their annual trade show and conference in Salt Lake City.  The HPBA has thousands of members and is an association that represents retailers, distributors and manufacturers in the fireplace and BBQ industry.  The annual conference has a trade show, education sessions, as well as an awards ceremony.

Well – Friendly Fires was nominated this year as Hearth Retailer of the Year.  We did not think we had much of a chance of wining because we were the first ever Canadian retail store ever nominated.  Also – some of the American finalists where very impressive.  One fireplace showroom in the U.S. was 20,000 square feet!

In any event, we won the award.  We can’t believe it.  In hindsight it would have been great to have our entire team at the ceremony because our company is our team.  We have the best sales people, technicians and facilities support anywhere.  We won the North American award because of our team.

Brad and I could not be more proud of the amazing group of individuals we get to work with everyday.  Forget the 3 P’s (people product price) – we have the 3 G’s.

Great award.  Great people.  Great company.

We are so glad that specialty retail continues to strive and survive in the world of Big Box Stores.

Thanks Team!

High-dro Price$ – Ri$e Again

According to the Government, hydro prices are rising 40%+ in the next 5 years.  Can you image any company raising prices that amount?  How abut paying $50,000 for a Honda Accord? $3 for a cup of Tim Hortons coffee? $1.50 for gasoline (forget that last example…  we will probably be paying that amount anyways…).

Unfortunately, hydro is somewhat of a monopoly, and, well, what happens with prices at monopolies?  Does anyone remember long distance phone rates before competition?  Shipping prices before FedEx? Airline ticket prices before WestJet? Cel phone rates before Wind Mobile?

The best way to tackle these crazy hydro increases is with increased competition.  Fortunately, we as homeowners are able to compete and create an environment where Hydro will want to try and earn our business and will work hard at providing competitive rates.  How?  Although this is a very self-serving message …  how about generating your own hydro with solar? Wind? Or reducing your reliance on hydro with clean wood heat?

As home owners we have the power (get it?) – lets use it.  Only by increasing our independence and creating a competitive hydro environment do we have a chance of fighting back against these blatant tax grabs.

And we did not even touch on the environmental benefits…..

Wood burning is back!

Friendly Fires Cobourg customer enjoying the heat.

When the first frost appears, our wood burning customers are often the only ones smiling ear to ear (see picture on the right from a new Friendly Fires customer).  Speaking of wood, one interesting trend this season is the popularity of wood and pellet burning appliances.  The Hearth Patio & BBQ Association just released new fireplace statistics and after a few years of stable or decreasing sales in Canada, wood is back.

Why?

Firstly, there are government wood stove change out programs in Canada.  These programs help consumers replace old inefficient (ie not environmentally friendly) wood appliances with new clean burning ones.  Secondly, the ever increasing cost of fossil fuels.  When you can heat for free – why not?  But lastly, there seems to be a new romantic, practical and energy independence association with wood (pellet) burning.

But….

With so many new wood burning customers, its important to talk about safety.  Everyone has seen a home on the news up in flames.  It does not have to be this way.  With a proper installation and safe wood burning techniques, burning with wood is safe.

Chimney Fires: Using newer efficient wood burning appliance with dry wood and a regular chimney sweep will ensure your venting remains perfectly clean.

Hot Glass: Use a safety gate to protect your wood appliance from intentional or accidental touching.

Ember & Heat Protection: Every appliance requires minimum non-combustible clearances around the appliance and venting system.  Take a few minutes and verify these clearances with the manual that came with your appliance.

In addition, if your appliance glass, gasket or internal components such as firebrick are damaged or missing, these are inexpensive fixes that will ensure safety for your home or cottage.  For expert resources, the fireplace industry has some great consumer tips that can be downloaded at www.wettinc.ca, www.hpba.org, as well as an independent website www.woodheat.org.

Happy and safe wood burning!

Where did summer go?

BBQ Rib Charcoal Competition

Where did summer go?  That is probably a question that many of you are asking right about now…  The good news for us is that at Friendly Fires transitions from a busy BBQ / Charcoal / Outdoor fireplace focus to indoor stoves and fireplaces (not that BBQ season is over….) and getting a few solar jobs installed before winter.

Its been busy for us (as I am certain it has been for you).  Some interesting Friendly Fires tidbits from the past few weeks include our first ever Rib BBQ Competition in Kingston, our 2nd BBQ Rib Competition  in the Kawarthas (200+ attendees), and we have been fortunate enough to be profiled in a number of trade publications including Our Homes, Patio & Hearth Products Magazine, Google (yes – Google photographers are at our Kingston store today) and an upcoming feature in Octobers’ Hearth & Home Magazine.  And, we recently surpassed 500 followers on the Friendly Fires Facebook page.  Thank you to everyone who has ‘liked’ us.  All this during the past 2 months.  Equally important, we have welcomed Heather & Andrea to the amazing Friendly Fires growing team.  Wow!

Moving over to fireplaces, this is the time of year that we begin getting a lot of service-related questions – and we are definitely here to help.  Our You Tube page has a number of videos that may be of assistance, and we also have a number of handouts that our sales team can forward to you should you be experiencing a challenge.  And – of course – our awesome technicians are here to help as well.

A final note – thank you for the great customer testimonials that you have sent about our team – we all love hearing about the positive reviews from the best customers in the world.

 

Alex

Summer Update

Outdoor Wood Oven Pizza

Summer has finally arrived – and time for another seasonal update.  What’s new with the Team at Friendly Fires?

We’ve been trying out some new products.  Our Kingston team has been cooking on an outdoor wood fired pizza oven with incredible success.  Food is so amazing we sometimes wonder why there isn’t one in every backyard (until we look at the price, and then we understand).  In addition, our team has been trying out the new Black Olive grill from Enviro (we have 2 burn units and our staff has been sharing one at their homes).  The pellet fuel adds a level of convenience when compared to charcoal.  So far, so good,  Our meals have been great.  Let’s make sure the reliability is there as well (and so far, it is).

As an aside, whenever we get get something new our team of 30+ take turns playing with them to ensure we only represent quality – as brochures have been known to ‘exaggerate’ the truth at times.

As well as obvious BBQing updates (upcoming BBQ competition anyone?), the Premiere of Ontario dropped by our Cobourg store last week – that was neat.  The only downfall was that we had to lock our doors during her visit for ‘security reasons.’  And, locking doors of a retail location during business hours is typically not great for business.

We’ve also had some great employee events.  We just finished a Friendly Fires bass fishing tournament (congrats John), some great charity causes (such as Walk a Mile in Her Shoes), we have 2 Friendly Fires soccer teams, have received from very flattering customer reviews, and we are going full steam ahead on our weekly BBQ classes.

To top it off, Friendly Fires was profiled in a National Fireplace magazine.  What a great start to this summer.  Let’s hope it does not end (except for fireplace season of course)!

Thanks for reading.

BBQ Classes & Competition

Chris Neil BBQ

What a great year for our outdoor category this year.  Our BBQ class and competition schedule is complete.  We have some great returning Chefs (Brian Henry) who are prepared to wow our barbecue students (weekend warriors).  And, in keeping with our tradition of having local butchers show off their skills – a new butcher shop in Peterborough ( Primal Cuts ) has signed on to showcase their skills.

In addition to our popular BBQ classes, we are pleased to announce the return of our Kawartha BBQ Competition as well as a new Kingston BBQ Competition.  If you have never attended a BBQ competition – you must try at least one.  It’s a fun day of BBQing, socializing, and mingling.  Think you have the best sauce?  Come and prove it.  Local celebrity judges line up for a day of rib tasting – so join us and show off your BBQ skills.  A $1,000 first place prize (Saffire Charcoal Kamado) may help your decision as well.

Something else to announce is our first ever celebrity endorsement commercial.  Cheesy?  Yes.  Interesting?  We think so.  We are not sure how it will play out with our Toronto Maple Leaf fans (as the celebrity is Chris Neil of the Ottawa Senators) – but hopefully it will be viewed in good fun.  Let us know your comments.  You can check out the video here.  If we get good feedback, we will do our best to get some of our celebrity customers (many many have purchased products from Friendly Fires) and do some more.

To view our BBQ class schedule, please visit the ‘Events page.’  Looking forward to see you here this summer.

Happy BBQing!

BBQ Season is Here

Just like my father used to do it

What a great feeling when snow begins to melt and our grills surface from all the snow (except for those die-hard BBQers that BBQ all year of course).  This is such a fun time of year.  Butchers are busier selling BBQ foods…. Big Box Stores really start pushing their outdoor (foreign built & supported) products….  and we begin looking at our yards planning the summer season.

Personally – this is my favourite time of year.  No snow.  No lawn cutting.  No extreme cold or heat.  Great BBQ weather.

Early BBQ trends: this is going to be a strong season and charcoal looks to increase again in popularity this year.  Funny how charcoal has come full-circle.  Many of us remember our parents ‘hibachi’ during weekend picnics… the taste of lighter fluid… the mess of ash…..  Today’s charcoal grills are ‘slightly’ different – but I can’t help but wonder if these same type of memories are being created in my children’s minds?

What are my memories?  I’m fairly certain the ‘BBQ’ picture in this post was what my father used to cook on.  This probably explains the hockey pucks that were called hamburgers.  I’m wondering if I’m creating these same type of memories for my children?

Update – What’s New!

A few neat happenings at Friendly Fires.  Firstly, our Kingston Showroom has just received a makeover to improve and modernize displays as well as allow us to display the full line of Friendly Fires’ outdoor products.   It has not been easy for our team or our customers – so we greatly appreciate everyone’s patience during construction.  We are proud to say however that renos are 95% complete – so it will be business as usual (and beyond) very shortly.

Secondly, our BBQ class schedule is nearing completion.  Contact us (to be on our list) or check back soon for the schedule.

Thirdly, we just came back from the annual BBQ & fireplace trade show that our industry hosts every year, and we got some great ideas.  At these shows we always get pumped up about ‘shiny objects.”  It’s great.  That said, over the years, we have jumped the gun sometimes with new products and learned the hard way (anyone ever buy the first generation of a car before?), so we have tended to prefer ‘generation 2’ of new products.

Trade Show Ideas we are implementing:

1. New amazing Kozy Heat Fireplace called the Alpha (now installed in our Kingston location)

2. New incredible charcoal lighter called ‘Looft.’  If you cook on charcoal, you need to check it out

3. Negotiated better pricing on some current products we carry

4. Forged great relationships with other hearth stores and are working together on best practices

Pending trade show ideas

These are neat things we saw that we are considering:

1. New charcoal brand: John Wayne (who doesn’t like John Wayne)

2. New Linear wood fireplace (its about time!)

3. New gas fireplace that vents with propelyne (ie – plastic) venting

4. New outdoor see-through gas fireplace from Napoleon – has LED lights integrated with it

5. New Kozy Heat Thief River Falls clean face fireplace (currently our top selling fireplace)

6. New HearthStone wood stove products – economically priced HearthStone products

7. New Extra Large Saffire charcoal BBQ

 

Which of these new products will be on display at Friendly Fires this year?  I guess you will have to visit to find out!

Happy end of fireplace season.

 

Eating our own dog food

One element of the Friendly Fires culture is to ‘eat our own dog food.’  In other words, we encourage our amazing team to use the products we sell in our showrooms and at their homes.  By using the products we sell, we can better support our customers and ensure we are recommending the right solutions for the right applications.  Examples of ‘eating our own dog food’ include:

  • We heat our showrooms with efficient and clean burning wood and pellet stoves
  • Friendly Fires’ warehouses are heated with pellet furnaces
  • Most of our team uses a Saffire or Primo charcoal kamado for their BBQing
  • Many of our team members heat their homes with wood or pellet stoves that we sell

Although we are proud of this success, one area we’ve been slow to implement is generating solar power in our Peterborough showroom. Although our technicians have (and continue to install) thousands of solar panels across Ontario – we never installed panels on our Peterborough building (Kingston showroom panels have been profitably generating hydro since 2005).

It was time to change.  This Friday – our amazing technicians installed solar panels on our Peterborough building.  We are now benefiting financially (and helping save the environment) just like hundreds of our solar customers.

Why did it take us so long?

The shoemaker’s kids often go barefoot.

Fireplace Safety

To Screen or Not To Screen: That Is The Question.

Fireplace safety has increased in importance recently.  Unfortunately, there have been too many incidents of children hands touching hot glass – and as such – new regulations are apparently currently in the works.  Some manufacturers have been proactive and have made screens standard on their fireplaces.  Some others, offer screens as an option.  However, even the fireplaces that come standard with screens provide the consumer with the option to remove them.

Unfortunately, although we try and recommend adding a screen to a fireplace installation when appropriate, most of our customers prefer the direct view of the fire.  Some screens are quite nice – whereas others, well, not so nice.  This is definitely a challenge for our industry.

Solution?

This past weekend I was working on my oven in my kitchen.  I noticed that the outside glass panel had slid down slightly so I took the door apart.  I was surprised to see that once I did – there were in fact 3 sheets of glass.  Maybe this is common knowledge, but I had no idea.

Fireplace Safety Proposal

Oven Door Safety Glass

The relevance?  Why can’t fireplaces have 2 or 3 sheets of glass?  This would allow the outside glass to be cool to the tough, while allowing for the blower system to circulate the air.

3 sheets of glass is not as nice as 1 – however – some customers would probably prefer this to a screen.

There must be a reason why it has not been done yet in our industry – but I can’t think of it.

If you have a current fireplace – please consider putting a safety screen in front of it. The risk of not doing it can be significant.

Year End Review

Year end has arrived and its always great to take some time to reflect on the past 12 months and plan for the year ahead. From a business standpoint, Friendly Fires had another successful year. Thank you. It is great to be successful in such a challenging environment. We really have the best customers in the world!

As for my personal achievements, 2012 was a good year. Based on suggestions from some great productivity books I posted my 2012 personal goals on my office wall and I’m pleased to see that many were achieved this year. It was really neat to be able to review on paper my 2012 goals and update them for next year. The main one that continues to allude me: getting in shape (but 2013 WILL be the year!).

Looking ahead to 2013 – I often do some financial planning. It has been tough these past few years with the low returns being offered by financial institutions. It was not long ago that a ‘guaranteed 2% return’ would have been laughed at by consumers.

Well, I’m doing something different with my families finances this year. We are installing solar panels on our roof. The Ontario Government is offering a guaranteed 10%+ return on your investment for 20 years – so we are taking advantage of it. The catch? You must live in Ontario and it requires the installation of solar panels on your roof. For a 10% return – we are doing it. This is going to be our guaranteed RRSP!

To summarize, if you are looking for a guaranteed financial return that pays almost 10 times more than a government bond and is guaranteed by the same organization (Ontario Government) – check out solar. As with all financial products, there is a limited time however – the government could change the program at any time (as they have done in the past).

As for goal setting….

If you are trying to achieve some personal goals, put them on paper and post them on a wall. By doing this – many experts agree you’ll be more likely to achieve them in 2013. It worked for me (except the exercise one – but 2013 will be different now that I have posted this goal online!).

Best of success to you and your family in 2013.

2012 Goals

Holiday Spirit

As per our last post, giving back to the community is an important part of the Friendly Fires culture.  We want to ensure that our team members who go above and beyond in giving back are properly recognized for their efforts.  For the holidays, our very own Jason Lichter organizes a fundraising effort to raise money that he then purchases new soccer and sports equipment.  This equipment is then donated to a chosen toy drive.

We are so pleased of our great team and their efforts in giving back to the community – great work Jason!

 

Charitable Success Story

An important part of the Friendly Fires culture is to give back to the community.  This week, we were recognized as the official winner of the workplace challenge of the Loving Spoonful / GAR.  Loving Spoonful is a charitable organization in Kingston that collects

healthy food for those who can not necessarily afford it.  What is great about this award is that one of our team members – Josh – was the person who did most of the work.  We simply provided some land for Josh – and he made some incredible gardens in our yard and has been cultivating them ever since.  Its great to give back, and its great that our team gives back as well.  Our success depends on our community – so it we feel it is important to give back.  More importantly however, Josh deserves some great kudos for taking it upon himself to work for such a great cause.  If you come into our store and feel that growing healthy food for those who may not be able to afford it is a good cause – could you let Josh know?

Great work Josh!

Why don’t IPI Fireplaces Work Properly?

IPI – the technical term used in the fireplace industry for ‘Intermitent Pilot Ignition’ (also called electronic ignition) is supposed to benefit end users with additional features and functionality – namely – lower fuel bills (as you can turn the pilot light off with a click of the remote) and additional functionality (because the flame on the fireplace can modulate). Some governments (see British Columbia) are forcing manufacturers to only sell IPI units.

However – these IPI units have caused us more service challenges than any other types of fireplaces. Our service calls have quadrupled on IPI units. At first we thought it was the manufacturers we were using – so we switched. But now, they are all more problematic than traditional standing pilot. Unfortunately for consumers, almost all new gas / propane fireplaces are being released as ‘IPI.’ No one really knows why they are more problematic… but our opinion is the following: 1) They rely on a proper power source (a common challenge in certain homes); 2) Replacing batteries is a challenge or unknown for many fireplace customers (especially in the hidden receiver part); and 3) Having electronic components so near to heat is … well… not good.

Therefore – if you are looking for a fireplace that will not have service issues, consider a traditional ‘standing pilot’ fireplace. If you prefer some of the features of newer IPI systems, that is fine, but you should be prepared for some minor frustrations at some point. The good news – is that if you purchased from us, we are here to support you. However, our technicians can be booked for 2-3 weeks during peak season so there is a risk in having a fireplace that is not working for a few days.

Please feel free to comment!

Friendly Fires Logo Debate

As you view this website, you may (or may not) be noticing the different logos and looks that Friendly Fires is currently using. Essentially, there is our original ‘waving flame’ logo – still present on a few of our old signage (copy is in this post).  In 2004, we updated to our ‘happy house’ look.  Then, when we merged with Renewable Energy of Plum Hollow – we had their logo as well.  Now, in 2012, we have our new look that is on this website.  Sheesh – that is a lot of logos.  How come not all our marketing material has been updated?  Well, to be honest, it is a question of time – energy – money. We have been updating our logos / looks as the marketing materials have required replacing. In always trying to keep our expenses to a minimum, we have a hard time spending money on cosmetic items.

Marketing Confusion? Definitely. Are we working towards a common brand? Yes. Does it make for an interesting blog post?

You be the judge….