Update- HVACR Distributor team ambitious approach to find new ways to communicate with their end customers

mIngledorffs Caffiene and Coils podcast

Earlier this year, I had a chance to visit a Mingledorff‘s HVACR distribution branch location in the Atlanta area close to my home.

I reached out to do an interview because I started following a podcast called Caffeine and Coils from Mingledorff’s hosted by Jenny Brown and Deanna Lassiter. https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/caffeine-and-coils/id1701491521

This podcast was started at the end of 2023 and covers the HVACR distribution business in a unique way. The Mingledorff’s marketing team is communicating with end customers, manufacturers, and their fellow associates in ways that made me believe that they understand that their audiences (internal and external) are evolving in how they consume information.

What is different about Caffeine and Coils and why I wanted to follow it so closely, is it produced by a distributor. It caught my eye and ear, because I admire the effort to reach end customers, fellow Mingledorff associates, and manufacturers in new ways.

So, I reached out and asked a simple how is it going question for this update article. The team has just released their 25th episode. I am very impressed that every 2 weeks – precisely 14 days that the Mingledorffs team always release a new episode.

So, how is it going….I’ll let one half of the team Deanna Lassiter speak for herself.

“Since your article, we’ve dropped the following episodes:”

  • Gas Furnace Troubleshooting
  • Indoor Air Quality Basics
  • Insulation Impact
  • Tradeswomen at Work
  • VRF Systems Explained
  • Ancient HVAC Systems
  • A2L Equipment Changes

“So, we’ve been able to cover a wide range of topics in that time. As far as growth is concerned, we’ve picked up some additional listeners and we see steady growth overall.”

“For me, I’ll say it’s been really fun to cover a wide variety of HVAC topics. Some people like the more technical episodes while others prefer to listen to something more entertainment based like the “Ancient HVAC Systems” episode. And best of all is getting feedback from listeners on what they enjoyed.” said Deanna Lassiter

Jenny Brown added some additional commentary, “Since we’ve met, we also hosted our dealer meeting. It was great to meet some of our listeners in person and hear positive feedback. We’ve also received feedback from our own employees that it’s helped them learn more about upcoming industry changes.”

So, why is it important?

  • End Customers listening to a couple of 20+ minute podcasts while in the field doing installation work or on the drive home on A2L changes. How many times do you get the undivided attention of an end customer for 20 minutes? That is true brand building and providing value to Mingledorff customers.
  • New Associates listening to their own podcast to learn about the industry. If you are an associate and they tell you that Mingeldorffs is committed to internal training and investing in you do you believe that? You can listen to your 0wn podcast for proof.
  • It sends a message to Mingledorff’s manufacturer partners that they need to partner with the team. It takes those bulletin board quotes of “we are committed to training our associates and customers” and proves that their company is willing to actually do it.

The HVACR Channel is evolving and every day more is digital/audio with less human/manual. If I think about it simply, what is declining – Lunch and Learns, in person training, phone calls, and in person interactions. What is increasing is self service training, which this podcast helps address.

A couple of months ago in the first article, I wrote the value to just associates alone was worth the effort as it shows their co-workers that Mingledorff’s is trying new approaches.  I believe that even more after listening to the podcast regularly since then.  Sometimes I catch up on the content while mowing the lawn, long drives, or on a plane.

Why is the attempt and actual work worth it? Because everyone in the channel is fighting for limited talent. If you have a choice of working for a distributor who is trying new things versus one who is not, it is something prospective employees do consider.

Often as a distributor leader you may be skeptical of new communication and marketing approaches as many over the years may have not delivered the ROI that was promised.

Your end customer is consuming the information they need from you in new ways, and so are your associates. Podcasts recorded video training, and on demand technical documents are reducing the number phone calls, emails, and in person visits slowly but relentlessly.

I believe it’s always wise to follow the leaders and learn, and Mingledorff’s continues to show that they are a distributor trying to lead.

As always, we would love to get your feedback, so please feel free to comment below or reach out to me directly at john.gunderson@dorngroup.com

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1 thought on “Update- HVACR Distributor team ambitious approach to find new ways to communicate with their end customers”

  1. Thanks for the update John. The key, as Mingledorff is showing, is showing, is the consistency. Every two weeks is impressive.

    I was listening to the podcast “Pardon the Take” yesterday and they commented that the hardest thing is consistency. For listeners, just like blog readers, they start to expect the content on a regular basis. It’s a form of branding and relationship building.

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