An Interview With Fotis Georgiadis
Unique and original product: Teaching people about the unique usages and offerings of a product or service builds brand credibility by demonstrating how to use a product or service in a new and more approachable way.
As part of our series about how to create a trusted, believable, and beloved brand, I had the pleasure to interview David Raskin.
With 20 years of experience in the power equipment industry and his commitment to safety, reliability, and industry-leading performance, David’s passion heads the DuroMax team in the pursuit of Powering Everyone… Anywhere! His dedication to putting our customers first continues to elevate DuroMax daily as a nationally recognized brand.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?
As a second-generation business owner in this line of work, I grew up immersed in this industry, which allowed me more visibility into areas of opportunity in a market that was dominated by older players. I began my career selling products from other brands, which led me to become more familiar with the power tools and generator market. Through this early experience, I was able to hone in on what people really wanted and bridge the gap in the industry to successfully market DuroMax’s product line. With this in mind, we developed our first portable generator with the flexibility to be used for multiple functions, and invested in R&D to develop multi fuel type units running on gasoline, propane, and recently natural gas.
Can you share a story about the funniest marketing mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?
Around 10 years ago, we originally intended for one of our company logos to be in full color but instead, we made an error on the file that was submitted to the print company/design house and we left off the color layers. The logo ended up going out to the public in black and white. We originally looked at this as a major error and were quite disappointed with ourselves, however, the black and white version of the logo was very well received by our customers and actually upon further review was a more appealing logo than the colorful one we were going to go with. This showed me that sometimes even something that is perceived as a mistake can work out for the best, and the glass really is half full.
What do you think makes your company stand out? Can you share a story?
Something key that remains crucial to DuroMax’s success is that our company really listens to our customers, and we strive to ensure that our products meet all the needs of our consumer base. DuroMax does not sacrifice quality as we are the only company in the industry that uses all copper windings in our gensets, all metal construction in our frames, and the most multi-fuel option models to ensure every DuroMax generator can deliver reliable power for years.. Keeping this in mind, we offer an industry-leading 5-year warranty because we truly believe in our products and want to make sure we are delivering only the best to our customers.
Perhaps most importantly though, transparency and communication with our customers have made a huge impact on our business strategy. At DuroMax, we are not trying to hide behind novelty price points. We only promote truth in advertising to our customers and that has and will remain a cornerstone in our business. Our plan is to continue to push the envelope with new and exciting innovations while keeping our customers happy!
Are you working on any exciting new projects now? How do you think that will help people?
We recently launched our first Tri-Fuel generator, the XP13000HXT, which is the largest Tri-Fuel portable generator on the market. Following this successful initial launch, we’re working on perfecting our Tri-Fuel technology to release more units in the future.
Something else that’s been on our radar for a while now is continuing to be more environmentally conscious in how we are developing our products. We have put a lot of our resources into natural gas and propane, which result in 70% fewer carbon emissions than if you run on gasoline alone. When developing these cleaner fuels, we are continuing to perfect and expand our research and development to ensure we are only putting out the highest quality products and doing our part in protecting the environment.
In the next 6 months, we plan on releasing new inverters for a quieter generator experience. By implementing new and improved inverter technologies, we hope to reduce the common complaints of seemingly loud generator experiences.
Ok let’s now jump to the core part of our interview. In a nutshell, how would you define the difference between brand marketing (branding) and product marketing (advertising)? Can you explain?
Brand marketing is getting your name out there and for example, making “DuroMax” synonymous with home power backup let’s say — it’s a less direct and less individual product focus than product marketing. It’s connecting with someone who is not thinking about generators or power equipment but is shown why they could use them through an explanation of who we are at DuroMax and what we do in a much more top-of-funnel way (think with a simple name, logo, or mission statement).
Product marketing is much more direct. Here we explain the advantages of a particular DuroMax generator or product and how it is the best in class by honing in on key features of what that product can do. The goal of this method is to educate and eventually lead the customer to purchase a specific product through selling points.
Can you explain to our readers why it is important to invest resources and energy into building a brand, in addition to the general marketing and advertising efforts?
Our goal when building our brand is to become synonymous with portable generators as Kleenex is to tissues. Having proper branding means that something as simple as a name can also stand for core values, quality, credibility, and more. For example, at DuroMax we have built a brand where our customers know they will be taken care of, with a quality product, nationwide service technicians to assist with any issues, and tips for how to properly use our products.
Keeping this in mind, it is so important to be original when branding– when you invest in your brand you are also building trust and confidence with your customers and you want to make sure you stand out! DuroMax is a brand our customers remember because of our unique packaging, design, and most importantly performance. I cannot stress enough how, as a brand, it is crucial to develop relationships with customers — when you take care of your end-users it opens the door for future customers.
Can you share 5 strategies that a company should be doing to build a trusted and believable brand? Please tell us a story or example for each.
- Commitment to service — Since COVID, we have employed and stationed customer support/tech representatives around the country for optimal phone call coverage and support. We have brought on text message and chat software as well as email support to communicate with our customers however they choose to interact with us. We are so committed to this idea that our top leadership has traveled across the country to meet with our customers in their homes and check out their home power backup setups and learn from them.
- Unique and original product: Teaching people about the unique usages and offerings of a product or service builds brand credibility by demonstrating how to use a product or service in a new and more approachable way.
- Building and nurturing relationships with customers: It is so important to build relationships with a community of like-minded people to bounce ideas off of each other for different uses and functions of our product. At DuroMax, we have built a diverse network of people who all learn from each other. For example, we created our original Dual Fuel and Tri Fuel products because we were listening to what our customers and community were saying on platforms like Facebook. We were able to see that there was a large market there purely because of our network of innovative customers.
- Quality & Innovation — At DuroMax, we are very committed to being an industry leader when it comes to innovation and improving our overall product offering based on the direct feedback we seek from our customers. We pride ourselves on leading the industry with full-loaded power panels, all-metal constructions, all copper Genset windings, and more 10,000+ Watt models than any of our competitors. A huge driving force behind our innovation in multi fuel portable generator evolution to run from Gasoline only to Dual Fuel to Tri Fuel was inspired by feedback we sought out from our customer communities that we helped establish and nourish.
- Strength in messaging: Brand ethos and brand messages provide a foundation for word-of-mouth communication, which ties into our strong customer relationships.
In your opinion, what is an example of a company that has done a fantastic job building a believable and beloved brand. What specifically impresses you? What can one do to replicate that?
There are two brands that come to mind when thinking about companies that have done an impressive job in building themselves up, those companies being Apple and YETI. In regards to Apple, everything about their presentation of their products and services, as well as how they market their products and themselves as a brand makes them stand out. The way they are constantly listening to their customers’ demands and desires is also extremely impressive as it contributes to their innovations and improvement of their products, it also has built brand loyalty unlike any other.
When it comes to YETI, we admire YETI because of the quality of the products they offer to their customers. YETI has done a great job of creating a story for its users and creating ways for them to feel immersed in the brand. Along with this, YETI also created a whole new market and successfully launched and maintained its brand.
In advertising, one generally measures success by the number of sales. How does one measure the success of a brand building campaign? Is it similar, is it different?
In regards to measuring the success of a brand-building campaign, it is important to pay attention to people who are passionate about the brand and want to represent the brand on their behalf. Without loyal customers or brand fans, a brand-building campaign is unlikely to succeed. It is also important to look at metrics as well, to see if people are discovering your brand through your website, or if they are typing your brand’s name directly into search engines across multiple channels. Increased brand understanding and knowledge of the brand before its product offerings is another way that a brand-building campaign is successful. For example, people who are looking to buy a portable generator aren’t typing “portable generator” into their google search engines, instead, they are typing “DuroMax” in their search because they know DuroMax as THE brand that offers the product they are looking for.
What role does social media play in your branding efforts?
Social media plays a large role in how we build relationships with our customers. We truly enjoy engaging with DuroMax users online because it allows us to have one on one interactions with them making it feel like a more personable relationship for both us and them. We have come to learn that our customers are extremely creative. They are constantly coming up with unique ways to use our product and we are able to be a part of this journey through their YouTube videos.
When our users create content, we always make sure to share what they are creating. At DuroMax we want to embrace our customers’ innovative minds as well as use this as a way to create even more of a community among fellow DuroMax users and ourselves.
You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂
DuroMax would like to continue supporting Americans in overcoming the perceived obstacles when it comes to reliable backup power and power independence. Our goal is to inspire people to not lose the technical “know-how” of past generations. As daily tasks, tools, and equipment become more automated we need to remember the life lessons of the past and how quickly daily comforts we have become accustomed to can be taken away. It’s so important to remain prepared for anything and not become reliant on being taken care of. Being ready to take care of yourself, and planning is most important in disaster-prone areas. Even if a particular place hasn’t experienced many power outages historically, this doesn’t mean it won’t experience issues in the future.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?
One of my favorite quotes is “Far and away the best prize that life offers is the chance to work hard at work worth doing.” by Theodore Roosevelt. This really resonates with me as it ties into how DuroMax has continued to stand behind its mission statement to power everyone anywhere. We remain on a path to truly impact people with our work and are proud of the work we do for our community.
We are blessed that very prominent leaders in business and entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world with whom you would like to have a lunch or breakfast with? He or she might just see this, especially if we tag them. 🙂
We are inspired by how Steve Jobs at Apple brought his unique vision to the world when it came to the personal computer and what evolved into iPhones, etc. In their way, they had a similar vision as we do… “Powering Everyone, Anywhere”. Apple literally changed the world and put a personal computer in the world’s pocket.
How can our readers follow you on social media?
Follow us @duromaxpower
Thank you so much for joining us. This was very inspirational.
David Raskin Of DuroMax: Five Things You Need To Build A Trusted And Beloved Brand was originally published in Authority Magazine on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.