Just because you build robots doesn’t mean you have to talk like one.

PennAir’s service-based approach has always been its differentiator, but PennAir needed a brand presence that communicated the company’s essence. PennAir’s history is rich, but its brand felt fragmented due to ongoing growth. Merit used competitive research and employee experience to truly understand what differentiated PennAir in its market. This provided PennAir with a brand that accurately represents it as a market challenger.

Market Reality

PennAir’s customers have complex needs that require more than an off-the-shelf solution. They require a partner that can act as a part of their team and provide an unmatched level of service.

Market Opportunity

Talking with anyone from PennAir, it’s easy to see why customers choose to work with the company. Merit helped PennAir hone in on the traits that define its customer experience and communicate this experience through a unified identity and powerful brand expressions.

Invention Strategy

Merit recognized that PennAir’s ability to think ahead, ask meaningful questions, and consistently exceed what is expected truly separates the company from the “me too” brands that crowd its market. By creating a brand story founded in these attributes and an identity that speaks to the innovation and purpose behind its business, PennAir has carved out a clear space for itself that the competition can’t touch.



A Forward-Looking Identity

To help PennAir prepare for a highly-anticipated move into a new, customized space, Merit developed a brand that re-energized PennAir’s business and is representative of its contemporary range of capabilities.


Enhancing User Experience

Merit designed and developed a website that provides users an intuitive experience, clearly communicating PennAir’s approach and capabilities. The site was designed with continued growth in mind, allowing new content to easily be added and enhanced.


Experience Starts with Employees

An undeniable part of a brand exploration and revision is the employee factor. Merit engaged PennAir’s employees throughout the process to ensure they were provided with the tools and expressions needed to support them.


Capturing the Spirit of a Brand

Merit produced a brand video and photography that captures the spirit of family, innovation, and service that are all at the heart of the company.

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Adam Vasquez

What is Market Invention?

It's the new era of marketing.
Market Invention is the process of creating and maintaining market dominance by leveraging insight, purpose, position, and experience to establish, grow, and maintain customer and company value.

Denise Kohnke
COVID-19 CEO Survey

Back when COVID-19 was in its diabolical toddlerhood, circa May 2020, Merit asked CEOs from a diverse pool of sectors about their perceptions of COVID-19, and how they were tangibly handling its impact. These were not P&G, Google, General Motors CEOs, but CEOs of arguably the most important strata in the U.S. economy: small to medium-sized.

Denise Kohnke

CEO Influenza?

If our CEO survey is any indication, the “can-do” spirit is still alive and well. As cultural Venn diagrams representing now and the near future collide – COVID, FLU, ELECTION, BLM – resiliency seems to be many CEO’s medicine du jour.

Adam Vasquez
The Confidence Market

Thanks to COVID-19, we're all relearning how to do the things we were once experts at. We’re relearning our relationships and how we interact. We’re relearning how to be a customer, teacher, CEO, marketer, sales executive, investor, ect. And with everything happening so fast, the relearning curve is extra steep.

Denise Kohnke


What might be the hardest part of being a leader? The expectation of fearlessness, as in the whole “fearless leader” facade. Crushing, isn’t it?

Denise Kohnke


Everyone defaults to denial at some point. It’s the brain’s way of lining up all of our implicit biases and testing them against harsh realities. Ironically, it’s because we’re trying to make sense of things with mental shortcuts. Now, in the time of COVID-19, as we all feel the need to move fast, CEOs might want to be especially mindful of biases, especially the biases that support denial and impede invention during crisis.

Denise Kohnke
COGNITIVELY COVID: The CEO Guide to Acting Fast

You’ve likely heard the term “first movers” in the context of new sector growth. Moving first to take advantage of opportunistic pathways thanks to COVID-19 is almost a new sector unto itself. One website we love, CovidInnovations.com, is a global gathering of hundreds of new products, new apps, new wrinkles to existing services all in the name of the new world.

Adam Vasquez

The 10 Truths of the COVID-19 CEO

In the midst of loosening lockdowns and tightening restrictions, dropping infection rates and second waves, CEOs must adjust to new truths in changed industries. During many conversations with my peers, a few of those truths have surfaced time and again.

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