As an 85-year-old business, Palmer Gas & Oil maintains strong name recognition within its southern New Hampshire community.
Palmer Gas & Oil has built a loyal customer base that spreads across generations. Many in the community know the company from local events and charities. The company even received an award from the New Hampshire Business Review, dubbing it the best fuel provider in New Hampshire in 2017.
Yet even prominent retailers need a facelift from time to time. Two years ago, Palmer Gas & Oil rebranded with a new logo and mission statement to reflect changes in the company.
“A lot of it has to do with the fact that we want to be around another 80-plus years,” says Amanda Bacon, director of sales and marketing at Palmer Gas & Oil. “We are solidifying where we are as a company and talking about where we want to go.”
The company revamped its website in the rebrand, making it mobile friendly and easy to sign up for price protection online.
Palmer Gas & Oil also placed a larger emphasis on social media marketing two years ago, joining platforms such as Instagram, LinkedIn and Snapchat. The company had already been on Facebook for years, but its page has boomed to more than 2,400 followers this year.
“Social media has been a great tool,” says Bill Ermer, owner of Palmer Gas & Oil. “Being able to speak to an entire generation of people in a new way has opened our ability to reach our customers and community and have a wonderful conversation with them.”
According to Bacon, retailers interested in boosting their social media pages should “keep plugging away at it” to try to build an audience. A small marketing budget can go a long way, she adds.
Palmer Gas & Oil also values boosting its presence within the community through events and charities. Every year, it hosts a customer appreciation day on a Thursday in May. Last year, the event’s attendance peaked at 1,000 people who came for food, pony rides and a petting zoo.
The company also got creative with an event in March 2015 when it hosted Snowmageddon, a fundraiser for the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Salem, New Hampshire. The 2014-15 winter was especially snowy in New Hampshire, so the company challenged its employees to build a themed snow sculpture in one hour.
“We had employees build a volcano with fire coming out of it and a beach scene,” Bacon says. “The event was really fun, and it gave everyone in our company an opportunity to get outside in the snow on a Friday afternoon.”
Founder: Charles W. Ermer
Owner: Bill Ermer
Employees: 125 (during heating season)