Brothers Tom (back row, fifth from left) and Phil (front row, center) Callen say the sales and marketing campaign for Callen Construction is an evolving mix of whatever works. They call past customers every year, send newsletters, participate in home shows, and distribute direct-mail pieces. They’ve attended the county fair for so long that old customers look for them in the same spot. This year, they’ve added radio ads to their marketing onslaught.
The aging stock of suburban Milwaukee subdivisions calls for a range of replacement and remodeling jobs. “If someone wants siding, windows, roofing, all at the same time, we have the flexibility to do it,” Tom says. And unlike their competitors, the company sells both wood and vinyl windows.
The brothers know the industry—Tom was a Masonite sales rep and Phil worked for Norandex. When they branched out on their own in 1986, they specialized in exterior remodeling. In response to customer requests, they added a kitchen and bath section in 1996; it now accounts for 25 percent of sales. This year, they’re adding design programs for exterior products and virtual reality for kitchens and baths.