Marketing alum propels family business to new success, recognition

For Oakland graduates, their diploma is more than just a degree. It’s the launching pad for a successful career.

Just ask Andrew Androff, Marketing ’02, recently named one of Oakland County’s Elite 40 Under 40, who says “my time spent at OU helped lay a tremendous foundation for my success in business. I continue to apply marketing principles learned inside Elliott Hall to every campaign I develop.”

Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson started the 40 Under 40 program in 2012 to honor young, dynamic leaders who live or work in Oakland County.

Androff fits the bill. He is the co-owner and director of marketing for Professional, an award winning residential and office moving company headquartered in southeast Michigan.

Success is a lifelong process

“I grew up exposed to the business at a young age; my family started a moving business as a freight and delivery company. The company operated out of our house, so as a kid I got to help clean trucks and earn an allowance,” he explains. “But the real lessons were learned watching my dad negotiate truck purchases or listening to my older siblings professionally work with customers to solve problems.”

During college, Androff worked for a production company representing Chrysler on the auto show circuit.

“I was spending my college semesters in Oakland University’s business program while traveling four to five days a month working. It was my first experience seeing how marketing concepts taught inside the classroom were applied by global brands in the real world,” he says.

Soon after graduation, Androff approached his family to form a branch of the company focusing on residential and business moving. He used his real-world experience to form a unique niche for Professional Movers, where under Andrew’s leadership, targeted campaigns have resulted in a 20 percent increase in overall sales and sustained growth.

Disrupting the industry

“At the time, moving was an antiquated industry. The way customers were finding a moving company was changing. Gone were the days of pulling out a Yellow Book and paging through it to find a mover. The age of the Internet had arrived and we saw an opportunity to positively disrupt the moving industry,” he explains.

The company adapted to the way customers wanted to find a moving company by purchasing the domain Professional The result: 70 percent of new business generated came from online visitors.

“Today, we operate with over 30 trucks, own over 80 moving-related domains and our moving services have grown to be the largest part of our family business. We have offices in Detroit and Walled Lake, and are looking to add locations in the next few years,” he says.

Customer, community connections

Androff’s campaigns also help create an emotional connection with his customer’s specific needs and the Professional brand.

His Detroit Moving Incentives campaign, the first and only of its kind, was created to support his company-wide goal of helping pioneer Detroit’s renaissance. Through the campaign, Professional offers discounts and value-added moving services to people and businesses relocating to Detroit. So far, it has been an overwhelming success, with his company relocating more people and businesses to Detroit than it has in its 33-year history.

“The popularity in the program has resulted in a 17 percent increase in revenue and enabled Professional to hire new team members, purchase new moving trucks, invest in new technology, and open a location inside the Chrysler House in Downtown Detroit to better serve customers,” he says. “The last five years in Detroit has been electric and we continue to see it getting even better.”

With community involvement a part of the fabric of company culture, Professional Movers has also been involved with the Flint Water Crisis.

“Our team members believe in finding ways to provide positive contributions to the local community. Most recently, we partnered with local mothers to collect water for the Flint Water Crisis. We turned our Walled Lake warehouse into an official collection facility with the goal of filling a 26-foot moving truck with water donations. In the end, we collected and delivered 22 pallets totaling over 49,000 pounds of donated water to the Food Bank of Eastern Michigan,” he says.

True to his school

Androff credits much of his success to OU.

“Some of my favorite things we did in class were to work on case studies of actual real world examples of business problems or marketing campaigns. The case studies evoked our problem-solving skills and let us creatively work together to come up with solutions,” Androff explains. “I still keep some of my textbooks near my desk to reference when I am building new marketing campaigns for our company.”

In 2014 Professional became the “official mover” of Oakland University, assisting the facilities team with on campus relocations.

“As alumni, this was an incredibly proud moment to see our moving trucks on campus…One of the most memorable moments was when our team moved the 49-bell practice carillon in preparation of the new Elliott Tower,” he says.

The 40 Under 40 recognition was icing on the cake.

“The recent 40 Under 40 recognition was definitely an incredible career highlight and something that I am very proud of. It feels great to know that the positive work we are doing in the moving industry and in our community is meaningful and has purpose,” he says.