Editorial: What’s in a name?
By Patrick Flannery
It should be everything you got.
By Patrick Flannery
Got an email the other day referencing a hardware distributor called Big Lou’s. I immediately wanted to visit Big Lou’s and get all my hardware there. You know Big Lou is a fun guy. He’s confident but at the same time not taking himself too seriously. He’s big – not some skinny punk who just got into the business. You can say “Big Lou” anywhere in town and everyone immediately knows who you are talking about. Are we in this business to make friends or not? Big Lou wants to be your friend and you want to be his. Do you think Big Lou likes a beer or three? Does the sun rise in the east and set in the west? Stop asking stupid questions. Stop screwing around with faceless corporate chains. Get your ass over to Big Lou’s and get taken care of. If you think you want something that Big Lou doesn’t have, you are probably wrong. Adjust your expectations, get your head straight, shoot the shit with Big Lou at the counter for a few minutes and everything is going to be better. Big Lou’s your guy. Of course, he could also be a knucklebreaker on the Sopranos, but let’s face it, that’s unlikely.
The Americans have always understood marketing in a way that we probably never will. One of the keys is to never take yourself too seriously. Let’s face it, we aren’t launching the space shuttle here. One day in Fort Myers, Florida, I was waiting for a ride and I looked across the street and saw Master Bait and Tackle. I instantly became obsessed with the idea that they might have t-shirts or hats and no force on Earth could have stopped me from crossing the street to find out. Sure enough, they did, and I suspect they sell more of those than they do red wigglers. That’s my favourite t-shirt to this day.
Sleep Country plays a cute jingle and shows smiling models reclining peacefully on cushy beds. At Krazy Karl’s Mattress Emporium, Karl is in the parking lot with a can of gasoline and he’s going to set himself on fire if you don’t get down to Mayday Mattress Mayhem RIGHT NOW!!! Do you think he’s kidding? Can you really be sure? Remember, he’s krazy. If nothing else, he’s shown a commitment to selling you a mattress that Sleep Country just can’t compete with.
It’s undignified, you are probably thinking. It’s not who I am. We’re professionals. We know things. I have news for you: no one cares. Do you want dignity or do you want money? Krazy Karl has asked himself that question and come up with the only answer that makes sense to a businessman. Don’t be fooled by the fact he’s apparently in a permanent state of going out of business.
This is my call for rental stores in this country to quit going half way to the customer and go all the way. What the hell does “XYZ RentAll” mean anyway? It doesn’t make you feel anything. You couldn’t pick it out of a lineup. There’s no earthly reason to go to such a place. But “Xavier’s Parts Palace” – now we’re talking.
I want Dirty Don’s Dumpster Dungeon. I want Herbie’s High Lifts. I want Sandra’s SuperHeat Showroom. I want Electric Feel Party Power. I want Mad Max’s Compactor Thunderdome. Come on, people. We can do better.
See you next month in Hot Rental Buzz!