Monday, December 8, 2008

Big Three Sheep

It's huge news about the big three automakers coming to Congress for a bailout. What really got the attention of the press was when they all arrived on private jets. In the hearings, they were grilled about their travel arrangements and chastised like children. On their second trip to DC, all three executives apparently drove from Detroit.

It might be good PR. But it's stupid business.

Here's another way to look at it. If you have enough confidence to entrust someone with a billion or ten billion or whatever, do you really want him spending the next ten hours in a car? Or waiting in Chicago for a delayed flight? Wouldn't you want him to have everything he needs to help him make the maximum use of every second? For my money, I want him with that jet at his beck and call. If he has to be in Japan tomorrow for a deal to keep 2,000 jobs, that's what it takes. It's not about living large. It's about big picture thinking. The press has to stop focusing on what makes incendiary headlines and more on what makes the world go 'round.

Copyright 2008, Bremmer & Goris Communications, Inc.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Cobra -- Like the Snake

It was the night before Thanksgiving at the worst possible time. The sewer drain was blocked and no water could be run water until it was fixed. I had to leave the next morning, and this couldn't wait. It happened once before, about five years ago -- the result of tree roots seeking water and invading the pipes. I couldn't remember the name of the people who fixed it before. So I do what any city dweller in need of a specialty service late at night -- I Googled "drain cleaning" with my zip code. Ads for national franchises popped up, but I wanted a local guy who would come right now. I called the one with an address listed the closest and left a message. As I was about to call another, the guy called back: "be there in an hour." Perfect.

The process was simple. They string a twisting steel "snake" 110 feet through the sewer line to the street. The result was a three foot long ball of tree roots removed within fifteen minutes. Water running. Problem solved.

So you're thinking -- what does the sewer cleaning story have to do with branding?

When I asked who the payment check should be made out to, he replied: "Cobra -- like the snake." Wow ... an instant, and permanent visual connection with the "snake" they used to clear the drain. The whole story was right there in the name. I don't remember his name, And I couldn't have recalled the his company name before he told connected it with the snake, but now I'll never forget it.

What's in a name? Could be everything. The important thing is that people make the connection with the name and what it offers.

Copyright 2008, Bremmer & Goris Communications, Inc.