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.