Saturday, September 30, 2006

Image is everything.

I was visiting a couple of friends at their office today. I try to do that regularly; we talk about their business, my business and all sorts of interesting stuff. We've been friends for 20 years, and relate with the kind of relaxed looseness that's only possible after years of familiarity.

Which doesn't have much to do with what I'm mildly amused by right now. But I wanted to say nice things about M. & S.

S. had a bottle on his desk. I assumed it was water. But I was wrong; I read the label and found that it was, instead, "pH-balanced hydration fluid."

HYDRATION FLUID?

Damn skippy. I didn't dare taste it; that small bottle cost more than the equivalent volume of certain other fluids I sometimes like to ingest. But, hell, it sure looked like water.

This was just another instance in the continuing saga of The World Passing Mr Scribbler By. I still remember being stunned when "designer water" took off. Sure, there was a time when I had bottled water at my pad, but that was because the stuff coming out of the tap where I lived tasted suspiciously like industrial waste. Even the cats wouldn't drink it.

But I never thought you could get away with charging a price for pint bottles of water that would buy you a gallon of gasoline.

You sure can when you call it "hydration fluid."

Why I Am Not Rich, reason #7,263.

Somehow, we got around to talking about his company's name. I suggested a new name, one that would polish the somewhat stodgy image presented by the current moniker. It was easy: I took his last name and spelled it phonetically, with a "z" at the end in place of the existing "s."

He looked puzzled. "It doesn't say anything about what we do," he said.

I pointed out that this was unnecessary. The new name is, I suggested, Urban, Edgy, Trend-Setting. It has the final "z," just like "Boyz in the 'Hood." And even if it doesn't mean a damn thing or explain a damn thing, neither does "google." Or "Lucent." Or, for that matter, "Enron."

He laughed. I am about as unUrban, unEdgy and unTrend-Setting as you can get.

As I was leaving, he was doodling on a sketchpad. Working out an urban, edgy, hip logo from of the name I suggested.

Image, after all, is Everything.

3 comments:

DAL said...

You know, people make good money dreaming up names and logos. The guy who came up with EXXON sued and won a whole fdqiq-load of millions.

Justfly said...

At exam time I always send my son some "Smart Water" (it is the brand's name). It is a bit expensive, but hey, he continues to make the Dean's List!

MrScribbler said...

I talked to S. again today. He's leaning toward using the new name -- created by moi, of course -- since he has now agreed it is Urban, Hip, and all that stuff.

"Smart Water," justfly? Better send me 50 gallons, fast!