Don’t let idiots ruin your day

So, a potential client walks into the office with his business partner saying he wants to start a house cleaning maid service, but he doesn’t want to say the word ‘maid’ or ‘cleaning’. He wants a name and branding that’s different. Oh, and he has no experience in either maids or cleaning. Maybe that’s his USP, I think to myself , ‘Clueless Housekeeping’?

Anyway, it’s his money, and I always like a challenge. I will of course, do my best in a professional capacity to find a catchy tagline, something that just implies cleaning without saying it, like ‘Leave your dust to us’ or ‘The stars that make your home glitter.’ But no, he would like something generic so he can also offer a waitress service at parties. I suggest this might perhaps be better in phase 2, once he establishes a reputation for being meticulous. Like when the UK dry cleaning firm, Sketchley, expanded to a house cleaning service. Their tagline, which I created btw (just saying), ‘We know the meaning of cleaning’, neatly underlined their expansion plans. He nods but seems shifty.

My mind instantly races ahead, ‘Services beyond surfaces’… ‘Your home. Our halo’… But then he asks, ‘What else do you need to know” as the meeting comes to an end.

He says he should really be doing it all himself and has already come up with 100 names. Alarm bells ring in my head. I suggest to him and his partner that we meet again in a week’s time to present a shortlist of 10initial names and tagline suggestions. There’s no point in presenting more than 10 well thought out, investigated and fine-tuned names and lines at the first round.

But there was something odd about the meeting (other than his business). I won’t be adding ‘clairvoyant’ to my CV any time soon, but that night, we got a call from his partner saying, ‘Don’t do any work’. Seems he didn’t like the cut of our jib…or thought he could do it all himself…or was homocopywriterphobic?

Ultimately, Jim Morrison was right. People are strange. And while I hate it when this kind of thing happens, I somehow feel cleaner.