Thursday, July 20, 2006

A tape measure by any other name...is obviously for pussies

Working, as I do, in the world of business can be a soul-suffocating experience. While it probably won't kill you, you eventually find yourself ceasing to struggle against the storm of senseless silliness that flows from the marketing departments and/or your higher-ups. In my opinion, business-speak, with all its -isms and polysyllabic pseudonyms, it eventually going to be what allows the folks over in China who just make a better hammer to eventually conquer the world. But companies just keep on coming out with ridiculous new names for the same old product in an effort to make us all forget about that and just buy one more wrench to get them through the quarter.

There is no better example of this than a new line of tools that Stanley has recently launched called the “FatMax Xtreme” line. Don't even get me started on the overuse of the word “extreme”*. Anyway, the MBA in me can understand why they would want to use a name like this for their new line. Perhaps they want to broaden their appeal to Gens X and Y or specifically target the extreme sports-loving contractor demographic. But their mistake was in choosing which tools to include. According to the literature, the new FatMax Xtreme line includes screwdrivers, tape measures, a chalk line, a pry-bar/ hammer combination**, and some bubble levels.

Now, if you are the CEO of a tool company, and you have to make the call, are these the “extreme” tools you give this name to? How many people out there really have a desire for XTREME CHALK LINES! Nowhere Girl, are you feeling the need for some EXTREME LEVELING when you put up the new fence? WOOOOOOO!!!!

[Insert look of tired resignation here]

For the love of pete. I sure hope I can bite my tongue during my conference call with Stanley this afternoon.

* Including all its absurd variant spellings
** Named, ironically enough, the FUBAR. No doubt by some kid who has no idea what that word is an acronym for

1 comment:

J.Bro said...

To me, "FatMax Extreme" represents an inherent internal inconsistency. Extremeness - or in this case, Xtremeness - implies that something is nearing the bounds of a finite space. The max-ness of the fat, however, indicates that it has, in fact, already reached that border. This contradiction cannot stand.

-Aristotle