If we dare point out one of the few light moments from the utter devastation of the past few days, among the most memorable was New York Governor Andrew Cuomo declaring his wish for Christmas – “a dewatering specialist.”
[Runner-up goes to New Jersey Governor Chris Christie who, when asked if he knew what people were saying about his budding bromance with President Obama, said “I’m not in a coma.”]
Governor Cuomo was referring at the time to the imminent arrival of four people (hydrologists and mechanical engineers) to the flooded portions of lower Manhattan, experts at getting water out of places it’s not supposed to be. The proper term is “unwatering,” but either way, Cuomo's use of "dewatering" most certainly caused any listener or reader to cock his head and say, “huh?”
And it should have given special pause to branding and product-naming practitioners everywhere.
Because, for a host of reasons, the services that companies provide and what they brand themselves have tended to move away from what they do and toward what the benefits are they deliver. For example:
- Instead of “garbage hauler,” we have the field of “waste management solutions” (and, indeed, a company named Waste Management Solutions).
- “Barber” becomes “hair styling solutions.”
- “Night watchman” becomes “security solutions.”
- “Auto repair” becomes “vehicle maintenance systems.”
- “Smartphone repair” becomes “communications systems AND solutions.”
The more syllables, the better…apparently. The more you can make yourself appear to provide a breadth of services – even if you don’t – the better your chances…apparently. And if you tag the word “systems” or “solutions” (or both !!!) at the end, the more advanced you will appear…apparently.
Following that logic, the unwatering specialists would be better off…apparently…if they were named:
- “Flood Water Solutions.”
- “Water Removal Management.”
- “High & Dry Systems.”