Branding Gone Wrong? You Decide…

Sitting on my mother’s porch this morning, in a relatively affluent neighbourhood in Toronto, a mini van went by with writing on it.

“Nine Fingers Left”

“Custom woodworking….”

That’s as far as I got in the message.

It was eye catching, though I am not entirely sure it was for the right reason! 

Does it send the right message to prospective clients?  When is humour just ill placed or ill timed in branding / marketing initiatives?  You decide.


11 thoughts on “Branding Gone Wrong? You Decide…

  1. In my opinion, it’s brilliant and obviously it works or we wouldn’t be talking about it. I cannot say if I would hire him but I promise you, I would have him bidding on a job/project I needed done.

  2. Good morning…my name is Tony and I am the owner of Nine Fingers Left, Custom Woodworking and Home Renovations. A client sent me a link to your blog today. I hadn’t seen it until now.

    Just do you’ll know, I get several compliments every day about what a “creative” and memorable name we have. General feedback is positive at a rate of way more than 50 to one. A better gauge for me is the fact we are booking work 3 and 4 months out.

    So you tell me if the name is too clever!


  3. Ha ha. I’m one of Tony’s HIGHLY satisfied customers, and I can testify to the fact that he actually does have a full set of 10 fingers still. Never saw his toes though…..

  4. I’ve seen his toes….sometimes he takes off his work boots.. I’m hoping to book him for a gazebo/landscaping job soon..ask him to send you pictures of his custom screens…you’ll understand why he has a waiting list

  5. LOL…the name was exactly the reason I hired Tony (I actually own a design and communications firm and thought it was brilliant when I saw the name on the van in a Home Depot parking lot one morning). He has now done work at my office, completed a basement renovation for my wife and I, built custom rad covers and is actually stopping by the house today to look at some custom mill work for our master bedroom. Tony and the people he surrounds himself with are exemplary and some of our best renovation experiences to date.

    • That’s awesome!

      What’s really interesting about this post and the comments is that I wasn’t questioning the abilities of the company – I didn’t know them and still don’t – but almost every comment refers to the skills the company has.

      I was merely curious how people felt about the name and how it reflected on them. Mostly because the person I was with on the porch when the van went by was NOT amused by it. At all. It’s good to know that for many, it’s a positive. There’s room for ‘darker’ humour, even in branding 😉

      • As a marketing professional here’s my 2 cents worth. Clearly this branding is working and attracts like minded clients, which sets the stage for a good experience if a business relationship takes place. The name would suggest that the person behind the company is savvy, creative, likes to have fun, is willing to take a risk (most entrepreneurs do), can laugh at themselves and is probably humble. Humour in advertising is always used in an effort to stand out, be memorable, catch your attention and leave an impression. We are bombarded with messages all day and have on average 3 seconds to get someone’s attention, so they will hopefully want more information and take some kind of action i.e. pick up the phone, google the name, check reviews, send an email, write a blog etc Whether we all have the same sense humour doesn’t matter as long as it appeals to the majority of your target audience and is not rude or offensive. In fact, in public relastions, most would say any press is good press, regardless of whether the impression is good or bad., as long as it gets your name out there. In this case, the creative name is indeed working in a positive manner and has resulted in new business- which is the true measurement of success!

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