Mud Season. Not.

It’s (still) “mud season” in Vermont, courtesy this winter’s abundance of snow. Cars and trucks, in particular, look like flying mud balls.

While on my speed walk yesterday, I passed through the Equinox Hotel parking lot—Manchester VT. They are undergoing, under new owners, a massive renovation. The contractor is Bread Loaf Construction, probably VT’s best, out of Middlebury.

Bread Loaf folks aren’t as smart as they think, as I see it. That is, they apparently don’t know it’s mud season. Every contractor’s truck in the parking lot—and the FedEx and UPS trucks, too—confirmed the “mud ball” image I just pointed out.

Except for Bread Loaf’s. There were two BL trucks in the lot, both sizeable pickups. Both, in BL tradition, painted fire engine red.

And neither—and here I do not exaggerate—had the tiniest trace of dirt or mud or even dust.

Later in the afternoon, I was having a long interview with a top dog at the ad agency TBWAChiatDay, and, not surprisingly, the topic turned to branding. Out of my mouth, unbidden, popped “Branding is a squeaky clean bright red contractor’s truck in mud season in Vermont.” In fact, we talked about the fact that branding is, well, about … Everything. On the one hand, that’s not very helpful. On the other hand, it reminds us that nothing, absolutely nothing, is irrelevant to individual branding—or branding of a construction company in VT or Megacorp Inc. As a quote from David D’Alessandro, in Career Warfare, goes, “It’s always showtime.”

(I know, I know—I should have taken a picture. Sorry.)

Tom Peters posted this on April 17, 2008, in Branding.
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