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PUMPERS! Be careful with your slogans!

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  • PUMPERS! Be careful with your slogans!

    One of the most commons searches that I see on my site is people searching for "Septic slogans." Since so many of you new business owners are coming to my site looking for a "catchy" slogan, I'm going to give you my advice about using them.

    How many of you would take your wife and kids to a doctor whose tagline was, "Near death's door? We'll pull you through!" or "It's a bloody job, but someone's gotta do it!" That's fine for doctors to laugh over while having lunch, but it would kill their business no doubt. What makes our industry think that we need to be less professional than a doctor? Do you consider yourself a professional? Do you really? Really, really?

    I used to think that the septic industry was the one and only industry where you could get by with almost anything in marketing. I have changed my mind. I've noticed that generally speaking the most successful septic companies have no septic slogans in their trucks, and that the ones who use off color slogans typically have one or maybe two trucks. Nothing against small companies, I only have one truck myself, but I think this illustrates a point that once a company gets to be a certain size and they do a totally honest assessment of their company they realize, deep down, that to truly be professionals they need to drop the slogans. Either that, or it illustrates that the companies that portray a "spotlessly clean" image experience better growth than others who seem to appreciate the "grubby sewer guy" image.

    Most homeowners are completely repulsed by septic problems. The women especially can be actually embarrassed about the situation. They don't need us rubbing their noses in it (figuratively speaking here) by reminding them via the graphics on our truck, etc., that "Your s**t is our bread and butter," or "We're #1 in a #2 business" (our industry gets first, not second place in my mind), or that "It's a dirty job but someones gotta do it." They don't even need to be informed that "This truck (or job) s*cks!"

    Going back to the doctor theme, how would you feel about your family physician if he started advertising, "Your heart provides meat for our table!" or "I"ll remove your appendix for blood money!" He wouldn't even consider it, and if he did he'd be out of business in a week. Why should we? Again, are we professionals........... or aren't we? (Please take the time to answer this question honestly for yourself.)

    So the homeowner calls with a bad situation. Wouldn't it be much, much better if we showed up with clean equipment, strictly avoided vulgar language or even mild swear words, explained in carefully worded terms how and why this happened and what we're going to do to fix it, and then did our job with no reference at all to the unpleasant nature of the business outside of assuring the customer that we will get it taken care of as soon as possible? It seems the customer would feel that we were taking their situation seriously and that we genuinely cared about them. On the other side of the coin, using off-color and rude marketing sends the message to the homeowner that "We don't really take your problem seriously, and you're just about to become the butt of another nasty joke." There are even times when, as professionals, we are called upon to give advice on some very touchy subjects. If you have to tell a customer that they need to stop flushing condoms or feminine products into their septic system, do so with a straight face and be as brief and concise as possible. No giggling like schoolboys and giving the homeowner's wife a knowing look.

    There are plenty of catchy taglines that illustrate that our companies are equipped and ready to deal with any type of sewer or septic problem. A little thought can produce a slogan that portrays your business in a positive way and is easy to remember, just as easy as the nasty ones.

    I would simply like to see more professionalism in this industry, and would like to put out a call to all septic companies to please, use your head when you are trying to decide how to market your businesses. I for one want the public to take our industry seriously and to view us as valuable, necessary professionals.



  • #2
    Re: PUMPERS! Be careful with your slogans!

    I enjoy a joke or play on words related to the industry. However, some are embarrassing themselves and their profession with some of the slogans they put on their trucks. I've seen them.

    I don't think it helps their business really and degrades their's and similar professions as a whole.

    Thanks for mentioning it.


    J.C.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: PUMPERS! Be careful with your slogans!

      years ago when I started to farm, I bought a old used combine, and apparently it had been used once by a Custom Harvester, and on the back of the combine that would have been seen when transporting it down the road was the guys name and the phase,
      "We will Cheat you right".

      some how that slogan would not have inspired me to hire the fellow,
      Push sticks/blocks Save Fingers
      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
      "The true measure of a man is how he treats someone who can do him absolutely no good."
      attributed to Samuel Johnson
      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
      PUBLIC NOTICE: Due to recent budget cuts, the rising cost of electricity, gas, and oil...plus the current state of the economy............the light at the end of the tunnel, has been turned off.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: PUMPERS! Be careful with your slogans!

        Kendall, well put. You need to get an association going in Idaho. Contact the NAWT and see if they'll help you out. It's people like you this industry needs. You need to spread your words of wisdom!
        www.ClinkscalesSeptic.com

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: PUMPERS! Be careful with your slogans!

          My personal favorite "Yesterdays meals on wheels."
          ''Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy" Benjamin Franklin

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: PUMPERS! Be careful with your slogans!

            Septic pumpers can get away with almost any slogan....plumbers not so much. I'd just crack the door and slip the check out to the pumper guy. Crap tanks stink and it gets on pumpers guys. Takes a special individual to pump tanks everyday.

            Comment


            • #7
              You're ignoring Marketing 101

              Explain how you're not furthering their agenda with the mere mentioning of those marketing tactics, complaining.


              Tell me who is moving your logo, picture of your pump truck across the internet casually, giving you all the free advertising you could possibly want.


              Tell me what I can pick off your website that's memorable, will "stick" in the minds of many that would be part of the design of retaining interest in your profession.


              People know that your job, sucks. I know that every time I clear a drain in a cesspool of shi.t or replace a sewage ejector pump like I did today.

              So...

              People in your profession get established, have a good repeat business and start to relax, have fun with their profession. I don't blame them.


              FOR EXAMPLE,


              There's a company that does your type of work in my area, he's on a well travelled road, and every so many weeks, this guy throws out a one liner that grabs your attention.


              The one that has stuck with me, and it was over a year ago, maybe two,

              "Your Brown is our Green"


              And I think the only ones offended by the statement was his competition, wishing they found it first, being able to show it off to 30,000 vehicles a day passing by his place of business.


              The retention of memory that customers have with that septic pumping service is the total experience, how thorough they are... and possibly a talking point when they see that truck in the driveway, or driving behind that vehicle later on after the work was done and money paid.

              Famous words, slogans, mottos are notorious for delivering the message across to the masses. Turn to the Superbowl and the commercials that advertisers use.

              Hell, look at Faith Hill's ad, with that floral company. Totally off key, but it's all the rage with common speak about her product, all because a guy truly typed what he thought of his gf. It was where the actual trips up the intended in design to make you think.

              You might not like it, but it's marketing 101 in business and that's why I'm not following the herd in your sentiments on this topic. It's okay to disagree.

              Do I take playful shots at my profession, myself, anything in the mix? Of course, all the time.

              If it gets people talking (like this topic right here) the design is working flawlessly.

              I went to your website, didn't see anything that 'stood out' that will make me retain any tidbit that would make me remember you in the future if I need your services.

              A slogan, however, can and will.

              My slogan "Plumbing Problems Solved." Failed miserably when I created it, got mowed over by BORING and I slowly removed it. It does not show up in everyday advertising anymore.

              Some hit, but a lot miss.

              I'd like to find "A" customer that didn't call a septic pumping service because they crafted a funny/comical slogan on their rig, getting passed around like free cupcakes at a festival.


              If you use that slogan above, I own the copyright... but I'll make ya a sweet deal ya can't pass up.


              The septic pumping company I mentioned in my area? OWNS THE MARKET and the other 4 companies catch his droppings, the jobs he can't do.
              Last edited by DUNBAR PLUMBING; 02-09-2011, 09:23 PM.
              Northern Kentucky Plumbers Twitter Feed | Plumbing Videos

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: PUMPERS! Be careful with your slogans!

                I'm proud of my pumping business. Clean trucks, drivers, hoses and professional image. I will not have a skunk or you dump we pump on any thing. There is a special breed that seem to end up in this line of work I will admit.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: PUMPERS! Be careful with your slogans!

                  Originally posted by TheMaster View Post
                  Septic pumpers can get away with almost any slogan....plumbers not so much. I'd just crack the door and slip the check out to the pumper guy. Crap tanks stink and it gets on pumpers guys. Takes a special individual to pump tanks everyday.

                  Or to chase turds everyday..Whats's the difference
                  ''Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy" Benjamin Franklin

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: You're ignoring Marketing 101

                    Originally posted by DUNBAR PLUMBING View Post
                    Explain how you're not furthering their agenda with the mere mentioning of those marketing tactics, complaining.


                    Tell me who is moving your logo, picture of your pump truck across the internet casually, giving you all the free advertising you could possibly want.


                    Tell me what I can pick off your website that's memorable, will "stick" in the minds of many that would be part of the design of retaining interest in your profession.


                    People know that your job, sucks. I know that every time I clear a drain in a cesspool of shi.t or replace a sewage ejector pump like I did today.

                    So...

                    People in your profession get established, have a good repeat business and start to relax, have fun with their profession. I don't blame them.


                    FOR EXAMPLE,


                    There's a company that does your type of work in my area, he's on a well travelled road, and every so many weeks, this guy throws out a one liner that grabs your attention.


                    The one that has stuck with me, and it was over a year ago, maybe two,

                    "Your Brown is our Green"


                    And I think the only ones offended by the statement was his competition, wishing they found it first, being able to show it off to 30,000 vehicles a day passing by his place of business.


                    The retention of memory that customers have with that septic pumping service is the total experience, how thorough they are... and possibly a talking point when they see that truck in the driveway, or driving behind that vehicle later on after the work was done and money paid.

                    Famous words, slogans, mottos are notorious for delivering the message across to the masses. Turn to the Superbowl and the commercials that advertisers use.

                    Hell, look at Faith Hill's ad, with that floral company. Totally off key, but it's all the rage with common speak about her product, all because a guy truly typed what he thought of his gf. It was where the actual trips up the intended in design to make you think.

                    You might not like it, but it's marketing 101 in business and that's why I'm not following the herd in your sentiments on this topic. It's okay to disagree.

                    Do I take playful shots at my profession, myself, anything in the mix? Of course, all the time.

                    If it gets people talking (like this topic right here) the design is working flawlessly.

                    I went to your website, didn't see anything that 'stood out' that will make me retain any tidbit that would make me remember you in the future if I need your services.

                    A slogan, however, can and will.

                    My slogan "Plumbing Problems Solved." Failed miserably when I created it, got mowed over by BORING and I slowly removed it. It does not show up in everyday advertising anymore.

                    Some hit, but a lot miss.

                    I'd like to find "A" customer that didn't call a septic pumping service because they crafted a funny/comical slogan on their rig, getting passed around like free cupcakes at a festival.


                    If you use that slogan above, I own the copyright... but I'll make ya a sweet deal ya can't pass up.



                    The septic pumping company I mentioned in my area? OWNS THE MARKET and the other 4 companies catch his droppings, the jobs he can't do.

                    Not all exposure is good exposure. An offensive slogan on a truck being distributed across the 'net has and opportunity to offend more people. I'm not of the opinion that I should start to relax, I should always striving to get better, to improve my business and the industry as a whole. We want to be taken seriously when we present our bill. A bill that should cover all of our expenses and earn us a nice proffit. How can we be taken seriously if we have raunchy slogans on our trucks and in our advertising?

                    Maybe the guy with the slogans on the highway is getting all the business because he's in front of everyone everyday. It might not have anything to do with his one liners. Maybe the rest of the competition isn't marketing themselves very well. There's too many variables to assume that his slogans are what makes his business boom.

                    Just my opinion.
                    www.ClinkscalesSeptic.com

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: PUMPERS! Be careful with your slogans!

                      Originally posted by TheMaster View Post
                      Septic pumpers can get away with almost any slogan....plumbers not so much. I'd just crack the door and slip the check out to the pumper guy. Crap tanks stink and it gets on pumpers guys. Takes a special individual to pump tanks everyday.
                      Also, quote Dunbar here, your post is too long to quote.

                      I would have to say that I very, very rarely get any on me when pumping. In fact, I get much dirtier when I have to do drain cleaning or even excavation.

                      You say pumpers can get away with it but plumbers can't. Why? I see threads in forums about plumbers and drain cleaners wearing uniforms, what is preferred, what looks professional, and so forth. If you think it's OK for us, why don't you go sell yourself as a "Poop chute specialist" or, if you do drain cleaning, a "Fudge Budger?" You could put "Your tampons wind me up!" on your full vehicle wrap graphics. Why don't you do it? Because, you know good and well that it would dent your image.

                      I'm not speaking about marketing my company here, I'm talking about the public perception of the industry at large. Your posts are classic examples of exactly what I am talking about. You hand your pumper his check through a crack in the door. My customers see me wear gloves, wash my equipment when I'm done, and then they often times witness me walk over to a hydrant with a bottle of antibacterial soap and wash up before making out the invoice. My customers are not afraid to shake hands with me before I leave. Most would agree that word of mouth is the best advertising, and I feel that my approach will bring better long-term business growth than the other method. Furthermore, if I establish myself as a professional who is allowed to wear a clean uniform like you guys and other industry professionals, I will eventually start to cast a dark shadow on the others who don't care.

                      As far as Marketing 101, like Trent said not all exposure is good exposure. As outsiders looking into our industry (pumping) it is easy for you to tell us how great of an idea the slogans are, but I notice your business faces are pretty clean. If catchy, raunchy slogans are such a great idea put your money where your mouth is. The fact is that if I had a funny slogan you would remember it, not my business name or phone number. As we stand now, whether you like it or not, I have firmly, permanently established myself in your mind as the guy who REFUSES to paint his industry black (or brown). Furthermore, every time you see my logo in a post in this or other forums you will subconsciously remember me as one of the clean faces in the industry. As long as your memory stays intact you will remember it. I have accomplished what you say a slogan would accomplish. My customers recognize that as well, and through their word of mouth so will the rest of the community.

                      Hope I didn't offend you guys (Dunbar and Master). Dunbar says it's OK to disagree and I'm good with that. Glad he feels that way because I certainly have disagreed here. I appreciate you guys and these forums are a great way to discuss issues we face. Keep it up.

                      Last, I agree that, inside the industry and around the break room table, there are some major knee slappers out there. Just wait til you hear the radio commercial I dreamed up for our company! (It'll never get used, of course)

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: PUMPERS! Be careful with your slogans!

                        Never, have I seen the industry, people in general "make fun" of people in the sewage disposal business.

                        Your profession is big money business... the very reason Ridgid and some of the forums members here go to the pumper show down in louisville every year.

                        Those trucks cost big money, and if people are buying those trucks, I'd say that works to their favor that you wouldn't be running around with such nice vehicles if you didn't have the income to do so.

                        Look at it from the aspect of port-o-lets; nobody is calling anyone names when they are going around pricing for rentals.

                        Get 100 of those units paid off, keep the idiot organizations away that are always asking for donations and you'll make money if you own the market.


                        Bottom line; people will get offended by anything at this point, in our society.

                        Find me anyone that you know has chosen one pump company over another solely by a crafted slogan on their trucks, and I'll pay for the company's sales loss.


                        If you want to put something offensive on your vehicle, put your political leaning on there... that'll piss people off more than anything when they oppose your political views. Might get cheerleaded by one, but you'll lose sales by that alone.


                        Pumping companies are the major part of the equation in plumbing industry... I wouldn't be too concerned by what a fraction of people have to say.


                        You'll never keep everyone happy.

                        Take Ridgid for example; Good company, good products. Reliable products. Every once in awhile a upset customer comes along, wanting to vent, is mad and reveals their hardship and puts it out there for all to see.

                        That does not mean Ridgid is a bad company. You'll never please everyone and you should never try that hard to do so... you'll lose that battle and the war.
                        Northern Kentucky Plumbers Twitter Feed | Plumbing Videos

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