My daughter’s friend has a sister who’s a plumber.

She went to a good school and had a good education.

But she didn’t want to do a boring office job, she was much more excited by doing something hands-on.

So she trained to become a plumber.

And, along with other young women who felt the same, they opened a company.

They decided there was a definite opportunity for women in the blue-collar fields.

Jobs that had traditionally only been done by men.

They decided that, by and large, women were cleaner, tidier, and more conscientious than men.

That lots of housewives felt the same way.

They were intimidated my men in these areas and felt patronised, and worried they were getting ripped off.

Often the plumbers didn’t turn up, when they did they overcharged.

Basically, there was a complete lack of trust.

This represented an opportunity, a gap in the market.

A chance to offer something different, to take advantage of the situation.

So they opened a company of all-women plumbers.

They called it STOPCOCK.

That’s a great name on many levels.

Stopcock is a valve used in plumbing, so it says what you do.

Stop-cock is also a reference to women only, so it says what your point-of-difference is.

Stop Cock is an emotional benefit: stop putting up with the same old couldn’t-give-a-shit male plumber’s behaviour.

I like it because it makes a benefit of a negative.

But I mainly like it because it’s cheeky, rude, and fun.

It’s what The Sun would write as a headline.

That’s why I like another slogan I read on a builder’s van.

It was for Patel Brothers, a building company in Portsmouth.

The line says “You’ve tried the cowboys, now try the Indians”.

Again it makes a benefit of a negative.

Builders are traditionally fat white men, but builders also have a reputation for being unreliable and ripping you off.

Why not try a different sort of builder?

What is our justification for saying we’re a different sort of builder?

We aren’t white, we’re Indians.

We don’t have a history of being cowboys, so maybe we’ll do a better job.

They make a rational argument about their point of difference.

But more than that, they’re cheeky, they’re fun, they can laugh at themselves.

Again, it’s the sort of headline The Sun would write.

And in the world of blue-collar that’s not a bad thing to have.

It says dealing with these guys will be a lot more pleasant than the average grumpy, monosyllabic builder.

In fact it might even be fun.

All that in a very few words in a strapline.

Just the way STOPCOCK got all that in a single word in their name.


In each case, I wish I’d written them.