Does Your Coin Laundry’s Name Stand Out? (Part 1)

Howard Scott |

PEMBROKE, Mass. — Best Laundromat. The Finest Laundry. Super Wash Coin-Op. Express Wash. Townsend Laundry.

These are all perfectly adequate self-service laundry business names that state the essence of the offering and suggest good service with a relevant adjective.

But, does your laundry’s name stand out, generate buzz, create a bond, or make someone smile?

“Doesn’t have to,” mouths one owner. “I’ve been around for 15 years. Everyone knows my business. It’s simple and easy to say. What’s wrong with a short and sweet name?”

‘PAUSE AND THINK’

My unconventional notion about names has evolved from a recent trip to New Orleans.

There, right on Bourbon Street, in the heart of the French Quarter, is a really small Laundromat (20 machines) called Washing Well LaunDRYteria.

Every morning, I would jog by the place, getting a chuckle. One day, I walked in and looked around.

The name is clever, witty, provocative, poetic. It makes you pause and think. Washing Well LaunDRYteria is such a word combination that I want to praise it to high heaven.

Washing Well is a play on wishing well. One thinks, “I wish (as in a wishing well) that my wash comes out clean.”

The second name, LaunDRYteria, states that it is a laundry, but adds “teria” as if it were a social activity, as if one were in a cafeteria eating with friends.

Then the “DRY” in capital letters, emphasizes that the clothes will come out well done. Everyone appreciates warm, dry garments.

Also, it’s visually pleasing to have capital letters in the center of a word. It looks like a mountain, which has pristine connotations of vigor and strength.

Not bad associations for a Laundromat.

MISSED OPPORTUNITY

“So what?” says the above “Laundromateur.” “The name of my shop is shorter: Top Dog Laundry. It says it clearer. It’s a name people won’t forget. I’d rather have clarity than cleverness.”

But, would you really? What if this clever name brought in business, whereas your designation, “Top Dog,” doesn’t bring in business? It just facilitates the trade you’re doing now.

“I don’t believe a name brings in business,” snaps the belligerent operator.

Well, I happened to speak to an early-morning client washing her clothes at the Washing Well LaunDRYteria.

She said: “I have four Laundromats to choose from, but I love this place. Just the name alone says that they have a sense of humor. I love the ‘DRY’ in capital letters. A few months ago, I had a problem, and the people here took care of it with a smile and a ‘Yikes, that shouldn’t have happened.’ They fixed the situation in no sweat.”

So, here’s one customer who comes in weekly because of the name. I wonder if there are 100 more—maybe even 200 families.

Would you be so adamant, Mr. “Top Dog” Laundromateur, if you miss out on these customers?

Check back Thursday for the conclusion!

About the author

Howard Scott

Industry Writer and Drycleaning Consultant

Howard Scott is a former business owner, longtime industry writer and drycleaning consultant. He welcomes questions and comments and can be reached by writing Howard Scott, Dancing Hill, Pembroke, MA 02359; by calling 781-293-9027; or via e-mail at [email protected].

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