What were they thinking?

I've lived in Central Florida since I was a toddler. I've eaten more than my share of country fried steak, fried green tomatoes, catfish, shrimp and grits, and other fine Southern favorites.

I'm not shocked when I see gator tail on a menu or gator jerky at a roadside stand.

But I was shocked when I drove past the new restaurant a mile from my home, Possum Crossing!

One glance at the logo and the name and I literally said out loud, "What were they thinking?"

Their slogan Southern Eatin' & Drinkin' is good! Simple, fun and inviting.

But the NAME Possum Crossing surely must be the worst restaurant name in history!

And their logo with the picture of a possum-- may be the worst restaurant logo in history too!

Go ahead and say it out loud with me, "What were they thinking?"

Maybe they were going for originality - something that would stand out.

It does, but for all the WRONG reasons!

Maybe they thought it was cute, I mean the possum is wearing a bow tie.

Maybe the possum was part of an inside joke, story, or had some special meaning to the owners.

I don't know what the owners were thinking, but I do know what the 30,000 potential customers that drive by that location every day thought. They thought the exact same thing you and I did. I’m not eating there!

It wasn't long until our local newspaper ran a review. They were VERY impressed with the food!

Not long after that I drove by and noticed a change, Possum Crossing Restaurant had become Savannah Crossing!

Obviously the owners started to catch on that a restaurant with the word possum in the name would soon be given last rites.

What do you think of when you hear about a restaurant named Savannah Crossing, Southern Eatin' & Drinkin'? Sounds great right? You expect casual Southern food and fun!

I applauded the owners for changing the name!

Sadly, even though they chose a great new name, they left the picture of the possum in their logo!

Not long after the name change I drove by again and noticed the parking lot was empty; and a notice was taped to the door.

It said, "We have closed Savannah Crossing so we can rethink our brand.”

You're probably thinking the same thing I did, What is there to rethink?

Get rid of the possum!

I am pleased to announce they did!

I was thrilled to drive by and see yet another sign painter covering over the two previous names, logos, and completely eradicating the possum.

Introducing the Smokehouse Grill!

What if these hardworking, sincere business owners had started the exact same restaurant with the exact same menu but called it Smokehouse Grill or even Savannah Crossing from the beginning?

They probably would have saved hundreds of thousands of dollars, countless hours of work, frustration, discouragement...

Isn't it easy to look at someone else's logo, business name or slogan; and instantly see what's wrong with it?
It is MUCH harder to pull back and look at our own branding and see it through the eyes of the customers we want to reach.

Action Steps -

1. Take a minute to write a paragraph detailing what you want your logo or slogan to communicate to your customers and potential customers.

2. Look at your logo, say your slogan outloud. Do you think it does a great job of fulfilling the purpose you just wrote down?

3. Use email, Facebook, etc. to ask your current customers what your logo and slogan communicates to them.

4. Use Facebook to ask the general public what your logo and slogan communicates to them.

5. Be willing to get rid of the possum!

Author's Bio: 

Would you like Free Publicity? Get my free training at http://www.PerpetualPublicity.com

Bruce is a bestselling author, speaker and trainer and founder of Perpetual Publicity, a step-by-step training system that teaches Authors, Business Owners and other Entrepreneurs how to grow their business through free publicity.

Bruce has been featured, quoted, profiled or has appeared in thousands of newspapers, magazines, websites, radio and TV shows in over twenty countries, including:The Today Show, Fox & Friends, CNN, MSNBC, USA Today, The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, Chicago Sun Times, I Heart Radio, and NPR.