It’s many years ago since I last had to buy transport services but I was sad to hear of the death of Eddie Stobart on Thursday March 31, 2011.
Eddie Stobart (the company) has become an iconic firm for one simple reason – every cab was given a women’s name.
I guess this is an unusual twist on “differentiation by who”.
The company has its own fan club with 25,000 members and spotters collect the names of the cabs they’ve seen. The first truck was named after the sixties model Twiggy.
There were other differences too – the trucks were clean and the drivers wear ties. Eddie Stobart‘s is a company to be proud of.
From the outside, it doesn’t seem much to give each cab a name but it was a bit of magic that created the public’s attention – and built up probably the UK’s only nationally known transport company. It would be an interesting exercise to stop people in the street and ask them to name a transport company and see how many people say Eddie Stobart.
Did this create buyer preference?
Maybe not but I bet it got the Eddie Stobart company into a lot of buying situations when it would otherwise have been treated as just another transport company.
And to win the game, you have to be in it in the first place.
Here’s an interesting article from the BBC – How Did Eddie Stobart Become So Famous
The challenge is how you can take such a simple idea as girls names on a truck and use it to give your business personality in a way that makes it memorable.