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Frenchy’s “Brand”—Orange You Glad I Told You This?

by Shelly Tucker on June 24, 2007©

Yesterday the folks around town thought I was crazy. The ones who know me already realize that. However, I was a little more odd than usual, as I toodled around town snapping pictures of ugly trucks. Like this one:

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Or this one:

frenchys_truck_2 frenchys_truck_3

My friend Marcia at Tumbled Words, and her friend Nancy J. Bond at Only The Good would caution you to find only the good in these photos. It’s kinda hard to look at an ugly truck and see much good, isn’t it? You have to admit that’s an awfully ugly color of orange. So let me tell you what I think is good about them.

Those trucks are owned by a man named “Frenchy” who has a lawn service here in Denton, TX. There are hundreds of lawn services in the area, but if you ask people to name one, the first words on their lips will be “Frenchy’s Lawn Service.” Why? Because Frenchy has those trucks all over town; sometimes he just leaves them parked where people will see them. When you drive into town near my house, this is one of the first sights you will see:

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I’ve never seen those trucks moved from that spot. They are always there, with a different message every day. Frenchy is constantly wishing someone “Happy Birthday,” or congratulating someone for an accomplishment, or posting a message to cheer on the local sports teams. He has been called the “Goodwill Ambassador for Denton.” At first, I thought those trucks were an eyesore. Now, I’ve come to love them, and I always read the signs on Frenchy’s trucks to see what’s going on in town.

I don’t know the man personally, but I’ve heard a lot of stories about him. I don’t know if they are true, but I’ve been told that Frenchy is a Viet Nam era veteran who is fiercely patriotic (as evidenced by the American flags and Eagles plastered all over his trucks). When he began his lawn service, he had an ugly truck and needed to paint it. He found some cheap orange paint, and Shazaam! An ugly orange truck appeared.

That ugly truck got attention, though. His choice of orange for a color might have been for economy’s sake, but it turned out to be a brilliant business move. As his business grew and he acquired a fleet of trucks, he kept painting them that God-awful orange. Now, in Denton, if you ask someone to tell you a word they associate with “orange,” they are likely to say “Frenchy’s!” In fact, he is so well respected in the community that the local ice cream shop named a sherbet after him: “Frenchy’s Orange.”

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You probably immediately know the names associated with these pictures:
arches.png nike.jpg izod1.jpg

They are the “image brands” for McDonalds, Nike, and Izod.

Those orange trucks are Frenchy’s “brand.” It’s a smart business move. But, Frenchy has been an intelligent businessman in many more ways than that. The goodwill that he builds on those trucks coming into town is pretty tremendous. Aside from that, if there is any kind of community function, Frenchy is there right in the big middle of things. Any charity that needs help can count on Frenchy’s assistance to publicize, raise money, or donate money and time. His generosity is legendary.

Why am I telling you all this? Well, I think that anyone in business—-even the business of blogging—-can learn from Frenchy. His “brand” may never be nationally known, but it is recognized in the place where it is important: his community. As bloggers, I think it’s important to have a “brand.” I know that I am trying to take a page out of his book. But, Frenchy does several things I think are important for success: He has a “brand,” he is supportive and generous in his community, and when he gets behind a cause he supports it with everything he has.

As bloggers, we are a “community.” I think we should be doing everything we can to ensure the success of our own blogs and of those we like. Our words on the internet have power far beyond what you might think. Our words can change our world. We can learn how to succeed and make a difference in our community by examining successful businessmen like Frenchy.

Now, look at this truck and tell me you can’t see “the good.”

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Now it’s YOUR turn. Do you have a “brand” for your blog? What do you hope to achieve in your little corner of the world? Will you share two or three things you do that you think are important for successful blogging OR for “making a difference?”

{ 7 comments }

Arkie Mama June 24, 2007 at 8:58 am

OK, this is driving me crazy — didn’t there used to be a chicken car in Denton? It was owned by some local guy who ran a little restaurant or diner…?

I loved that car. Used to see it around town all the time.

But now I can’t remember the name of the place it was promoting!

(This has nothing to do with blogging brands, but your post has sent me spiraling into the past…!)

If there was a “chicken car,” it was before my time…but I’ll ask around just so you won’t go crazy :lol: Am I too late?~skt

Jessica The Rock Chick June 24, 2007 at 12:57 pm

I don’t know if you guys have Peapod down there or not but it’s a grocery shopping service. They drive around in VW beetles that are painted pea green and they certainly look like little pea pods!!

DId you get my e-mail your Best Blog of The Day award?????

Jessica

Yes, Ma’am, and I e-mailed you back…did you not get my e-mail? Oh, Google is gone wonky~skt

YellowRose June 24, 2007 at 1:19 pm

Very thought provoking post! Next time I drive through Denton I’ll look for those orange trucks! ;)

As for a brand…hmmm…I guess when you think of my blog you think of yellow roses, I have used the yellow rose as my “thing” for about seven years now not just on my blog (it’s only two and a half years old) but on message boards, etc.

I went to a world wide assembly last summer for our church. It was huge! I was walking in this huge arena and I hear “YellowRose!” It was someone who knew me from my blog and a message board I help moderate. It was like that all week. So I think it sticks when you are active on a blog and you connect with people. You have definitely made a connection with many, with your wonderful stories, your sense of humor and your big generous heart!

SusieJ June 24, 2007 at 5:28 pm

Shelly. That is a good question. I should know — but I don’t. All I do know is that it makes me feel good to write. It makes me feel good to capture the ordinary things that make up a day. I know that I hope that I inspire other to look at the ordinary things in their own lives as moments to treasure. Because that’s what life is — it’s all in the little things. If we can learn to appreciate and see the profound in those things — we’re truly living in the present.

Jen June 24, 2007 at 9:31 pm

I would like to think that my “brand” or theme of my blog is that you can still be an individual with many interests even if you are a mother. As my parents and children become older, I see more challenges ahead, my blog is my journal of what I do through those challenges.

Marcia June 24, 2007 at 10:01 pm

I am trying to brand the blog I haven’t released yet, not sure where I am going with the other ones, a lot to think about. I love the trucks. Now, if you could just get the Share a Square on his trucks!

Thank you, Shelly, for the link love, mine, but more for Only the Good. You are doing only the good right now.

Still think you should be in marketing if you ever get tired of telling stories, whether the ones that have happened or the real ones that haven’t.

JAM June 25, 2007 at 2:46 pm

I’m not trying to create a brand with my blog. I wanted to get some of the stories from my childhood and life written down and every time I started, I would taper off and stop. I started a blog, hoping the pressure to put something on there every day would spur me to just write, and it has.

I miss a day here and there, and some days I just post photos, but for the most part, I’ve written more about my life in the past year than all the years before put together.

I like comments and the blog community, but having readers isn’t my main goal, it’s just icing on the cake. I’m just proud to have written a lot about my life and family for my kids and any future grandkids I may have.

I LOVE the Frenchy’s trucks. Most people would turn their noses up at such things but I love offbeat stuff like that.

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