I fancy myself the Kathy Griffin of Corporate Humor, and so I feel that it is my job to make fun of Corporate America when they act dumb. Just like celebrities, companies often cannot help themselves from acting stupid and it’s my job to point it out so we can all get a good laugh and maybe learn something. So, today’s subject came to me in an ad on my Blackberry Slacker Radio. I listen to this while I walk in the morning, (Today’s Hits is my channel if you must know). I am cheap so there are periodic ads, but I don’t mind the occasional interruption in my rhythm and today, I was rewarded for that. Today, as I was walking, an ad came on for Cintas. Ever heard of them? You’ve probably seen the logo on a white truck and wondered what they do. You can’t think of it, can you? Hold on to your hat because it’s a long list. Ready? Work uniforms, facilities management (read: janitorial services), document shredding, first aid, fire protection – I am not done here – promotional products, cleanroom resources – whatever that is – and flame resistant clothing. Because nothing goes together better than promotional products and fire protection. It reminds me of that show about 10 years ago about the bowling alley that also offered legal services with Tom Cavanaugh and Julie Bowen.
Now I don’t mean to pick on Cintas as I am sure they are lovely people with respectable jobs and profit margins, but, like Oprah and Rosie and Sharon Stone, they make themselves an easy target. That lack of specialization has got to make you wonder whether they are good at anything, or just fwapping a bunch of ideas against the wall like cooked spaghetti to see what sticks. (I just made up the word fwapping. You’re welcome. Nice onomatopoeia, right?)
Anyhoo, specialization. It’s what makes your company stand out from the crowd and be memorable. Don’t think it matters? Type any one of those services Cintas offers into your Google machine and see how far down the list they appear. Work uniforms are probably where they do best, but they still trail Lands End (who knew?) and Aramark. Aramark is to Cintas as Newman is to Jerry. They are nemeses (nemesi?), vying for the coveted position of the smorgasbord service company. Good for you both. Go for it. But don’t expect me to remember who you are or what you do. And don’t even get me started on why Cintas thought the people listening to Today’s Hits (Rihanna, Sean Puffy Combs, Nicki Minaj) on Slacker Radio are their target demographic. That’s a Blog for another day.