Yesterday, I interviewed Danica Patrick. Today, I got a note from the "Ray Croc of Crack." These things happen when you write about marketing. His name is Bob Kodner, and he runs a franchise of concrete-repair specialists called The Crack Team. Kodner writes: "Anyhoo, I wanted to bring you up to speed on what's happening here in Crackville. When the world spun off its axis last year, I knew our franchise growth would be stunted, as tightened credit and uncertainty has thrown franchising into a depression that still lingers." But Bob didn't write to bellyache. The Crack Team, he said, began marketing its "magic fillers and goo" products directly to homeowners, and the demand for his products has increased "while people continue to sit on their wallets but need to repair their homes." Kodner adds that he's also still selling a lot of Mr. Happy Crack underwear, with slogans like "A dry crack is a happy crack" and "Show us your crack." Now, I really don't know how well The Crack Team is doing, but I have to give Kodner credit for not only creating a brand identity for something as mundane as concrete repair, but for being able to expand the business in a down economy. It says a lot about the power of branding, as well as the appeal of second-grade humor.
—Posted by Kenneth Hein