“Hi, my name is Robert and I’m calling about eighty-mmm-case…”
Eighty. Mmmm. Case.
That was the very first voicemail Mike received from a telemarketer trying to pitch a bookkeeping service. In the days and weeks to come he heard every possible permutation of the word “omakase” from 8oma-Sake and 8ohm-casey to 8kamikaze and 8ohm-kase. One person even chided him with 8kimosabi. Mike went on a radio show where the host was prepped with the correct pronunciation of the name before going on air. What happened when the show went live? “Welcome back. Today we have a special guest in studio. Mike from…” and then immediately points to Mike to say the name. The host didn’t want to botch such a difficult name on live radio.
You know that sinking feeling when you’re talking to someone but can’t remember their name? Or when the hot girl at the bar gave you her number, but not her name, and you can’t call her because you forgot her name? That’s a glimpse into what was going on with the brand. Sushi aficionados fully understood what the name meant. They knew how to spell it. It was easy for them to talk about it with friends. They were able to share our business via word of mouth. There was a seamless connection between the meaning of the word omakase and our styling & tailoring service.
And then there were the other 98%. The vast majority who couldn’t say, spell or remember the word “omakase.” Guys like that telemarketer, Robert… or the gentleman at that silicon beach networking who asked, “wait, so are you a Chinese company?”
It was time to make a change.