Yesterday, I had one of those moments where you see something, walk past, stop, walk back and smile in disbelief. No, it wasn’t yet another Banksy display – not here in sunny Sutton Coldfield! – it was the packaging displaying the brand name ‘Challenge Xtreme’ and the realisation of the content: a lawnmower.
Little did I know then that the brand also comprises more home grooming products, such as a grass trimmer and a screw driver. Is it just me or is there a disparity between the brand name and the product? Should trimming or mowing your lawn be associated with ‘challenge extreme’? What does it tell me about the brand? Is it an extreme challenge to operate? Will it always break or is it challenging to store? I just want a lawn mower that is ‘extremely easy’ or ‘the quick and simple’.
There are of course other lawn mower brands and a quick search on Argos reveals the following list:
- Black and Decker
- Challenge Xtreme
- Spear and Jackson
- Suffolk Punch
Black and Decker, Bosch and Flymo are brand names that connect with attributes such as quality, reliability and technology. Especially Flymo stands for ease and comfort when keeping that famous English lawn neat and tidy. I am not much of a gardener, so the other brands are unknown to me and, apart from Qualcast reminding me of the “It’s a lot less bother than a hover” controversy against Flymo many moons ago, they don’t evoke much feeling or reaction. Challenge and Challenge Xtreme, however, stick out like sore thumbs and I don’t quite get the brand strategy surrounding the product name.
Are they targeting a nichè of ninja gardeners? Is there a secret society of cutting-edge DIY practitioners who will require the emotional backup of a Challenge Xtreme screwdrivers to conquer those plasterboard walls and hang up some pictures?
Perhaps I should hang out in garden centres a bit more and see who goes for the Challenge or Challenge Xtreme – it may be one surprising tribe to belong to in and outside the house…