To the delight of humor columnists everywhere, the U.S. Postal Service is launching a clothing line dubbed Rain Heat & Snow. Really.
Well, actually, the Postal Service is simply licensing its unofficial motto to an Ohio clothing company who’s creating the line of sturdy sportswear and outerwear. (The actual line is “Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds.”) The clothing line will “have electronic wiring and capabilities that will allow people to plug in iPods and hear music” while they’re out doing their thing. And it will bear no relation whatsoever, as far as I can tell, to the low couture safari hats and shirt–and-shorts ensembles that our mail carriers have been sporting for decades.
Ok. So. Granted, the idea of the Postal Service birthing a fashion brand takes a little getting used to. But I gotta say, I like the brand name Rain Heat & Snow. It suggests outdoor versatility, functionality, and hardiness—all the things this new brand will apparently have going for it. Plus the name’s different … and memorable. And to the extent that people will feel good about supporting our financially struggling postal service with their clothing purchases, it has a nice built-in marketing shtick.
It would be even better if the clothing line was actually leveraging some unique characteristic of mail-carrier garments: say, a special fabric ingredient that made them water-resistant. That would give the Rain Heat & Snow brand a truly organic tie-in to the USPS, and a terrific backstory. Oh well. I still like the name.
Brand names that are phrases, while uncommon in most industries, can be quite successful. For instance, there’s Gee Your Hair Smells Terrific shampoo and conditioner, TCBY (The Country’s Best Yogurt), Fruit of the Loom, 7 for All Mankind, and I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter (perhaps more accurately dubbed “Let’s All Pretend That It’s Butter”).
Then there’s the wine industry, which has a robust tradition of using phrases for brand names. To name just a few: Fat Bastard, Mommy’s Time Out, Ménage a Trois, and Director’s Cut (from Francis Ford Coppola’s vineyards, natch). There are also beer brand names that are phrases, such as Wreck the Halls, from the parent brand Full Sail. And let’s not forget about outdoor apparel and accessory retailer Any Mountain.
So Rain Heat & Snow has plenty of good company. All in all, I would say: Go Postal! (Hey! that just may be their tagline. 😉
Overall Grade A-