Men In Kilts Washing Windows

 I was driving home from work last week and pulled into a gas station to fill up. A plaid truck was parked next to me with a man in a kilt filling his truck.  No, I don’t live in Scotland, I live in the Raleigh, North Carolina. 

It caught my attention. I noticed it. I laughed. 

On the truck was a big banner promoting Men in Kilts Washing Windows. My first thought was a college fraternity stunt. Then I thought about Monty Python. Then I smelled a marketing genius.

In 2002, Nicolas Brand, a Scotsman living in Canada loved his hand-sewn kilt and found a way to personalize and make memorable his window cleaning business. He was struggling with a way to distinguish his brand from several other window cleaners in the area. How could he stand out from the crowd and, as Seth Godin would say, be the purple cow in a field of brown cows. One day, he decided to clean windows in his kilts, for no reason then to show his pride. 

He got noticed. 

After growing the business locally to over a million dollars in revenue, he connected with a former VP of Operations at 1-800-JUNK, Tressa Wood saw a franchise opportunity and she joined the team as CEO to grow and expand the business. They merged window cleaning and the Scottish kilt into a business dressed for success. 

Gimmick or Genius? 
Of course this is a marketing gimmick but it allows their brand to differentiate itself from the generic category of window cleaning services.  Can you name any brand in this category? Don’t you want to share this story with others and pass along this information to others? Aren't you even a little curious how he gets his employees to put on a kilt for work? I love that at the back of the shirt they wear it says, "no peeking"

Tilt toward the Kilt 
Does your brand or business differentiate itself in an authentic way that connects to your heritage? 

Let’s face it, most brands start off without a real and compelling point of difference. Everything is the same as your competitor. You both put your pants, I mean kilts on, one leg at a time. This company has taken a pretty hum drum business and added some humor, personality and a story to share. 

Don't you need to find a way to make sure your brand doesn't blur into the category where you compete? Maybe you need to stop skirting your marketing problem. 


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