Brand building through storytelling

Looking for renovation supplies? You’ve got the wrong Rona

Almost everyone who knows me has at last figured out that I am not a phone person. If you think the result is blessed silence for conducting my online life—everything from intimate girlfriend conversations to arranging day trips in China—you’re only partly right. The other part took me by surprise. Most of the calls I now get come from people who not only don’t know me; they don’t have a clue who I am. For instance:

* They think I’m Canada’s biggest chain of hardware stores. Perhaps I should be flattered that 680 stores bear my name, but I’ve wearied of convincing baffled guys in trucks that this Rona can’t sell them a mitre box (hey, what’s a mitre box, anyway?). These folks aren’t word people, to put it kindly. And they got my name from directory assistance. And they’re so keen to get started on that basement renovation. Geez, why did I go into the word business when every hobbyist in the land is dreaming of a better basement?

* They want to sell me an ad in the Yellow Pages. About time the Yellow Pages had a “Writers” heading, don’t you think? And since we writers are essentially buskers, wouldn’t you say they should run our ads for free?

* They’re chasing a debtor—let’s call her Whitney Johnson—who used to have my number. Whitney must owe a chunk of change to a whole lot of people, to judge from the urgent calls for her that come my way. Not that anyone has actually mentioned a debt. It’s the threatening tone that tone of voice that surrounds the hapless Whitney in a cloud of suspicion. “No one here by that name,” I keep saying.

Then there’s the accelerating slew of long-distance calls that don’t even come from human beings. My husband will rush to the phone in the middle of dinner, hoping it’s a friend from the west coast, only to hear a recorded spiel about debt reduction. Maybe Whitney Johnson would be desperate enough to sign on. It’s been a few days since the last call for Whitney. Guess that means I’m due.


Posted by Rona

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