We provide extraordinary care for fine
garments & household textiles
Almost 30 years after being introduced to the
marketing lexicon, the most overused and misused word in marketing
has finally reached the dry cleaning industry. Say hello to
"extreme dry cleaning".
It all started in the 1980's with "extreme skiing". "Extreme
skiing" involved perching on a mountainside, miles from any help,
with no one in sight, on wild snow that no one had ever skied, with
no avalanche control, on steep terrain that required special
mountaineering and skiing skills.
That's truly "extreme".
The ski industry then misappropriated the meaning of the word
when they started calling the expert slopes at your local ski area
The gap between true extreme skiing and resort extreme skiing
is, of course, a chasm the size of the Grand Canyon.
Not to be outdone, the action sports industries perverted the
meaning when they started linking the word "extreme" to every youth
oriented action sport - everything from mountain biking,
snowboarding, skateboarding and street luge to in-line skiing, rock
climbing and windsurfing.
In fact, any action sport that was perceived to exhibit a high
level of speed, height, physical exertion and environmental
obstacles (wind, snow, water and mountains) was
identified as "extreme".
Marketing executives then bastardized the meaning of the word
"extreme", applying it to any product they thought might appeal to
the 12 to 24 year old urban male demographic.
So now you can shave with an extreme razor, brush with an
extreme toothpaste and apply an extreme anti-perspirant. All that
before sitting down to watch extreme sports on TV while munching on
an extreme snack and then washing it down with an extreme soda.
What's next? Taking a bathroom break with Charmin's "Extreme Clean"
Not to be outdone, certain dry cleaners have latched onto the
eword. The use of the term "extreme dry cleaning" is, of course,
designed to convey the perception of something better than
ordinary, something enhanced.
I'd bet that "extreme dry cleaning" is, in fact, quite ordinary
and mainstream. What dry cleaning experts call bang and hang
cleaning in a fancy package.
Today, America has recognized that the e-word has no meaning and
has come to view "extreme" as just another marketing ploy targeting
the gullible and the uninformed. And that "extreme dry cleaning" is
it just a term coined by a public relations professional to
differentiate their client's cleaning from other cleaners down the
road or across town.
On the other hand, it's possible that these cleaners have
finally decided that they couldn't continue to be "all things to
all people" and that it was time to target a narrower market
segment. Such as clients who favor the "outdoorsy look" associated
with brands such as The North Face and Patagonia. Or the 12 to 24
year old urban male demographic who favor T-shirts and baggy
You up for extreme dry cleaning, dude? It's totally awesome!
How can I help you?
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