Meet me at Four Seasons (not that Four Seasons)

Image courtesy of The Cut

You know what happened. The announcement went out that the Trump campaign would hold a press conference about the election at the Four Seasons in Philadelphia. The Four Seasons….Total Landscaping, cough cough.

Oh my.

Claire Lampen at The Cut aptly called it “a dark-horse contender for the day’s most captivating development yet.” Of course it’s hilarious. Of course it’s viral, it’s a meme, all over the news.

Four Seasons Total Landscaping is baffled by how they’ve been criticized and received. And I’m shocked that they’re shocked; no one else is. They say they don’t understand it, because they’re “all for democracy.” We would have let anyone in here for an event! they say. OK. No one cares! (And also, telling people to stop being hard on you isn’t super effective, fyi.) They don’t see what they did as wrong. No one said it was wrong. It was just…hilarious and memorable. Context is everything.

Their geography was unfortunate—being wedged between a crematory and a sex shop didn’t help much, but I bet they never thought about that. That’s just where they lived. It was a simple fact. And it was only when brought into sharp relief by social media that we decided what it “meant”—mainly that it was a sad state of affairs, and a grim dead end. That’s what it came to mean, in an instant.

FSTL is and isn’t the story; they are the hilarious set up and punchline. And that’s the lesson: It doesn’t matter what YOU want the public/other people to think about your business or brand. Your brand is what you mean to other people, not always what you want it to mean.

Sure they’re capitalizing off it (go ahead and check out their website and you’ll be hit in the face with their merch. Oy.) And the truth of it is, in a few weeks, we’ll forget all about it and them. That’s not the kind of attention anyone wants, is it?

Remember that the next time you say you just want to “raise awareness” for your brand. You might want to be a little more specific.

Image courtesy of The CutCheck out why they can’t stop thinking about this either.