or File Under, 'Don't Let This Happen to You'
As we see it, one of two things happened here:
- Someone unfamiliar with the word 'chamois' was responsible for making the tags for this product, and it wasn't reviewed before being reproduced and distributed.
- A conscious decision was made to name the 'chamois cloth' a 'shammy cloth' on the assumption that it didn't matter or that no one knew otherwise anymore or -- some justification or other.
If the former, then clearly, the solution is to ensure that a well-read or otherwise disciplined group of people are producing written, client-facing material, such that errors will be discovered in a proofreading step that is always part of production.
If the latter, then the company (whether, in reality, a whole department or a single executive) preferred to run the risk of the pedestrian consumer thinking that the company had made a mistake as a trade-off for the consumers in their demographic who might not recognize the word 'chamois.'
From a marketing standpoint, as well as an educational one, we think that the down-side of looking imprecise is worse than the downside of using a term that someone may not know. After all, many of Aveda's products contain herbs and oils and whatnot that may not be immediately familiar to everyone who patronizes them. But, the company assumes that the professionals in their licensed shops will educate the consumer about these things. Why would the chamois cloth not fall into this same category?
Naturally, we are not suggesting that a company with a great reputation like Aveda is demonstrating an overall lack of care that one should project onto its products. Every once in a while, a mistake just slips by even the most diligent of people.
However, particularly for smaller businesses that do not have a national reputation preceding them, the safest route is to go the extra mile to eliminate errors. This avoids the danger that a prospective client may be turned off by the possibility of a slipshod way of doing things that extends into the business' work -- whether as an electrician or a health care provider or an IT professional.