Me, being a marketer, wanted a business name I really liked. My husband, being a man, thought we needed a name that said what the business would do.
I didn’t much like his plain ideas including ‘Motoring services for women,’ ‘A female car club,’ and one that linked lipstick and dipstick too close for comfort I thought.
After countless variations and lots of wasted time this became a big problem for me. Until, in a bloke-like stroke of brilliance, he suggested we add a female-ey adjective to lighten his combinations. I can’t remember how long it took to get to the foxy lady combo but once heard it hit the spot.
Over the years FOXY Lady has become a female motoring brand that’s memorable for women and the motor trade alike. Firstly it tells the trade that FOXY Lady Drivers are ‘shrewd, canny and discerning’ (so don’t mess with us) and secondly it tells women drivers that the FOXY Lady Approved standard means garages and car dealers that are genuinely female friendly and likely better than most others.
And so FOXY Lady Drivers Club was born.
Back in 2004, before social media had been invented, few of us were all that sophisticated when it came to searching at Google. Nor was Google I’d say or they surely wouldn’t have parked us out in the dark ages, somewhere totally unfindable for starters haha…
As a result, those interested females who’d heard me speak in the early days and remembered the FOXY Lady bit of our name (but not the precise website name) quickly found themselves in deep, murky and often deeply offensive territory – the sort of sites that women we wanted to sell to wouldn’t dream of visiting…
On the other hand, we were probably a good excuse for some men to say ‘Sorry dear, I was simply looking for that motoring website you liked…’
And I’ve often wondered how a fledgling Richard Branson would have fared if he’d launched his Virgin brand online in those bygone days. We did lose some potential customers I’m sad to say, through sheer shock…but we’ve now climbed the Google rankings and most women know to add a motoring phrase anyway…
I also remember phoning the Jeremy Vine’s Radio 2 programme from a motorway service station in our early days. I’m not sure about the precise topic but it was something that rubbished women drivers and I wanted to have my say.
My son and husband headed for the Burger bar whilst I braved the phone with the sound of motorway traffic ringing in my ears. ‘We’ll call you back in ten minutes’ they said and did. Whilst I was waiting to be put through I heard Jeremy announce ‘We now have Steph Savill from the Sexy Lady Drivers Club’ on the phone. This broke the ice, we both laughed and I had the opportunity to say our proper business name, to explain what it has come to mean (as in shrewd and discerning) and even get this repeated back. Priceless PR for FOXY as it happened!
I also think that our business name helped me get on Mary Portas’ Secret Shopper when she tried to makeover a car dealership in Aylesbury and ended up nailing a FOXY Lady Approved certificate on the wall at the end of the programme.
Thank you Mary. From one FOXY Lady to another.