When Your Pro AV Company Is Named Covid, All You Can Do Is Laugh, Shrug And Carry On
September 23, 2021 by Dave Haynes
The organizers of the InfoComm trade show coming up in a few weeks are doing everything possible to keep COVID out of the convention center venue, but in an exceptionally weird twist, Covid has booth 3354 on the exhibit hall floor.
A Tempe, AZ company called Covid has been manufacturing audio-visual connectivity solutions for nearly 40 years, and is a regular exhibitor at major AV trade shows like InfoComm and ISE. In its early days, the company batted around possible names like Video Company and Vidco, but settled on Covid.
I remember thinking back at the start of this mess that there was also a company called Covid, and how that must have been a big face-in-hands moment for its owners and staff. But the company has been taking it in stride.
A little sheepishly, and stressing I wasn’t asking because I was amused, I sent a note to the company asking about it, but didn’t expect to hear back. I did find a few stories outside the trade press that get into the story and circumstances. The CEO, Norm Carson, told NPR it has been odd, but OK.
“People have died over this. So we take it seriously. But the coincidence of a pandemic being named after your company, I mean, what are you going to do but laugh a little bit?”
“You know, we get a lot of customers who always want to come up with our new taglines … ‘Covid, we had it first.’ Or ‘The only thing that’s contagious is our quality.’ We get all kinds of jokes from people,” adds Carson. “And a lot of people call and they talk to us and they just say, ‘Can you believe that?’ And you just smile a little bit and say, ‘Yeah,’ and you just tell some of the stories that’s happened because of it. But, yeah, it’s OK.”
The company sells through a reseller and distribution channel, so branding has not caused a lot of worry, and Carson told NPR there are no plans to re-brand.
The only challenge has been the sign on its building, which leads to people showing up looking to get tested or vaxxed.
I was very happy to learn this hasn’t caused big problems. Of all the everyday business challenges that can bubble up, I doubt few people would expect their brand to suddenly be shared with a killer virus sweeping the globe.