It is only now that I go to write this posting that I notice the full name of Harbor Freight is actually Harbor Freight Tools. So it doesn’t sound like a freight company after all for the few of us who stop to analyze their name. For sure, the mechanics and handymen and contractors who visit one of their 600 stores or shop online (as I often do), only think of it as a place to buy “tools at ridiculously low prices” – to use part of their own tagline.
In shipping and transportation, Harbor Freight might be a generic expression. And for tools it really is not a direct logical connection. But no one cares. Great name. Great usage. Probably based on their heritage. There really is a Harbor Freight Transportation company from which they may have originated. But no one cares. It is long forgotten. Great brands are from strong word formats and strong consistent implementations of their brand promise and this is a great practical example of such.
Founded in 1977, they were so busy selling tools they didn’t get around to registering their company as a service and retail trademark until last year! And they are still working down registering a long list of product names that constitute their house brands. Their lawyer must be as busy as some of their store assistants.
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