Shop Talk: In commerce, brand names are everything, except ...

Maria Elena Pujol is offering a late summer promotion that may appeal to her current and potential future customers. She has owned and operated Maria Elena's Hair Design salon on South Barfield Drive for 18 years and has 28 years as a specialist in expert hair cutting and color. Chris Curle Eagle Ccorrespondent

Maria Elena Pujol is offering a late summer promotion that may appeal to her current and potential future customers. She has owned and operated Maria Elena's Hair Design salon on South Barfield Drive for 18 years and has 28 years as a specialist in expert hair cutting and color. Chris Curle Eagle Ccorrespondent

Brand names are hugely important, whether it’s Coke, Kleenex or locally Rookie’s Bar & Grill, The Crazy Flamingo or Paradise Seafood. You get the idea.

So when an entity changes its name it’s often a big deal. Take CJ’s on the Bay for example. When Curt and Jacquie Koon bought the Bayview at the Esplanade, they thought long and hard, even had a contest among islanders to help decide on the CJ’s name.

Then there’s the wining, dining, entertainment complex South Collier Boulevard. Somebody there is not paying attention.

Once upon a time that place — home of Marco Movies, Konrad’s, Rookie’s and other hotspots — was called Mission de San Marco Plaza. It changed with different ownership six or seven years ago maybe? The name was changed to Marco Walk.

Nice name, easy to pronounce, short and snappy.

So next time you go there and drive down one of the ramps into the lower-level parking area, check out the sign at the entrance. It reads:

“Private Property, customer parking only for Mission de San Marco Plaza. All others will be towed...” blah, blah, blah.

Perhaps someone in management there is behind the curve. That sign belongs in the Marco Island Historical Museum.

We think businesses renting space at Marco Walk should get a partial rental refund to compensate them for the many would-be customers who have seen that sign in recent years and drove away, thinking, “If we can only park here if we’re going to Mission de San Marco Plaza, we’ll just take our business elsewhere.”

Is it possible that keeping the old sign there is a cost-cutting measure by management? Maybe the city should have thought of that concept.

We could have saved some taxpayers’ dollars by still using the old “Collier City” signs to welcome visitors here. As you may know, that was the name of this place for a while, incorporated as such in 1927.

Haircut and color expert Maria Elena offers jaw-dropping deal

If you’ve been frustrated in the past trying to get some valuable chair time with one of Marco’s best hair care experts, Maria Elena Pujol, now may be the time.

“I’m offering my personal services for a late-summer, back-to-school special promotion,” Maria Elena says.

What she’s talking about, effective immediately, is a haircut and highlights, normally a $130 item, for just $75. That’s a savings of $55 or 42 percent.

When we say now may be the time to get Maria Elena’s artistry, it’s not only because of that extraordinary special.

“People sometimes say they never can get an appointment in or even near peak season,” Maria Elena says. “But if they come in now, we can set up a schedule for the rest of the year or even through next season if the client wishes.”

Now is the slowest time of year for most Marco businesses, but that creates the opportunity to get a foot, or in this case, a head in the door before the crowds arrive for the holidays and beyond.

“We’ll have other promotions as we go along,” Maria Elena says. If you’re interested, you can phone Maria Elena’s Hair Design at 394-5222.

Don’t hoard it or

ignore it — shred it

If you have some secret papers from your days as a CIA agent (or even an ASPCA agent) mark your calendar for the date of the next IberiaBank Shred Party.

It will be on Saturday, Nov. 19 in the bank parking lot on Bald Eagle Drive.

Details of the event are not complete, but if it is anything like previous shred parties, it’ll be as much “party” as it is “shred,” with food, live music and more stuff that bank Vice President and Manager Keith Dameron still is dreaming up. We’ll keep you posted.

P.S.: Keith says the stuff you take to shred does not have to include state secrets to qualify. Almost anything made of paper could make the cut.

Chris Curle is a former news anchor for CNN and for ABC-TV stations in Washington, D.C., Atlanta and Houston. E-mail chris@chriscurle.com.

Don is a former ABC News correspondent and bureau chief and a former news anchor for CNN and ABC-TV, in Atlanta. His Farmer File column appears Fridays in the Naples Daily News. E-mail: don@donfarmer.com.

© 2011 marconews.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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