The town of Trenton, Maine, where we spend time in the summer, has no municipal trash pickup. Homeowners are responsible for taking their garbage to the dump or having it collected.

Vinal Tainter operates The Trash Truck and is our go-to provider in this arena. Apart from the fact that the company, seriously, picks up anything, no matter how heavy, malodorous, etc. (NYC Department of Sanitation and Recology, Inc. take note), they do an absolutely stellar job with branding and with clear, effective communications:

The company name. Spending time in the Bay Area, I run across innumerable firms with names like Splorp or Flabadap, following a general pattern of NounNoun or just using any nonsensical word. Isn’t it refreshing to see a trash truck branded as The Trash Truck?

The company logo. Supports the name and the offer directly.

The clarity of the communications. These notes are a textbook example of clear, jargon-free communications.

The delivery channel. Important communications are tucked under the lid of the trash can, a perfect alignment of the channel with the recipient.

Why can’t our financial or health care providers communicate in the same spirit? It would be the first step toward reestablishing trust in these broken, battered institutions – and it might foster the engagement they say they want to drive.