The Building of Get Lost Trailers – Part 1

This is a look at the beginning stages of the process of developing a brand and creating a product for the company I started called “Get Lost Trailers LLC.

I’m writing this and showing the steps that have gone and that I plan on completing down the track not only for you to get a peak behind the scenes and learn the amount of work that goes into a project like this. I also hope to build in some accountability that goes along with publicly displaying my current progress and the work the needs to be done. So in this article I want to show you:

  1. How the name of the company was developed and why.
  2. How the idea for the first trailer was developed and why.
  3. How the name for the first trailer was developed and why.

Time, effort and and immense amount of energy goes into each part of the stages of creating a business. So diving into 3 different areas per article is a good number to strive for and a fair amount of information to digest.

Get Lost Trailers LLC – The name game begins.

When I begin brainstorming, I started writing down every idea that came to me over the course of a few weeks on a small notebook that I kept in my back pocket everyday. Names and ideas come into ours heads at all different sorts of times and places, and I set a goal to capture them all; for a time frame of 2 weeks. This gave me a big list to choose from. A few from that list were

  1. Freedom trailers
  2. Lost trailers
  3. Lost soul trailers
  4. pack and go trailers
  5. just go trailers
  6. Bring it all trailers
  7. Pack her sh!t trailers.

The 1st filter that these names need to pass was a simple Google test. Was someone already using that name? What names have been registered and how can I found out? Google being the dominate player, I entered them all in and picked through the results. A few names survived and a few did not.

The 2nd filter was the “wife test.” You married guys know what I am talking about here. Just picture picking out an outfit for the day or night to go out in and walking out into the next room in front of your wife and saying “How do I look?” This is a pass or fail test. And it just so happens the my wife is on the super creative side so she is a big help with this. This also gives you a chance to say it out loud and see how it sounds.

  • Is it easy to say?
  • Can it be repeated clearly? Will she say it back to you without asking?
  • Will my grandma remember it 15 minutes from now (stick factor)?
  • How does it feel?

This test culled out all but a few names. On to the next test, the Why Test.

Toyota production systems developed and are known for a training method used for problem solving in business. The 5-Why test has been written about and I always recommend it to other business owners, and friends. A good book on the topic is Toyota Production System: Beyond Large-Scale Production, or just google around on the 5-whys for a bit and you should get a pretty good grasp on the concept in a few minutes.

You can really ask as many Why’s as you want. Think about it from the perspective of a 6 year old that walks around all day bugging his mom (or worse, his dad) about why things are the way they are. Why, Why, Why all day long.

Essentially the goal of this Why Test is to determine if the name ties back into the mindset of the end consumer. Apple is a fruit, not an electronic device. On the other hand, Quality Air Heating and Cooling is the name of a company that wants to think that “quality” is of up most importance. It must be, it’s in their name.

A few more names of companies that have names that deliver this feeling.

  1. Purity Gas
  2. Smart Water
  3. Kickstarter
  4. Evernote

The questions that needed to be answered are:

What pain point does it solve?

Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Here is an example. 

I would like to make a Pull Behind Motorcycle Trailer for bikers.

Why?

So they can pack more gear than you can fit on a motorcycle.

Why?

Because storage is limited.

Why?

Because most bikes are not designed to pack enough gear to travel and camp for extended periods of time.

Why?

Most bikers stay in hotels, or only go on short trips.

Why?

Because storage is limited.

(Notice how 2 answers are the same? This creates a why-loop and can be frustrating the first time that you run into it.  Just try and answer it without using the original answer.)

New answer: Because you cannot bring the gear along to go camping, you must plan and book hotels to stay at and follow that plan.

Why?

Because.

Essentially my thoughts with the name “Get Lost Trailers,” was designed to enlist a feeling of adventure. Riding on and open road and no caring about where you are going or when you need to get there. A very common desire of most of the bikers and riders that I have ever met.

 

 

and it’s not like once you pick a name you are stuck with it forever….

The First Trailer Design

The idea for an over tank trailer cam from an image that I discovered on youtube when looking for images for this site on pull behind motorcycle trailers. The all black trailer (with a few chrome accents) looked like a blank canvas just waiting to be finished. Borrowing the shape from that,  fenders from another that I liked, resizing the compartment, and pulling the axles inside gave me a great starting point.

I hired a sketch artist on Fiverr and shot my images and ideas over. One day later I got this back.

A good start, it was off to get some cardboard and put together a life size model. By making this out of the easiest material the first time, I was able to put a full size model together in under an hour. (thanks to the boys in the DC for this tip.)

After a few times tweaking the sizing, spacing, and height of the trailer, I drew all the fixed dimensions right on the cardboard and took a bunch of pictures. (which I managed to lose somehow = facepalm).

That information made it over to the weld shop where a friend and I cut and fabricated everything we needed by hand. Not the most efficient way, I wanted to know what type of skills where required and how long the fabrication and welding portion of the assembly would take. So I did just that, got in the trenches.

 

The hinge that attaches the lid gave us the most problems. We tried 4 different combinations of hinges and support before landing on a winner. By placing the hinge point of the trailer as on the “front” (when hooked to a bike) it acts as a fail safe. If for any reason the latch, latch catch, or welds that hold any of these parts together, the lid will not open while in tow. The air flow will hold it closed until a safe traveling distance can be reached and come to a stop. This also doubled up on the air shocks for the lid to open, which really stiffened it up.

After a little aluminum bondo it was ready for measuring out the first vinyl graphics wrap. For this I turned to 99designs and put up a contest in order to find some good designers and some ideas. The contest for this trailer can be found here: Custom Pull Behind Motorcycle Trailer.

The Winning Design.

Naming the Trailer.

For naming the trailer i turned to social media. I asked everyone I could. Facebook, Tumblr, G+, and twitter where the main sources of creative names. Here are a few that came back from the question: What should i name this new motorcycle trailer?

  1. Sinister Cannister
  2. Yamaha Hat Box
  3. Devil’s Chariot
  4. The Chariot
  5. The General
  6. Two Skulls Can
  7. Trash Can (oh internets, you so funny.)

After another full blown brainstorming session with my creative director and background check on the names we liked, we chose….

The General

After a biker that we met at the Blessing of the Bikes in Baldwin MI a few years in a row, who goes by The General. He’s about 75 years old and rides a vintage army green bike there every year. The characteristics of this long time biker are what drew us in and sealed the deal.

  • Tough
  • Timeless
  • Dedicated
  • Long-Lasting
  • Strong
  • In charge

Everything that we would like our trailers to be associated with.

 

 

 The Completed Trailer

 

As you can tell, there are some small variations between what can be designed, model in CAD, and what can be built. After over 10 years in the manufacturing sector, this is to be expected.

Ride Safe and Get Lost!

Karl Steinmeyer