The Origins Of Mainstream | Our Name, Our Colors, Our Mascot

Mainstream has been serving local communities across Spokane County, Northern Idaho, and beyond for the better part of two decades. Over the years, our brand identity has gone through several changes. The result is the fully fledged Mainstream you know and love. Have you ever wondered how we got to this point? We decided to peel back the curtain and disclose the origin and meaning of the Mainstream brand.

Our Beloved Mascot, Zapp

Our iconic mascot, Zapp, is ubiquitous across all marketing material. You’ll see him in our tv commercials, social media posts, and even in person at events. You might be surprised to learn that his name was born out of practical necessity. Mainstream’s Co-Founder and President, Todd, was looking for a catchy four letter word to emulate an already successful phone extension: 1-800-GOT-JUNK. We needed something to connect our electrical services with our sense of urgency and energetic personality. Zapp was a perfect fit, and so our well known contact number was created: 866-411-ZAPP. We even incorporated his name into our website domain. The Zapp name was nothing if not effective. Mainstream’s Vice President, Elaine, recalls vacationing overseas and running into Spokane natives who had 866-411-ZAPP stuck in their heads!

The Zapp name was taking on a life of its own. We knew it wouldn’t be long before we had a face to associate with the name. The husband of a CSR at our company was a talented graphic designer, and so he was commissioned to create the first draft of our iconic mascot. His initial appearance was simple. He was black and white, with minimal detail. Over time, some color was added, such as his bright yellow face. Despite these add-ons, it still felt like something was missing. It wasn’t until Elaine boarded a Southwest flight that she finally discovered the missing piece: a heart! This was the perfect visual display of Mainstream’s commitment to serve and care for our local communities. Zapp had transcended his electrical origins. Today, he’s a symbol of all our service offerings including plumbing and HVAC, as well as our attitude and work ethic.

Mainstream Electrical mascot Zapp

The Mainstream Name

Our name is something that goes back to the very beginning. Todd wanted something strong and clear. He settled on Mainstream and attached the tagline “for all your current needs.” This play on words expressed the sense of urgency with which we conduct ourselves in the field. It also alluded to our service offerings, encompassing electrical and plumbing. After years of consistent performance, we were starting to gain a reputation in Spokane. We were developing into one of the best and biggest home service companies in the area. As we grew, we wanted our motto to keep up. A new slogan was introduced “Mainstream: the leader in residential electrical service.” You might have noticed that this timeline is running parallel to the creation of Zapp. Both angles of messaging were working, and so we had a dilemma on our hands. Had we created a monster? Was there a clash of identities between Mainstream and Zapp? The resolution came from a simple search for the dictionary definition of the word “Mainstream.” To be Mainstream is to be the dominant, popular choice. Then it dawned on us… there wasn’t a clash in branding at all! The name Mainstream encompassed all the associated values we had solidified over the years. As a constant reminder, we printed the definition of the word “Mainstream” on our team members’ shirts.

A Mainstream technician wearing a "Mainstream" shirt

Our Striking Colors

Initially, we had a monochromatic color pallet. Our vibrant blue, affectionately referred to as “Mainstream blue,” has been a constant feature to our look and feel from the start. Our use of it, however, was quite reserved. Our trucks were primarily white with black lettering, and a dash of blue was thrown in here and there. To explain how our brand colors were expanded, we need to back up a bit first. In 2012, we joined Nexstar Network. A few years later, we were asked to host a peer group and invite other home service companies to our headquarters. As one of few profitable electrical companies, we were asked to share our expertise and the keys to our success. In this open discussion, our guests were encouraged to give feedback and suggestions for how we can improve. One proposition that kept coming up was that we could be doing even more to stand out from the competition. Our success up to this point had inspired several copy-cat companies to crop up in the area. We decided to add a bright yellow to our brand kit. We found the exact shade from none other than Zapp himself. The yellow that was initially used to color his face was a perfect contrast to the “Mainstream blue.”

Mainstream trucks parked in Spokane, WA

Whenever you require plumbing, heating, cooling, or electrical service, the choice is obvious. Mainstream has been in business for over two decades striving to provide 5-star service with every visit. Our ever-expanding service area covers neighborhoods all across Spokane County and Northern Idaho. When home service needs arise, just give us a call or fill out our convenient contact form. Be smart, choose the company with heart!