Advertising history is cluttered with great taglines—a few carefully crafted words indelibly linked to one brand through hundreds of millions of ad impressions. You’re in Good Hands. Just Do It. Think Different. But few brands today have the kind of budgets that would make such lines stick in our consciousness, AND more importantly, savvier consumers seek out brands that back up such cleverness with real actions, both inside and outside their organizations.
So, in this newsletter, I’d like to introduce you to the successor to taglines, which at Renegade we call “purpose-driven story statements.” More than a clever promise in six words or less, purpose-driven story statements are the guiding light for employee engagement programs, customer retention initiatives and new customer acquisition endeavors. To further illustrate the difference between a tagline and a purpose-driven story statement, here are three phrases that could, with a few more actions, blossom into fully integrated marketing programs.
Survey Monkey: Power the Curious
Most likely you’re one of the many millions who have either completed a survey or fielded one on Survey Monkey’s seemingly ubiquitous platform. Awareness is not their issue, notes CMO Leela Srinivasan in our podcast interview (get a sneak listen). Since joining the company in April 2018, her goal has been to inspire usage overall and increase adoption of their enterprise-level services. Getting there meant making their Power the Curious tagline real on multiple levels.
To do this, Srinivasan first focused on her internal audience, encouraging employees to create their own surveys, as well as surveying employees for feedback on how to make the company stronger. She also orchestrated a Curiosity Conference, bringing users together to talk about the vital importance of curiosity, not just to marketers but to society as a whole. In our podcast conversation, I brazenly suggested that she take their important promise another step further and conduct an annual study on curiosity itself, especially since incuriosity seems to be on the rise (at least in certain political corners).
Zoom: Meet Happy
Zoom CMO Janine Pelosi came upon the tagline Meet Happy somewhat accidentally. Initially, this fast-growing Silicon Valley company ran outdoor ads with the line, Video Conferencing That Doesn’t Suck, because that was how their customers responded when Zoom asked them, “Why Zoom?” But as the political climate got increasingly vicious and some customers objected to the word “suck,” Pelosi and her team thought a more positive message might work. They tried Meet Happy and discovered they’d tapped into something amazing. (Hear Pelosi tell the story.)
Pelosi didn’t provide many details on how Meet Happy was being used internally, so allow me to embellish. Imagine if Zoom’s recruiters started to use positivity as a screener for potential new hires, and employee evaluation forms emphasized attitude and team work. Taking this further, employees could be trained on how to run more productive and positive meetings, thus becoming ambassadors for a “meet happy” movement. And of course, happy meetings could be an infinite source of case histories and social content. These types of actions would take this profoundly simple idea and turn it into a purpose-driven story statement.
Family Circle: Where Family Comes First
Way back in 2006, I penned the potential purpose-driven story statement, Where Family Comes First, for the publishers of Family Circle. Renegade had been engaged to develop a guerrilla marketing campaign that would attract more advertisers and readership. Thinking about the growing divide between “red” and “blue” states and those laying claim to “family values,” we thought who better to take a pro-family stand than the magazine who actually put the word “family” first in its name.
Thirteen years later, you can still find the tagline on the spine of the magazine. But for a number of reasons, that’s as far as it went. For illustrative purposes, let’s now imagine the layers that would have made this more than four clever words. Start by putting the “Family” column in the lead spot. Then offer employees the most family-friendly leave policy in the industry. Then convene writers and advertisers for annual TED-like confab on changing the meaning of family. Add in an annual study on what it means to put family first, and you have the makings of purpose-driven program that’s not just unique but also sure to cut through.
If you’ve spotted any purpose-driven story statements that you think cut through, do let me know.