Vendor marketing slogans are ridiculous

Have you ever actually read the taglines, mission statements, and marketing slogans from the IT vendors you buy from? Holy moly they're awful!

I was going to write a story about VMware offering Horizon Air on IBM’s cloud, but as I was researching it, I noticed that VMware’s EUC slogan is “Empowering IT to deliver work at the speed of life.”

Um, wtf does that mean?

So forgetting the original point of my story, I started looking at other companies' slogans, and boy, they're pretty awful. Some gems:

Work Better. Live Better. (Citrix)

We believe in what people make possible. (Microsoft)

Listen. Learn. Deliver. (Dell)

Deliver data velocity; enabling customers to accelerate core business processes. (Nimble)

Less Integration, More Innovation (Oracle)

Shaping tomorrow with you (Fujitsu)

There’s never been a better time (Cisco)

Accelerates the ambitions of its clients by delivering exceptional value through its great people. (Dimension Data)

We create innovative technologies that help our customers connect their ideas, compete, and thrive in an ever-changing world. (Juniper)

What's crazy about the ten examples above (I stopped looking at ten) is that all of these slogans are so generic that they're interchangeable. There needs to be some kind of Taft Test for this. If your slogan can be replaced by another random slogan from the list, then it's a complete waste of time and your marketing people are dumbasses. Seriously, how much money and time did each of these vendors spend on these?

Even worse, what do these even mean? How does a network switch help customers connect ideas? What the hell is "data velocity," and how exactly does it help accelerate core business processes? Does that make email load faster? "We believe in what people make possible?" So, you believe.. in ... what people make? Like if it's real, you believe it? But if it's not, you don't? How is that a slogan? I think that's just the way the world is. I believe in Tesla cars, iPhones, and flash-based storage. I do not believe in unicorns, mermaids, and tooth fairies.

And before you can say, "This is just a fact of life. All vendors do this!", allow me to show you that some vendors actually get it right. To wit:

The enterprise cloud company making datacenter infrastructure invisible. (Nutanix)

Makes all-flash easy as pie (Tintri)

Revolutionizing Application Management (Unidesk)

At least those statements somewhat describe what those companies actually do. And some were really specific and helpful, such as:

Enable & Secure your Digital Workspaces (RES)

Other vendors resorted to poetry:

IBMers value...
Dedication to every client’s success.
Innovation that matters—for our company and the world.
Trust and personal responsibility in all relationships.

If these vendors would take the dollars and efforts they spent on slogans and instead just give them back to customers, every product would only cost half as much! Seriously, how do they think this helps them? Do these vendors actually sit around having meetings where they're like, "Well, our product is late, and it has bugs, and the market is crowded, but we're going to tell people that our VDI management system is 'empowering users to change the world'" and people will probably be so impressed with our vision that they'll buy it!

And what do they think goes through the minds of potential customers? "Yes, while I'm only a mid-level IT admin, I do want to change the world, and I do want to feel empowered, so yeah! I'm recommending that we buy this form of VDI image management. Check out my potential!! Lean in!!!!"


Brian Madden, TechTarget (Where serious technology buyers decide)

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Welcome to the Bizarro world of marketing where "offend no one, please everyone" is the daily mantra and group-think rules. When a room full of creatives can be shunted aside by anyone, when any statement has to be approved by an entire roomful of people, where everyone is certain they know much more than the people they hired to do the work, this is exactly the kind of gobbledygook that results. 

No creative would think of changing a company's bylaws. Companies, on the other hand, have no such reservation when it comes to rewriting the work of creatives....
For some more background on the Taft Test, read one of my favorite presentations ever:
Maciej Ceglowski gives the best talks.
This article us a classic case of thinking like an admin, not an executive.

Obviously the target audience isn't the middle manager in charge of evaluating technology. If anything, it's a vision to guide internal strategy and development. Sure, some are vagure and virtually meaningless, but how else would you lump the loosely related products/services of someone like DELL together into a cohesive vision? "Making and Selling IT Stuff to people who buy IT Stuff" <dumb
Thanks for sharing, Jack. That’s a good read (I’ve bookmarked the video for later viewing!)