Your Tagline Could Be Worth Millions

Your Tagline Could Be Worth Millions

managed-services-taglineYou're a managed service provider. You've got a solid company name but you don't have a solid tagline. That could be a big mistake. In the age of search engine optimization, I believe a strong tagline could be worth millions of dollars in new sales and market capitalization. Skeptical? Here's one simple case study where a great tagline transformed a no-name technology company into a well-known brand.

First, what is a tagline? Here are a few examples from across the MSP industry ... plus some broader business examples:

  • Alpheon: IT the way it should be
  • masterIT: technology working for business
  • Avis: We try harder
  • FedEx: When it absolutely, positively has to be there overnight
  • FTD: Say it with flowers
  • John Deere: Nothing runs like a Deere
  • Office Depot: Taking Care of Business

Big Ambitions

Sometimes a great tagline can make a small company look big. Really big.

Consider the situation at Vyatta. The fast-growing technology company positions itself as "The open-source alternative to Cisco."

Where does Vyatta actually compete:
  • Routers?
  • Switches?
  • WiFi?
  • Storage?
  • Something else?
The answer really doesn't matter because the tagline at least gets you thinking big -- really big -- about the company. It's specific enough to let you know Vyatta has big plans to compete with Cisco, but vague enough to make you go searching for more information. Brilliant.

In a single sentence, Vyatta has successfully described who they are ("open source"),  who they're not ("Cisco") and where they compete -- in the networking market -- without saying which products they actually offer.

Big Results

In recent weeks, Citrix Systems has invested in Vyatta. And in a podcast I'll post later this week, Vyatta CEO Kelly Herrell tells me a bit more about the company's long term strategy and recent customer wins.

Now here are the big twists: Vyatta has a scant 30 employees and focuses mainly on open source routing software. Meanwhile, Cisco Systems had 66,558 employees as of the end of Q3 2009 (April 25, 2009).

Is Vyatta stretching the truth with its tagline? In many ways, yes. But the tagline is incredibly effective and it instantly communicates Vyatta's market focus and stretch goals.

Does your tagline do the same?

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