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Anatomy of a weak tagline

May 18, 2009


Due to persistent issues with our ancient water heater (a whole nother saga), I have paid several recent visits to Hawaii’s Gas Company’s website. A large part of my profession is paying attention to corporate identity, especially its verbal expression, and , consummate professional that I am, I just can’t turn it off after hours. As I scoured the site for the phone number I wanted (which, incidentally, I couldn’t find – I had to be redirected), their tagline really started to annoy me. While not an absolute abomination, its milquetoasty construction smacks of decision-by-committee gone lazily wrong. For starters, it’s just too long. You don’t need so many words to convey “customer service”. The first phrase sets the tepid tone, essentially claiming “We intend to satisfy customers.” Clearly they don’t feel confident enough to make the claim “We deliver satisfaction”. Then comes the punchline, “And we want yours”. They might as well have said, “Hopefully, if we don’t screw it up, we will make you satisfied”. Furthermore, the construction somehow makes it seem like your satisfaction is more important to them than it is to you – their achievement rather than your benefit.

Had it been up to me, I would have crafted something much more pithy and succinct. Something along the lines of “Got Gas?”

One Comment leave one →
  1. jeff permalink
    May 25, 2009 11:03 am

    it does seem strange indeed. first it sounds like they’re going to satisfy you, but then it seems like they want you to satisfy them. i’m confused on the whole giving and receiving of satisfaction in this situation.

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