OFFLINERS - Proof Companies Are Dumb...In This Case, Real Dumb

66 replies
Still doubt that you don't know enough to be a marketing consultant to offline businesses? Want some proof?

I was just reading some past issues of Dan Kennedy's No B.S. newsletters. In it, a section on a company called Timken Company.

They had new information that they had their publicist submit to the press. Which was then reported by local business newspapers as, I kid you not, important information. And that important information was....a new slogan.

As it was stated in the newspaper:
"Timken Company has adopted a new slogan, 'Where You Turn.' The new tag line replaces 'Worldwide Leader In Bearings And Steel.'

Company officials said it reflects a greater emphasis on finding solutions
for customers as well as Timken's broader product line and the rotation of its bearings."


Dan Kennedy's response...

"Just in case you miss the point: slogans don't sell ball bearings, especially when the slogan is completely and utterly meaningless, delivers no hint of a USP or benefit, does NOT represent anything the officials of the company said it does, and could be used by anybody: a car wash, Queer Eye For The Straight Guy Clothing Stores, a ballet school, or manufacturers of drills, drill bits, oil drilling equipment, tires, etc. How can people running big companies be so embarrassingly dumb?"


My response, more proof a bunch of [big] companies are dumb. So if you are reading this and still have doubts on whether or not you can help companies better market themselves and make more money, remember this thread. Remember that a lot of money went into coming up with that "new slogan".

Btw, the newsletter I read this in was from June 2005. I just checked Timken's website. Still has "Where You Turn" on it...right beneath their name. Amazing they still somehow manage to profit being this dumb.
#case #companies #dumb #dumbin #offliners #proof #real #vagabond007
  • Profile picture of the author Buildingfutures
    Wow, I have all the faith in the world in my abilities now.

    Literally, I can think of many better slogans if I wasn't halfway to bed right now. It amazes me that people think these 'catchy sayings' are great slogans. A slogan should be like a mission statement, and these companies like to LIVE by mission statements.

    I'm going to give a few companies a good opinion for free later, I'm sure. IF they want more of my brain, it will be $2,000 upfront and $1,500 a month afterwards.

    They can pay for this 'genius' of mine. Heh.

    -Sean
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    • Profile picture of the author Rich Struck
      I doubt that it makes much difference either way. Their customers are big industrial firms who couldn't care less about slogans which makes Kennedy's position moot. This is why I ignore gurus - much ado about nothing.
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      • Profile picture of the author DogScout
        Originally Posted by Rich Struck View Post

        I doubt that it makes much difference either way. Their customers are big industrial firms who couldn't care less about slogans which makes Kennedy's position moot. This is why I ignore gurus - much ado about nothing.
        Ignore Kennedy at the peril of your own wallet. A guy who charges $250,000.00 for a 4 page sales letter and 25% of the GROSS proceeds AND gets it, you ignore. Great.
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      • Profile picture of the author AP
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        • Profile picture of the author MichaelHiles
          Originally Posted by AP View Post

          Such blatant ignorance.

          This is what separates a "True Marketer" from all the rest.

          You couldn't be more Wrong.

          So, you ignore Dan Kennedy, Gary Halbert, Jay Abraham...:confused:

          A great USP can make or break a company.

          Ever hear of these?

          "When It Absolutely, Positively, Has To Be There Overnight."

          "Always Low Prices. Always"

          "Earths Biggest Bookstore."

          "Fresh, hot pizza delivered in 30 minutes or less, guaranteed!"

          There's a big difference AP.... the examples you've cited are all B2C.

          B2B industrial markets are pegged to things like the commodities floor and major industrial contracts.

          I am very well acquainted with Perry Marshall's approach. But bearings aren't purchased by engineers. Bearing are purchased by purchasing departments that have standing supply contracts in a purchasing sourcing system with things like approved vendor/preferred vendor statuses.

          USP's are in the mix somewhere, but it's very different. Things like contractual ability to deliver product on the supply side based on the kan-ban pull requirements, etc... those are where a company gains the contract. And that's not a snappy brochure or a tagline.

          Boeing doesn't get on Google and start clicking on Adwords ads when they're looking for bearing suppliers.

          Yes, Dan Kennedy has great stuff. Yes, Perry Marshall knows his game. But none of it is relevant to inside industrial supply chain purchasing. Perry's core product was value added above industrial supply components several stages beyond something like bearings, fasteners, etc... That's just one ratchet above being traded as raw materials on the floor in Chicago.

          People don't buy things with sales letters and headlines in that space. Period. There's no way for it to even work.

          The military doesn't get some direct mail letter in the post box with a snazzy headline and say "HEY! I AM GOING TO BUY BUSHMASTER'S SCAR AS A NEW INFANTRY BATTLE RIFLE!!"

          Procurement is far different than "marketing and sales". Worlds apart.
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          • Profile picture of the author jrod014
            Originally Posted by MichaelHiles View Post

            The military doesn't get some direct mail letter in the post box with a snazzy headline and say "HEY! I AM GOING TO BUY BUSHMASTER'S SCAR AS A NEW INFANTRY BATTLE RIFLE!!"
            YEAH!!! INFANTRY!!!!!!! Sorry, ex Grunt here. I just had to get that out! Phew!
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    • Profile picture of the author mdunn123
      Originally Posted by Buildingfutures View Post

      Wow, I have all the faith in the world in my abilities now.

      Literally, I can think of many better slogans if I wasn't halfway to bed right now. It amazes me that people think these 'catchy sayings' are great slogans. A slogan should be like a mission statement, and these companies like to LIVE by mission statements.

      I'm going to give a few companies a good opinion for free later, I'm sure. IF they want more of my brain, it will be $2,000 upfront and $1,500 a month afterwards.

      They can pay for this 'genius' of mine. Heh.

      -Sean
      Cheers to this!!
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      • Profile picture of the author crecemedia
        My view on slogans is that they help in branding, it helps remember the brand and relate it with other things you have experienced and thus stamping it on your mind. So yes, a better slogan can and will have an effect in the perception of the business, branding-wise, but that's it.

        All the comments about a unique selling proposition are solid, but I have to disagree that a slogan can deliver that factor to the end-consumer, specially on B2B type transactions.

        B2B companies like the mentioned example are established companies, their reputation, time-delivery, reliability and quality of their products go beyond what any slogan can influence.

        Having said that, every bit of small detail counts so if they can improve their slogan they can, but the fact i in this type of company the slogan is not a breaking point and will never be.

        ...and to finish it off, I like the slogan as it is.

        "Where you turn"

        Kind of resembles the company as "the place to go(turn)", or am I the only one that perceives it that way?


        ---


        AP,

        Always good to learn from your posts and experience. Kind of a pleasure getting in a debate. So here's my view:

        "When It Absolutely, Positively, Has To Be There Overnight."

        "Always Low Prices. Always"

        "Earths Biggest Bookstore."

        "Fresh, hot pizza delivered in 30 minutes or less, guaranteed!"

        All those slogans, where developed/created after the companies had already established their reputation, market share and people recognized them as by exactly those USPs. Not the other way around.

        For example on the Dominos Pizza. They started their business with that 30 minute guarantee, people recognized them by that and that was their USP. All good. Did they need a slogan to put that in the audience's mind? No, but they did and their slogan just helped stress that USP and place it in the consumer's mind.

        They used it to brand themselves.

        Now they changed their slogan to something like:
        "Get the door, it's Dominos" (believe its the latest?)

        Why do I think that was a good choice and not "dumb"?
        Because people already know of their guarantee, they based their reputation on it and people recognized them by it. Now they changed to something more broad, but catchy and memorable. Something the consumer can remember. Hell, I'm sure that after you order a dominos pizza, and you hear the doorbell your mind thinks "get the door, its dominos". HUGELY EFFECTIVE and memorable in my view and not a single USP there.

        Slogans DO get old with time.

        I'm sure its part of an advertisers or branding expert to not bore the audiences mind with a single phrase for decades, or it will sooner or later be obviated by the consumer mind. I'm also sure they will go back to the 30 minute guarantee type of slogan, but only when the audience gets bored of the "Get the door, its Dominos"

        Sort of like what is happening with the whole sex in advertisements deal, this things worked years ago when sex on the mainstream media was seen as a scandal and those scandals it's what got them huge media coverage.

        Nowadays, its simply not the case. It's proven sex (at least in tv media buys) is actually counter-effective.

        Overall I think they key of an effective slogan, or any advertisement for that matter, is to have some sort of impact in the audience's mind and have them relate the company with other topics in their life. Be refreshing and memorable, even subconsciously.

        Anyways, my view is that there's no need for a slogan to stress their USP, rather use it to improve their brand effect in their consumers. If you use your USP to make your brand memorable then definetly make up a slogan, but I differ that that's the one and only way to create a good effective slogan that gets results.

        But then again! Thats only my 0.2cents.

        Francisco
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        • Profile picture of the author DogScout
          Originally Posted by crecemedia View Post

          My view on slogans is that they help in branding, it helps remember the brand and relate it with other things you have experienced and thus stamping it on your mind. So yes, a better slogan can and will have an effect in the perception of the business, branding-wise, but that's it.

          All the comments about a unique selling proposition are solid, but I have to disagree that a slogan can deliver that factor to the end-consumer, specially on B2B type transactions.

          B2B companies like the mentioned example are established companies, their reputation, time-delivery, reliability and quality of their products go beyond what any slogan can influence.

          Having said that, every bit of small detail counts so if they can improve their slogan they can, but the fact i in this type of company the slogan is not a breaking point and will never be.

          ...and to finish it off, I like the slogan as it is.

          "Where you turn"

          Kind of resembles the company as "the place to go(turn)", or am I the only one that perceives it that way?


          ---


          AP,

          Always good to learn from your posts and experience. Kind of a pleasure getting in a debate. So here's my view:

          "When It Absolutely, Positively, Has To Be There Overnight."

          "Always Low Prices. Always"

          "Earths Biggest Bookstore."

          "Fresh, hot pizza delivered in 30 minutes or less, guaranteed!"

          All those slogans, where developed/created after the companies had already established their reputation, market share and people recognized them as by exactly those USPs. Not the other way around.

          For example on the Dominos Pizza. They started their business with that 30 minute guarantee, people recognized them by that and that was their USP. All good. Did they need a slogan to put that in the audience's mind? No, but they did and their slogan just helped stress that USP and place it in the consumer's mind.

          They used it to brand themselves.

          Now they changed their slogan to something like:
          "Get the door, it's Dominos" (believe its the latest?)

          Why do I think that was a good choice and not "dumb"?
          Because people already know of their guarantee, they based their reputation on it and people recognized them by it. Now they changed to something more broad, but catchy and memorable. Something the consumer can remember. Hell, I'm sure that after you order a dominos pizza, and you hear the doorbell your mind thinks "get the door, its dominos". HUGELY EFFECTIVE and memorable in my view and not a single USP there.

          Slogans DO get old with time.

          I'm sure its part of an advertisers or branding expert to not bore the audiences mind with a single phrase for decades, or it will sooner or later be obviated by the consumer mind. I'm also sure they will go back to the 30 minute guarantee type of slogan, but only when the audience gets bored of the "Get the door, its Dominos"

          Sort of like what is happening with the whole sex in advertisements deal, this things worked years ago when sex on the mainstream media was seen as a scandal and those scandals it's what got them huge media coverage.

          Nowadays, its simply not the case. It's proven sex (at least in tv media buys) is actually counter-effective.

          Overall I think they key of an effective slogan, or any advertisement for that matter, is to have some sort of impact in the audience's mind and have them relate the company with other topics in their life. Be refreshing and memorable, even subconsciously.

          Anyways, my view is that there's no need for a slogan to stress their USP, rather use it to improve their brand effect in their consumers. If you use your USP to make your brand memorable then definetly make up a slogan, but I differ that that's the one and only way to create a good effective slogan that gets results.

          But then again! Thats only my 0.2cents.

          Francisco
          Actually, no one knew who Dominos was util they used that slogan They may have had the USP in place, but is wasn't 'out in public' until they used the USP as the slogan. It was the slogan that split Fed Ex from the pack as well (DHL eventually had to buy a couple of other smaller companies just to get back half the market share that slogan cost them) Same with Amazon (that slogan is probably the only reason they didn't go bust in '01). They spend more now on dissing that slogan since now they sell everything. In at least those three cases, the slogans actually did make the companies what they are today (or were) because the slogans were also strong USPs.
          Now logos are more along the lines of what you are talking about. No logo ever made a company, (except Tony the Tiger and Speedy Alka-Seltzer). It is the company that makes a logo and a USP that makes a company. (and a slogan that makes a USP well known).
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  • Profile picture of the author ShaneRQR
    No doubt a lot of money is being sunk into ineffective and stupid marketing each and every day.

    The problem I see is that quality doesn't have much to do with who gets paid.
    The people who are getting paid enormous amounts of money for coming up with a crappy slogan or for spending the entire marketing budget on a slight logo-redesign instead of something tha actually boosts profit are mostly part of well-established companies with big offices and connections in the industry.

    No matter how much better my marketing ideas are, I doubt the decision-makers will pay any attention to me.

    I imagine that you'd have to establish a "front" (website, some material/content) before you have a chance of landing big consulting jobs.
    I could be wrong, though, as I've never tried.
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    • Profile picture of the author Hardi Wijaya
      Here's something I've learnt from the street in a few developed countries.

      Many big corporations make silly mistakes in advertising. I've no doubt.

      BUT they do very well in positioning themselves which make them millions and billions bucks a year.

      So, they're not not dumb! They just don't bother to cut wastage in their op. cost because their shareholders only want to know profits, not wastage.

      If you're prospecting to these companies, never ever point out their mistakes.


      Hardi
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      • Profile picture of the author Vagabond 007
        Originally Posted by Rich Struck View Post

        I doubt that it makes much difference either way. Their customers are big industrial firms who couldn't care less about slogans which makes Kennedy's position moot. This is why I ignore gurus - much ado about nothing.
        Hah! Implying that Kennedy doesn't know what he is talking about?

        I could say more, but clearly it would be a waste of time. I'm not convincing you of my side of the argument and vice versa.

        Originally Posted by ShaneRQR View Post

        The problem I see is that quality doesn't have much to do with who gets paid. The people who are getting paid enormous amounts of money for coming up with a crappy slogan or for spending the entire marketing budget on a slight logo-redesign instead of something tha actually boosts profit are mostly part of well-established companies with big offices and connections in the industry.
        That's the problem. Their advertising and marketing isn't results oriented. That's the huge problem with ad agencies, btw.

        Originally Posted by ShaneRQR View Post

        I imagine that you'd have to establish a "front" (website, some material/content) before you have a chance of landing big consulting jobs.
        I could be wrong, though, as I've never tried.
        You need credibility, believability, confidence, and of course the skills to actually deliver what you say you will.

        Originally Posted by Hardi Wijaya View Post

        BUT they do very well in positioning themselves which make them millions and billions bucks a year.

        So, they're not not dumb! They just don't bother to cut wastage in their op. cost because their shareholders only want to know profits, not wastage.
        That's the thing. Despite the stupid things they do, a lot of companies still manage to profit. And sometimes make a lot of profit.

        Just makes you think what would happen if they actually did things that were much more effective. You know, like up selling, tracking everything, selling to past customers, raise their prices, etc.

        Originally Posted by ShaneRQR View Post

        If you're prospecting to these companies, never ever point out their mistakes.
        I would NEVER consult with a company that put a lot of time and money into coming up with a new slogan like "Where You Turn".

        Way more trouble than it's worth.
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      • Profile picture of the author Bayo
        Originally Posted by Hardi Wijaya View Post

        Here's something I've learnt from the street in a few developed countries.

        Many big corporations make silly mistakes in advertising. I've no doubt.

        BUT they do very well in positioning themselves which make them millions and billions bucks a year.

        So, they're not not dumb! They just don't bother to cut wastage in their op. cost because their shareholders only want to know profits, not wastage.

        If you're prospecting to these companies, never ever point out their mistakes.


        Hardi
        Agree only up to a point.

        They do indeed 'position' themselves and they often do it with 'White Papers'; 'Industry rpoerts' etc (I know because I used to do this in my early consulting days of working with service firms.

        Second point I want to mention is that these sort of companies aren't the 'ideal' client for most Offline consultants...or they shouldn't be in my opinion because it's more than it's worth to get them to even thnk about what's not being done right - and there's the red-tape, late payment headaches!
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        • Profile picture of the author Hardi Wijaya
          Originally Posted by Bayo View Post

          Agree only up to a point.

          They do indeed 'position' themselves and they often do it with 'White Papers'; 'Industry rpoerts' etc (I know because I used to do this in my early consulting days of working with service firms.
          Using white papers is just one of many positioning methods.

          But many companies of such caliber don't offer white paper upfront so as to grab deals. Using white papers could be at the later stage of the deal making process. Sometimes, such companies don't even need this if their CEOs know how to grease elbow

          I am referring to publicly listed companies -- such caliber.

          Originally Posted by Bayo View Post


          Second point I want to mention is that these sort of companies aren't the 'ideal' client for most Offline consultants...or they shouldn't be in my opinion because it's more than it's worth to get them to even thnk about what's not being done right - and there's the red-tape, late payment headaches!
          There's no such thing as ideal client


          Hardi
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  • Profile picture of the author R Hagel
    Indeed, that is a weak slogan.

    But what struck me about your post is that they got the media to report this. The publicist clearly had developed a good relationship with the media. Just goes to show that you don't always need some huge piece of news to get your company's name in the paper.

    Cheers,
    Becky
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    • Profile picture of the author rosetrees
      I disagree - well someone had to, so it might as well be me!

      Yes - as a slogan it's meaningless - BUT - I assume this is a big company. One that most of its potential customer base know.

      This slogan is short and memorable. The original wasn't. Ok - the original told you what they do - but their customers know that.

      Customers will see this phrase and associate it with the company - because it's short and memorable.
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    • Profile picture of the author summer07
      Originally Posted by R Hagel View Post

      ...But what struck me about your post is that they got the media to report this. The publicist clearly had developed a good relationship with the media. Just goes to show that you don't always need some huge piece of news to get your company's name in the paper. ....
      Bingo! It's a great example of how to create a 'newsworthy' press release out of thin air. The company changed it's branding (something changed = 'news'), the publicist put the word out, the media printed it...and now 5 years later people are STILL talking about the company.

      I think they got their money's worth.
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      • Profile picture of the author Killer Joe
        Must be a slow day at DK's house...

        One thing to keep in mind when you read things like what DK wrote is that companies like Timken don't need any hype to sell their products to engineers.

        They have world class products that are the standard of the industry, and those products are choosen by their customers because the specifications meet or exceed the requirements for the job.

        If they tried to use the same tactics that folks in the MMO niche do they'd end up looking rather superfluous.

        "Who Else Wants Give Their Machines Longer Life and Better Efficiency?"

        "Finally Revealed, The Seven Secrets Every Engineer Always Wanted to Know About Bearings But Was Too Afraid to Ask."

        "Shocking News Uncovered! - The Money Isn't in the Bearings, the Money Is in the List"

        Here's the deal...when you are the leader in your industry you reley on your reputation and your proven commitment to provide the best parts money can buy.

        When you're not, you hire Dan Kennedy.

        KJ
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        • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
          Hah! Implying that Kennedy doesn't know what he is talking about?

          I could say more, but clearly it would be a waste of time. I'm not convincing you of my side of the argument and vice versa.
          I'm a Kennedy fan. Getting that out of the way up front.

          In this particular instance, he may know what he's talking about, but he's talking about the wrong thing.

          We're talking about a huge industrial B2B environment here, not whether JoeBob Blow watching an infomercial will pick up the phone, or his wife ConnieSue will choose their yellow page ad.

          At this scale, sales is a multi-person, multi-stage process with relatively long cycles. The slogan on the annual report is for the shareholders, not the prospects and customers.
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  • Profile picture of the author MichaelHiles
    lol... Timken could buy and sell every member of the Warrior forum. They have a local plant in my hometown. I think they have a market cap of around $3 billion dollars.

    Dan Kenney-esque marketing does not, and will not sell ball bearings to giant industrial manufacturers.

    Major industrial companies put out these things called RFQs (or Request For Quotes) through their purchasing divisions, who collect the proposals from other industrial suppliers.

    Contracts are awarded on massive scales for multi-year production runs.

    Unless you're familiar with this level of industrial B2B marketing, it's best to not become such the pundit.

    Anyone trying to march through the door of such an entity, would immediately betray their abject inexperiece by preaching Dan Kennedy as some wannabe consultant.

    Major corporate slogans aren't for customers either. They're for the media and shareholders. When one plays at that level, you learn these kinds of things.

    Where you turn relates to the customer's specific application of a ball bearing... you know, the customer builds things that turn. Timken is "where you turn". Three words that sums the whole things up.

    Pretty damn good copywriting actually.
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  • Profile picture of the author DogScout
    I agree with Michael, not a bad play on words.

    To say hype doesn't work with engineers is the same as assuming they are not human.
    Most engineers I know would disagree with that statement, in fact this new slogan is almost proof hype does work with engineers.
    Rule #1 know your market.... this is hype to an engineer.
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  • Profile picture of the author LB
    When was the last time an industrial purchasing agent made decisions based on a company slogan?

    Anyone buying large quantities of bearings is probably reading technical specs and white papers.

    It's easy to make fun of big companies.

    Why doesn't he start his own bearing company with a better slogan and take over the market...oh, guess it's not that easy.
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    • Profile picture of the author DogScout
      Originally Posted by LB View Post

      When was the last time an industrial purchasing agent made decisions based on a company slogan?

      Anyone buying large quantities of bearings is probably reading technical specs and white papers.

      It's easy to make fun of big companies.

      Why doesn't he start his own bearing company with a better slogan and take over the market...oh, guess it's not that easy.
      My father is a retired CEO and was president of the Electronic Association of America for 2 years and was an engineer (MIT Grad) and in sales for 12 years. He hung out with the CEO of Hewlett Packard, GM, IBM, AT&T and other well known power houses of that era. I guess he was stupid because he used to weigh every part of a company before making a purchasing decision. I remember several times at the dinner table him mentioning a product that appeared to fit the bill, but the companies logo/slogan or other indirect item was so stupid he would nix that purchase because if they were stupid enough to think that slogan was effective, there must be something bad about their product he is missing.
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    • Profile picture of the author Vagabond 007
      Originally Posted by LB View Post

      Why doesn't he start his own bearing company with a better slogan and take over the market...oh, guess it's not that easy.
      :rolleyes: You don't get it. It has nothing to do with that.
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  • Profile picture of the author Thomas
    Originally Posted by Vagabond 007 View Post

    How can people running big companies be so embarrassingly dumb?
    Timken sell 5 billion dollars of stuff a year.

    "Dumb" doesn't really seem the right adjective for them.
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  • "There's no such thing as bad publicity," and this thread proves it.

    It's all about impressions, the number of impressions and the strength of the impressions. I had only heard of Timkin vaguely before they changed their slogan, not that they need for me to know about them. In specialized durable goods and raw materials, there are few players doing huge deals. Most customers and prospects know of them so saying "Steel and Ball Bearings" is a bit redundant, no?

    "Where you turn" -- I doubt I'll ever forget Timkin and its slogan from this point on.

    I like it. I think their advertising agency did a bang-up job and earned every penny of their Madison Ave. salaries on this one.
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    • Profile picture of the author AP
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      • Originally Posted by AP View Post

        Publicity and a USP are completely different.

        We're talking USP.
        Ball bearings and steel are not consumer products. It's a different world. I've worked in that world, in sales, in fact. The sales are for millions of dollars, and entire cross-functional teams are involved in hammering out the deals and logistics. It ain't like selling a vacuum cleaner to Mrs. Cleanworthy.

        The slogan in this case is all about publicity and branding, not selling.
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        • Profile picture of the author AP
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          • Profile picture of the author DogScout
            Originally Posted by AP View Post

            Ask that same question to Perry Marshall.
            It's always about selling. Anyone says differently doesn't get it.
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            • Profile picture of the author ramohr
              Originally Posted by DogScout View Post

              It's always about selling. Anyone says differently doesn't get it.
              I agree, and I tell you this when a company comes in
              with a better USP it will Timken will lose it business
              to it's B2B customers...whatever.
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              • Profile picture of the author MichaelHiles
                Originally Posted by Paul McQuillan View Post

                I find the original post to not be very good, but some of the
                responses on here have been great!

                I like how we are debating a successful company's actions. Damn
                them making huge dollars despite their slogan. Damn them to hell

                Yeah, like the collective earnings of every warrior forum member since it's inception are remotely close to Timken's ANNUAL sales. lol
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                • Profile picture of the author Vagabond 007
                  Originally Posted by MichaelHiles View Post

                  Yeah, like the collective earnings of every warrior forum member since it's inception are remotely close to Timken's ANNUAL sales. lol
                  Here's what I don't get, why not spend the time, money, and resources on more productive things that will measurably make them more money?

                  I understand big companies have stock holders to please and things that a smaller business owner doesn't have to worry about. I get that. But wouldn't the stock holders be pleased if Timken made more money instead of spending it on a new slogan?

                  I already stated this before, but I'll say it again, I could have use my words more carefully. So that is my fault. I didn't mean to imply that the company as a whole is dumb. But what they did is dumb (in my opinion of course).

                  So why do these companies, who make millions (sometimes billions) of dollars not use smarter direct marketing?

                  I understand that at this point Timken could probably have anything as their slogan and still make millions. But why such stupidty in some areas?
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                  • Profile picture of the author Hardi Wijaya
                    Originally Posted by Vagabond 007 View Post

                    Here's what I don't get, why not spend the time, money, and resources on more productive things that will measurably make them more money?
                    Because the definition of being productive is very SUBJECTIVE.

                    For example: People in direct marketing naturally hardly agree to people who prefer "institutional methods" of running business.

                    The direct marketers squeeze as much profits as possible, and cut loss to the bone from a marketing event. But they could end up spending lots of time doing these chores.

                    The "institutional" guys pay more attention to branding, positioning, public relation, and social status by spending lots of money.

                    It isn't that they aren't productive. They do pay attention to loss and try to cut loss, but not as much as the direct marketers do. Because it takes time. And time is precious commodity they try not to waste. Spending (and wasting during the process) lots of money isn't an objection to them so far as shareholders are happy of the money in their pockets.

                    Dan Kennedy helps many companies making lots of money. He's great but many corporate CEOs are as great as him.

                    Lots of these CEOs are excellent deal makers. They can easily grab million or billion dollars projects without doing what the direct marketers do.

                    So, what's the point of debating which side is better than the other? All roads lead to Rome


                    Hardi
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                    • Profile picture of the author marciayudkin
                      So why do these companies, who make millions (sometimes billions) of dollars not use smarter direct marketing?
                      Because they are not running a direct marketing operation!

                      Their business depends on some vital factors and dynamics that do not come into play in direct marketing, and therefore what may look dumb to you may be very smart, productive and money-making. The connection is not obvious because it is not direct.

                      Marcia Yudkin
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                    • Profile picture of the author Vagabond 007
                      Hardi,

                      Thanks for the response. Makes [more] sense. Your last sentence, I think, nails it.

                      Not my cup of tea and I doubt I'll ever wrap my ahead around branding as one the main priorities. But as you said, different sides but they all lead to the same place.

                      Thanks again.
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                  • Profile picture of the author MichaelHiles
                    Originally Posted by Vagabond 007 View Post

                    Here's what I don't get, why not spend the time, money, and resources on more productive things that will measurably make them more money?

                    I understand big companies have stock holders to please and things that a smaller business owner doesn't have to worry about. I get that. But wouldn't the stock holders be pleased if Timken made more money instead of spending it on a new slogan?

                    I already stated this before, but I'll say it again, I could have use my words more carefully. So that is my fault. I didn't mean to imply that the company as a whole is dumb. But what they did is dumb (in my opinion of course).

                    So why do these companies, who make millions (sometimes billions) of dollars not use smarter direct marketing?

                    I understand that at this point Timken could probably have anything as their slogan and still make millions. But why such stupidty in some areas?
                    Who is to say? Unless you're in the boardroom, you don't necessarily know or understand the why of these kinds of things.

                    When a business crosses a certain threshold of size and volume, the entire scope is different.

                    Never before in history have such gigantic, multinational non-government entities existed. Running a large public multinational is like running a country from the size and scope of people, assets, budget, etc... There are many interests, agendas, etc...

                    Whether it's acquiring a regional competitor in a foreign country for marketshare, to tapping a labor union pension fund for capital liquidity, there are many, many reasons for all of these things.

                    But the entire discussion is a subjective one from the start, based on an opinion that this company is dumb for adopting the slogan that didn't appeal to you on a personal level. Then again, I am going to go out on a limb and assume that you're not in the market for $50,000,000 in ball bearings these days, so you're not their customer.
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                    • Profile picture of the author Vagabond 007
                      Originally Posted by MichaelHiles View Post

                      Who is to say? Unless you're in the boardroom, you don't necessarily know or understand the why of these kinds of things.

                      When a business crosses a certain threshold of size and volume, the entire scope is different.

                      Never before in history have such gigantic, multinational non-government entities existed. Running a large public multinational is like running a country from the size and scope of people, assets, budget, etc... There are many interests, agendas, etc...

                      Whether it's acquiring a regional competitor in a foreign country for marketshare, to tapping a labor union pension fund for capital liquidity, there are many, many reasons for all of these things.

                      But the entire discussion is a subjective one from the start, based on an opinion that this company is dumb for adopting the slogan that didn't appeal to you on a personal level.
                      Fair enough.

                      Thank you for your reply.

                      Originally Posted by MichaelHiles View Post

                      I am going to go out on a limb and assume that you're not in the market for $50,000,000 in ball bearings these days, so you're not their customer.
                      I was actually just looking to place an order but didn't know where to turn. :p
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                      • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
                        Originally Posted by Vagabond 007 View Post

                        I know. I meant to comment [more] on it in my last post.

                        Direct marketers, well smart ones, don't focus on branding. The main objective is ROI. Any branding that results from their marketing is just an added benefit.
                        Just because this monolith decided to change the slogan on the annual report to something less than a call to action to buy doesn't mean they don't use direct marketing methods.

                        In addition to the huge direct contracts we've pretty much all mentioned, they also have a network of distributors. Those distributors may have distributors, and so on until you get to much smaller entities seeking contracts with small aftermarket manufacturers.

                        At some point in the chain, or more likely multiple points, B2B direct marketing methods we're more familiar with will be in play. Maybe it's a sales rep thumbing through the local manufacturers' directory and planning a direct mail campaign. Maybe it's a local distributor scheming on how to get a piece of the current "Help Haiti" celebrity PR feeding frenzy.

                        As Mike pointed out, these multinational giants operate more like small countries than companies. What happens in the boardroom and what happens among the smokestacks are likely very different.

                        [Side note: Does anyone else get an image of celebrity PR flacks seeing the images from Haiti and licking their chops?]
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                        • Profile picture of the author JRG
                          The funny thing about this is that Timken is still getting talked about from a press release over 5 years ago! That's a great ROI! lol


                          And for the record,

                          I think "World's Best Cup of Coffee" is the best USP lol

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  • Profile picture of the author DogScout
    Most of Perry's income is STILL the B2B market. This consumer/affiliate stuff is almost a hobby for him, as I got the impression, from my limited contact with him. (2-3 2 hour phone conversations a month for 8 months with 6-12 people on the line, most of them too shy to talk to him (but not me. Lol)

    Some one is purchasing million dollar cyber-particle seperators from clients of his who pay him through the roof. May not be the CEO, but the buyer sure as hell is Googling these items.

    99% of kennedy's stuff is off-line direct marketing, both B2B & B2C. If he is moot, I don't know why some of these electronic super conductor companies are paying him a quarter of a million dollars for a 4 page sale letter to other companies. (Maybe they haven't heard he was moot?)

    Sorry, sarcasm is a sign of weakness... my weakness is showing. I have nothing but respect for you Michael, but believe you may be off a bit on this one.
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    • Profile picture of the author MichaelHiles
      Originally Posted by AP View Post

      Perry actuall sold B2B. I know his entire background very well. I also know Perry very well. In fact, I talked to him last week.

      I truly believe a Great USP (Unique Selling Propostion) or a USA (Unique Selling Advantage) helps ANY company, big or small.

      Will it have a greater effect on Consumers by having a great USP, yes.

      I'm going to take you up on that statement "Boeing looking on Google for suppliers."

      I met a gentlemen 2 years ago who had been marketing his Million dollar cranes thru direct mail, trade shows, etc... I sat next to him for 10 hours at a seminar and discussed his business. He never thought that a B2B would look for cranes on Google.

      Perry Marshall and Ken McCarthy showed him how to use Adwords to increase his sales. His sales, I beleive minimum purchase was $300,000, highest was 2M, went thru the roof with Adwords.

      I leave the B2B to you, but I know that Perry has been talking more at his private seminars about B2B.
      Originally Posted by DogScout View Post

      Most of Perry's income is STILL the B2B market. This consumer/affiliate stuff is almost a hobby for him, as I got the impression, from my limited contact with him. (2-3 2 hour phone conversations a month for 8 months with 6-12 people on the line, most of them too shy to talk to him (but not me. Lol)

      Some one is purchasing million dollar cyber-particle seperators from clients of his who pay him through the roof. May not be the CEO, but the buyer sure as hell is Googling these items.

      99% of kennedy's stuff is off-line direct marketing, both B2B & B2C. If he is moot, I don't know why some of these electronic super conductor companies are paying him a quarter of a million dollars for a 4 page sale letter to other companies. (Maybe they haven't heard he was moot?)

      Sorry, sarcasm is a sign of weakness... my weakness is showing. I have nothing but respect for you Michael, but believe you may be off a bit on this one.
      I am answering both of you guys' posts here.

      I understand and agree on a lot of points.

      The one that you guys are missing is the level of value-add of the product.

      Semiconductors, cranes, transformers, etc... these are all value added products with many layers of production involved between the raw material inputs and the finished good.

      A bearing is a piece of some metal with some casting or machining involved.

      The point is that the closer we get to raw commodity materials, the less sophisticated marketing processes are on the procurement side.

      Let me give you another example, textiles. The material used by Gildan to make their t-shirts is pegged to the commodity exchange floor. It's bought and sold on futures contracts based on supply and demand. That's it.

      That's why it's called a COMMODITY.

      Bearings aren't very many steps of value add production above the raw steel material input. So the companies that make things like bearing are very different in the entire supply side food chain.
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  • Profile picture of the author Gary McCaffrey
    Originally Posted by Vagabond 007 View Post

    Dan Kennedy's response...

    "Just in case you miss the point: slogans don't sell ball bearings, especially when the slogan is completely and utterly meaningless, delivers no hint of a USP or benefit, does NOT represent anything the officials of the company said it does, and could be used by anybody: a car wash, Queer Eye For The Straight Guy Clothing Stores, a ballet school, or manufacturers of drills, drill bits, oil drilling equipment, tires, etc. How can people running big companies be so embarrassingly dumb?"
    There's nothing quite like a ____________.

    I'm lovin' it

    Two slogans that tell you nothing and could relate to almost anything, yet they are arguably McDonalds' most famous, perhaps most successful slogans.

    The 'Where You Turn' slogan is probably more about branding than customer acquisition.
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    • Profile picture of the author Vagabond 007
      I think some of you guys, and gals, are missing the point. MichaelHiles, I have a TON of respect for you. I've seen countless posts of yours that were great. Clearly you know what you're talking about. And when it comes to BIG businesses, you have FAR superior knowledge than I do.

      With that being said, I still stand by what I originally said. This new slogan is dumb. Clearly this company has a ton of money to blow on silly slogans. So clearly they are doing something right. Perhaps I should have worded my original post better. I don't think that OVERALL Timken is dumb. But what they did was dumb.

      Here is why I think that...

      With the amount of time and money they spent on this new slogan and getting it out to the press, it could have been better spent on something that would have directly contributed to their bottom line. Something that was measurable.

      Furthermore, are you forgetting that this new slogan replaced their previous slogan which was "Worldwide Leader In Bearings And Steel". Granted, that slogan could be better as well. No benefit in it. But come on, do you honestly think it was wise to spend time and money changing that to "Where You Turn"?

      If you think it was wise, well, I don't know what to say.

      Again, my whole point is the time and money could have been better spent on something FAR more productive. Something that would have put MORE money in their pocket.

      And as far as slogans go, short, silly slogans FOR THE MOST PART do not help sell more. Benefit driven USP's do. Don't kid yourself, McDonald's "I'm Lovin It" is not why they are successful.
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      • Profile picture of the author Gary McCaffrey
        Originally Posted by Vagabond 007 View Post

        Short, silly slogans FOR THE MOST PART do not help sell more. Benefit driven USP's do. Don't kid yourself, McDonald's "I'm Lovin It" is not why they are successful.
        I certainly didn't imply that "I'm Lovin It" was why McDonalds are successful. But it is certainly a successful slogan.

        I think 'Where You Turn' is a great slogan and I challenge anyone to come up with a better one.

        It's a pun as well as making you think of something that you can and do always rely on, which is not only what you want in bearings, but also in a company.

        And Dan Kennedy said it himself: "Just in case you miss the point: slogans don't sell ball bearings"
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      • Profile picture of the author MichaelHiles
        Originally Posted by Vagabond 007 View Post

        I think some of you guys, and gals, are missing the point. MichaelHiles, I have a TON of respect for you. I've seen countless posts of yours that were great. Clearly you know what you're talking about. And when it comes to BIG businesses, you have FAR superior knowledge than I do.

        With that being said, I still stand by what I originally said. This new slogan is dumb. Clearly this company has a ton of money to blow on silly slogans. So clearly they are doing something right. Perhaps I should have worded my original post better. I don't think that OVERALL Timken is dumb. But what they did was dumb.

        Here is why I think that...

        With the amount of time and money they spent on this new slogan and getting it out to the press, it could have been better spent on something that would have directly contributed to their bottom line. Something that was measurable.

        Furthermore, are you forgetting that this new slogan replaced their previous slogan which was "Worldwide Leader In Bearings And Steel". Granted, that slogan could be better as well. No benefit in it. But come on, do you honestly think it was wise to spend time and money changing that to "Where You Turn"?

        If you think it was wise, well, I don't know what to say.

        Again, my whole point is the time and money could have been better spent on something FAR more productive. Something that would have put MORE money in their pocket.

        And as far as slogans go, they can help a company sell more IF they are benefit driven. But perhaps that would fall under a USP and not a slogan. I suppose they are interchangeable. Perfect example is Domino's USP.

        Short, silly slogans FOR THE MOST PART do not help sell more. Benefit driven USP's do. Don't kid yourself, McDonald's "I'm Lovin It" is not why they are successful.
        Sometimes large companies spend millions of dollars to rebrand themselves for things that have nothing to do with customers.

        Bill Davidow writes extensively about his experience at Motorola and this very thing.

        It ALWAYS relates to the bottom line. But with any mega corporation, the dynamics extend beyond the basics of business 101, selling stuff. The infrastructure to sell stuff and deliver that stuff (or services) have requirements outside of just the operation of the core business system.

        We're talking about companies that have the annual operating budgets the size of some large metropolitan cities... all the way up to companies with the size of some GDP levels of moderately developed nations.

        In a symbiotic system that large, there are always initiatives and reasons for things outside of the small business mindset, where the operation of the capitalist business function is still very connected with the management or ownership.

        To illustrate what I am talking about here... do you think that a billion dollar corporation like... say Google... is enhancing their bottom line by having on staff nutrition and wellness experts give seminars to employees in lunch rooms? Or are they just kind benefactors of people who are passionate about health?

        What's the bottom line?

        Insurance discounts from the group plan underwriters to the company for preventative health programs that hold down premium costs that would be higher than the cost of hiring the wellness consultants.

        It's a complex thing. And one that's not readily apparent to someone outside of the organization looking in.
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        • Profile picture of the author Hardi Wijaya
          Originally Posted by MichaelHiles View Post

          Sometimes large companies spend millions of dollars to rebrand themselves for things that have nothing to do with customers.
          Let me name one rebranding thing that has nothing to do with customers.

          SOCIAL STATUS

          Watch out guys... some multinationals are going to spend money helping to rebuild Haiti. For humanity sake, but not for free, of course.


          Hardi
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          • Profile picture of the author MichaelHiles
            Originally Posted by Hardi Wijaya View Post

            Let me name one rebranding thing that has nothing to do with customers.

            SOCIAL STATUS

            Watch out guys... some multinationals are going to spend money helping to rebuild Haiti. For humanity sake, but not for free, of course.


            Hardi



            Remember when British Petroleum went "green" and changed their logo to some esoteric kind of flower icon?

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            • Profile picture of the author Killer Joe
              Originally Posted by MichaelHiles View Post



              Remember when British Petroleum went "green" and changed their logo to some esoteric kind of flower icon?

              BP now has adopted the slogan "Beyond Petroleum".

              Which roughly translates to "Beyond Belief".

              KJ
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              • Profile picture of the author MichaelHiles
                Originally Posted by Killer Joe View Post

                BP now has adopted the slogan "Beyond Petroleum".

                Which roughly translates to "Beyond Belief".

                KJ

                I dunno... cap and trade will eventually be a reality in the US, and they've got a lot of carbon credit catching up to do.

                Algae farming in Paraguay. I hear it's all the rage.
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  • Profile picture of the author Dave Hardin
    Do short slogans work?
    I spent 17 years with Procter & Gamble - 16 billion a year at the time.
    The quicker picker upper?
    Please don't squeeze the Charmin?
    99 44/100% pure? Pure what?
    We were told on day one to keep it short and memorable because we had exactly 3 seconds to catch a shoppers eye before they passed the product and turned into the next aisle. I don't think we have even that much time on-line.
    Personally, I think Timken would have been better off using "As the world turns", but a soap opera had already snatched that one up.
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  • Profile picture of the author tryinhere
    Originally Posted by Vagabond 007 View Post

    the newsletter I read this in was from June 2005. I just checked Timken's website. Still has "Where You Turn" on it...right beneath their name. Amazing they still somehow manage to profit being this dumb.
    How is a company making a profit over an extended time dumb ? do not most dumb businesses fold before 12 months ?
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  • Profile picture of the author freudianslip27
    Now that I have an open eye to all this stuff, I look at ads differently. I can't believe how poorly some of them are written!

    Or I see a commercial that I know a local company paid big bucks for, and there is no clear call to action or even mention of how their service could benefit me.

    I don't think people understand how much we can help these businesses. There are multi-million dolllar companies out there that don't even have statistical tracking on their websites.

    Matt
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  • Profile picture of the author paulie888
    Reading through the posts above, I think there are merits to both sides of the argument, but ultimately I think the branding argument wins out. It's not really about coming out with some grand, catchy slogan that will captivate everyone's eyes, it's more about branding and positioning in whatever market these huge companies are in.

    When I was in one of my MBA marketing classes, we had a major case study on Papa John's Pizza, which is not even B2B. Guess what their slogan is? "Better Ingredients. Better Pizza." Short, sweet, and to the point. You don't have time for long, grandiose and flowery sentences in these markets - people just want to know what you have to offer, and it just needs to be short and describe exactly what you have to offer.

    Papa John's spent a LOT of time developing this slogan, it wasn't just thrown together in a few hours. You'd think something simple like this wouldn't cause an uproar among anyone, right? Wrong. Pizza Hut responded with a multi-million dollar lawsuit claiming that the slogan was libelous and would cause harm to their business. It took several months of litigation to sort out, with the courts finally ruling that Papa John's could keep its slogan.

    I think it's pretty clear from this example that with these huge nationwide and/or multinational companies, it's all about branding and market positioning, and no one's going to tolerate and fall for grandiose, multi-sentence type subject lines/slogans that you see all the time in IM.
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    • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
      Some of the B2C slogans touted here as brilliant,

      "I'm Lovin' It"

      "Get the Door. It's Domino's"

      for two, are still relatively new. Only time will tell how brilliant they actually are. At least the ad agencies made money on them.

      Back to Timken...

      "World leader in ball bearings and steel" is a bit limiting. If there was a purchasing agent dumb enough to go purely on the tag line, this slogan would put Timken out of the running for anything but steel ball bearings.

      If you take a look, they have a much wider offering which the new slogan supports without painting them into a corner:

      Catalogs
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      • Profile picture of the author Killer Joe
        I guess they could have gone with, "Our Slogan Puts A New Spin On Our Bearings", but that would have opened the door for the press to use the headline, "Timken's New Slogan Has No Bearing On Their Profits".

        In which case Timken would have to respond with, "Timken. We've got the Balls To Put A Spin On Anything We Want."

        :rolleyes:

        KJ
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  • Profile picture of the author Bayo
    Great post and proof that how to stand out from the marketing noise our prospects and clients are subjected to each and every day is not at all difficult.

    This isn't an isolated case either. Need more proof? Just look at your local rag or go to local business websites (Including those of your local competitors) and you'll begin to realize that what YOU need to do is get up on the inside, get up on the outside and go secure your piece of the opportunities that await you.
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  • Profile picture of the author SteelDanno
    I would have given them a half-price deal and pitched ...

    Timkin Company
    "We got a great deal on this useless slogan"

    Just as (non)effective as their new slogan and half the cost!
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    • Profile picture of the author Martin Luxton
      From the company website:

      Around the world and in a variety of industries, customers improve their performance by turning to Timken

      It seems to me almost like an anti-slogan. Timken portraying themselves as trustworthy long-term business partners not a junkfood company using smart marketing to push rubbish.


      Martin
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  • Profile picture of the author eQuus
    I agree with Michael Hiles, "Where You Turn" is a great slogan because it is written for businesses who use Timken's superior bearings to obtain smooth, quiet, and reliable turns that are critical to the function of their equipment -- from factory machines to behemoth locomotives. "Where You Turn" sums up and re-asserts customers' acceptance of Timken's leadership in the bearings market. Ms. Vagabond 007 umbrage over the slogan is simply a misunderstanding of top of the line B2B branding techniques.
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  • Profile picture of the author seasoned
    Regarding the intelligence of companies....

    The Daily WTF: Curious Perversions in Information Technology

    Steve
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  • Profile picture of the author rrakausk
    Just a quickie with monolithic corporations - somewhere along the line process becomes a lot more important than outcome, just like any bureaucratic setup ...

    Here is an example - I was a contractor for a monolith that billed itself as "the internet company of the future". My office of some 50 folks shared a 64k ISDN link (1999) yet we were expected to support our clients and upgrade systems using software downloaded via this link. Luckily it was token ring so I could prioritise the packets for my desktop lol.

    Anyway after a few weeks of frustrating nonsense I discovered that the CEO in the USA had a website separate from the Company and was seeking feedback. He got lots from me about the inconsistencies of the situation.

    Three months later the news filtered down from the USA to my Branch in Australia that someone was "making trouble" and that the State general manager wanted my head on a platter.

    I made a deal with my immediate boss to never do that again. My lever was that I would go straight to the press, and at that stage the company was rather hated amongst its constituency, so it worked. Gotta love blackmail.

    Anyway this company, process bound as it is, still makes billions of dollars in sales a year, because it has bluffed people who buy from it into believing they are the only real alternative to other manufacturers and that nobody who ever bought from them in the past had been accused of making a bad decision.

    Their consumer products division went broke years ago, because they never did understand what customer service really was all about. Bill Gates cleaned up too I hear...

    Kinda like the ISO200 quality assurance. I can have a really good and worlds best practice constructed parachute, but if it's made out of concrete it won't do me any good.

    My opinion is Big companies are full of public servants who didn't make the grade in Government. I avoid them whenever I can...

    Their processes are impeccable however...
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  • Profile picture of the author fred67
    I think taglines are great and there are many good ones out there.
    I didn't realise you could make money coming up with them though :-)

    I'll have to read further down this post to see if there are any pointers.

    My main website has had - "The Search Ends Here" for a year or so now - Hope Google doesn't slap my wrists :-)
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