Intel Launches Boneheaded Boardroom Brand Blather
Claiming Intel's marketing needed a swift kick in the ass, American Technology Research Analyst Doug Freeman, commenting on Intel's decision to change its tagline from "Intel Inside" to "Leap Ahead" in support of the company's expansion beyond computers, said, "That they're going to focus on 'Leap Ahead' makes me think about the technology. Not, 'buy me because I'm inside,' but 'buy me because I'm doing something unique.'" Apart from the fact that sounds like boneheaded boardroom brand blather, the change is beyond stupid. It's illogical and nonsensical. Intel chips ARE inside. That's the whole point. It's an easily understood, straight forward way of saying a product is better because it has an Intel chip inside. "Leap Ahead" is meaningless. Oh sure, there's that whole squishy, "we're doing all these cool things to help you move ahead and beyond the competition" but that could be applied to any company. It's not unique enough to set Intel apart from, say, the brand of wires used inside a device.
GE committed the same brand suicide with its change from "We Bring Good Things to Life," which actually said what the company did, to "Imagination at work" which makes one think GE employees just daydream all day long rather than do actual work which would...well...bring good things to life. We know full well where all this brand puffery comes from. We've been through it ourselves many times and that blather always sounds so right at the time. But, that's only because the brand development team has been locked in a conference room for months with fancy diagrams, extravagant PowerPoint presentations and lots and lots of Kool Aid. One tends to forget consumers don't get to sit in on those self-important, chest-beating, group-nod, back-slapping brand buy-in sessions. It all results in a agency and the client completely understanding the new brand definition and, upon campaign launch, consumers uttering a collective, Huh?"
Humorously, a few days ago and two years after GE changed its tagline to "Imagination At Work," we heard a game show/reality show contestant, in reaction to some joke the host made about GE, say, "Yup. We Bring Good Things to Life." Guess that new tagline's working really well for GE.
In marketing, we tend to forget it takes years for most people to fully identify with a brand's message. It takes just as long if not longer for people to accept and understand a new brand message. So it goes without saying a marketer better be damn sure their new brand blather clearly conveys the right message before embarking upon a change. We think Intel is making a big mistake changing from an easily understood and descriptive tagline to one that conveys nothing more than boneheaded boardroom brand blather. Of course, with billions to spend on marketing, none of this matters. Intel could change their tagline to "Duh" and the whole world would recite it in unison.
UPDATE: To be clear, I have no problem with the logo. just the tagline.