Name that Brand – “Making Technology Work for You”

Can you name the brand behind this new tagline — Making Technology Work for You? The problem with this tagline is that it fails some of the do’s and don’ts of tagline creation. It could be used for a wide variety of brands from software companies, to tech manufacturers, to retailers, and more. Most importantly, it offers no additional information beyond what consumers already expect from the brand. In other words, if this tagline represents a brand that is in some way related to the tech industry, then it fails to create a perceived expectation that adds value to consumers’ lives. If this is a tech-related brand, then making technology work for you should be an innate part of the brand DNA, and this tagline would be redundant. So what brand is behind this tagline?

technology mouseThe answer is Best Buy. Making Technology Work for You is the new tagline for Best Buy which the company hopes will help reposition the brand as more than just a gadget and technology retailer but rather as a place where consumers can get services and solutions. Best Buy Vice President of Marketing Drew Panayiotou explained the new tagline and marketing campaign to Ad Age as an attempt to put the focus of the brand not just on consumer purchases but instead on consumers who are innovating with technology.

The first television commercials have already debuted, and rather than featuring celebrities as Best Buy ads did in the past, the spots feature college students (just in time for the back-to-school rush Best Buy hopes to capitalize on). You can watch one of these commercials below and find more on the Best Buy YouTube Channel.

The new Best Buy tagline and brand strategy was born from an 18-month effort that included months of research. For example, focus groups were used for exploratory research, so Best Buy executives could learn how the brand compared to its primary competitors. Taglines were also researched and tested, and the data gathered helped to develop Making Technology Work for You.

Best Buy isn’t just rolling out a new tagline. The company is rebranding at the store-level, too. The Wall Street Journal reports that Best Buy is closing 50 of its 1,100 big box stores in the United States, and 60 of the stores that survive will be redesigned with 20% less space, fewer big screen televisions, and more mobile devices. The new stores are being likened to Apple store designs. They’ll feature:

  • Solution Central at the center of the store manned by Geek Squad employees in black-tied uniforms (similar in feeling to Apple’s Genius Bars).
  • Multiple checkout locations rather than a single checkout line at the front of the store (again, similar to Apple stores).
  • Fewer gadgets displayed overall. Less space devoted to big screen televisions and more space for mobile phones, tablets, and e-readers.
  • Expanded appliance sections and elaborate home theater showrooms with certified installers.
  • More knowledgeable and accessible employees on the floor (40% of current employees will undergo intensive training and all new employees will undergo 80 hours of training). Employees will get bonuses when sales and customer satisfaction scores rise.

According to The Wall Street Journal, Best Buy executives believe that all of these changes are being made in an effort to reposition Best Buy as the store consumers want to visit to “congregate and learn how to get more out of their gadgets.” The Wall Street Journal also reports that consumers visit Best Buy one to two times per year, which is significantly lower than the 10 visits per year that they made a decade ago.

These days, it’s not unusual to see consumers visit Best Buy to handle a variety of products, test them out, and do some hands-on research. When they’re done, they’ll go to another store like Walmart or go home and log onto Amazon to purchase the product they want at a lower price than they can get it at Best Buy. It seems unlikely that a new store layout will change that behavior. Remember when Circuit City was positioned as the store to go to if you wanted to speak with well-trained and knowledgeable employees and get help with your electronics purchases? We all know what happened to Circuit City. Only time will tell if Best Buy fares better.

Image: Patrick Hajzler

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Susan Gunelius
Susan Gunelius, MBA is a 25-year marketing and branding expert and President and CEO of KeySplash Creative, Inc., a marketing communications company. She is the author of 10 books about marketing, branding and social media, and her marketing-related articles appear on top media websites such as Entrepreneur.com and Forbes.com. She is also the Founder and Editor in Chief of WomenOnBusiness.com, an award-winning blog for business women.