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More than I can handle.

I’m at a crossroads waiting for a green light . To my left there is a plumber’s car claiming to be ‘More than a plumber’. A little further there’s a baker’s van. It says ‘More than a baker’ on the side. WTF? It seems I am ‘more than’ surrounded by this.

Don’t get me wrong. I can understand why a self-employed plumber or a micro-business might not be concerned about their company’s appearance. I can imagine why they have no clue what corporate story to tell. They’re probably hard at work. It’s far more lucrative to take as many jobs as they can get. But these ‘more than’ slogans ar far more common. ‘More than’ you would think (bad joke, I know). There’s a top ten accountancy and tax advisory firm telling us online ‘We are more than an accountancy and tax advisory firm.’ And ‘More than construction’ is quite a popular claim in the construction sector. I noticed an employment agency pretending to be ‘more than an employment agency’ and encountered several technical enterprises that have put ‘More than technics’ underneath their company name.

What is going on? Why openly express such a form of laziness or disinterest?

What is going on? Why openly express such a form of laziness or disinterest? Why use such a bad slogan? Is it because someone has not yet been able to discover your true corporate story? Because you do not know what your ‘more than’ company truly stands for? Or are you overestimating your products and services and do you try to hide this with a ‘more than’ slogan? In the first case the solution is fairly easy. You hire a creative mind to guide your company in deciding what to tell whom, designing how to tell it and planning where and when to tell it. But in the second case there is a lot of deferred maintenance on your products and services. You need to get to work. Fundamentally change the way you develop, produce and sell your products. To try and find new business models, new markets, new activities. To test the ground by walking on it. Now more than ever.

I read an article in a financial paper that claims ‘it is easier to change course and to start reforms for companies that not just focus on financial results. For companies that also take a hard look on the quality of their own market performance’. It makes sense to me. Because those are the companies that constantly question their own added value. It makes them see new opportunities. Makes them live up to their corporate story when plotting a new business strategy. We have such clients. Companies that continuously tweak and adjust their performance. For instance becoming both manufacturer and service provider at the same time. A high-tech machine producer that continually receives long-distance-data from their machines at production plants all over the world. These ‘remote diagnostics’ give them operational insights which they now sell as valuable advice to improve the performance of their machines. To the benefit of all.

Suddenly they became ‘more than’ a manufacturer. Maybe even ‘more than’ they would have ever thought. The mission is always ‘more than’ profit. The message is always ‘more than’ a mission. Communication can be more than telling a questionable story. Then why can’t your slogan be more than ‘more than’?

Jeroen Vermeulen, 8 September 2017

Jeroen Vermeulen

Jeroen Vermeulen is Account Director at WADM – creative agency for insights and interaction. As a true market analyst he can spot the brand potential through the smallest crack in your business data. Indispensable to the BrainSells®-team because of his pure and uncut honesty. He prepares things thoroughly and executes them carefully. He just can't stand a false perspective or archaic opinions. He will go always go the extra mile to set them straight.