The Unrecognizable Taglines of the Community Platform Space

Over the last year I’ve been trained to make my points not just with opinion but with data, so I’ve done just that with this experiment. In a crowded market (esp if you’ve 100 competitors) having an at-par product isn’t enough. Strategic market will out position your competitors and make sure you’re considered and then preferred over others. Sure some strong brands like GM don’t need a tagline, but others that have ingrained “just do it.” are now part of culture.

In a few short days I created, fielded and collected data from a small survey set of folks that read my blog and are connected to me on twitter, the results are below.

Data: Tag Line Recognition, all respondents
Out of a base of 60 respondents, which is on the smaller side, we could quickly see a trend on which taglines were the most recognizable.

  • 90.00% were able to recognize Twitter’s “What are you doing?”
  • 30.00% were able to recognize Kickapps’s “Social Networking Software Platform and Soical Media Community Building Applications”
  • 28.33% were able to recognize Lithium’s “Successful Communities On-Demand”
  • 25.00% were able to recognize Liveworld’s “Your Brand Lives in the Voice of Your Customers”
  • 25.00% were able to recognize Jive’s “The Business Social Software Leader”
  • 21.67% were able to recognize Mzinga’s “On-Demand Social Software Solutions for Marketing, Support and Learning”
  • 21.67% were able to recognize Awareness’s “The Leader in Social Media Marketing”
  • 18.33% were able to recognize Leverage Software’s “People-Centric Social Networking Solutions for Business”
  • 16.67% were able to recognize Telligent’s “Enterprise Online Community”
  • 15.00% were able to recognize Pluck’s “Leaders in Social Media”
  • Considerations
    First of all, this isn’t a completely scientific study, with a small sample base, this isn’t a formal market research project that I do on the day job, but it is fun and does help me to make a point about marketing in a crowded pond.

    Despite it being a small sample size, the audience reading this blog and those connected to me are certainly in the space. Since this was launched on my blog and twitter account, it is targeted in the social software space, this wasn’t a survey that went to grandmas in the congo.

    I wanted to do a larger sample of taglines that spanned other vendors like Blogtronix, Neighborhood America, OneSite, HiveLive, and on on, but I realized I didn’t have enough bandwidth for this project –nor easy to use tools.


    Most of the respondents were influencers or decision makers. 10 of respondents worked for community platforms, but only a half of them were the vendors listed above. 12 of the respondents replied they were a decision maker, I can see the emails and some work for large corporations. 27 said they were influencers. 5 were unsure what this market is, or were not involved with this market. the rest had misc write ins.

    11 of the respondents already had a community platform, 20 of them had no need for a community platform, but about half of them worked at the vendors themselves. 8 were unsure and needed to learn more if they needed a community platform, 17 of the were researching this market, and 1 said they were ready to buy.

    Even the most recognizable tagline by Kickapps (I’m not sure how anyone could recognize that beast) has nothing to be proud of, at best, less than one-third of the market could recognize it.

    Some responded they worked at community platform vendors, and while they got their own company right (I misread the data before) they didn’t recognize the taglines of others.

    I threw twitter in as the first question just to get people feeling good, and it’s somewhat of a control sample, they are clearly in this space. It is interesting that 90% of them clearly could recognize this call to action.

    In a market this crowded (100 vendors) creating a tagline or brand that makes you standapart may be key. On the other hand vendors like Six Apart and Social Text (both long time recognizable) brands don’t have a tagline at all.

    Although Pluck’s “Leaders in Social Media” and Awareness’s “The Leader in Social Media Marketing” are nearly identical, Awareness has a 5 point gain, why is that? I’ve often thought Jive’s enterprise octopus was fairly unique and fun, and told a story that other serious minded enterprise vendors failed to get.

    The vendors in this space, at least by tagline are for the most part, indistinguishable, I can back this up with my frequent client calls of brands asking for vendor recommendations and general confusion on who does what –good thing we published a Wave report helping with that. While some of the vendors had more of a descriptor than a tagline, they were for the most part, not different from each other.

    Doug Haslam writes that he found this experiment interesting, and although he’s in PR and covers this space, could only identify one tagline in the space.

    Voices from the community
    I asked the respondents what would they do if they were the CMO of these vendors, because of the large amount of text, I’ve moved them to a seperate page, but you should read some of the cherry insights they provided.

    Thanks everyone for this quick and interesting experiment.

    Here’s Doug’s Podcast discussing the topic, listen in.