Branding 101: How Avis Has Thrown the Baby Out With the Bath Water

branding 101

The controversial decision to drop the 50-year-old Avis tagline of We Try Harder has made us wonder why people give up valuable ideas in the pursuit of new marketing strategies.

There are what we call “meaningful truths” about companies.

These are characteristics, beliefs, and methodologies that are true and actively alive within a business.

Often, these are valuable gems that are operating below the surface, which, when seen in the light of day, show how the business can truly matter to people.

Avis had such an idea in “We Try Harder”, which has become trivialized as a tagline.

But “We Try Harder” was a powerful idea that no doubt drove the company’s employees to establish Avis as a true contender to the industry leader, Hertz.

It was also a powerful consumer idea. After all, who wouldn’t want to align with a company that had such an attitude?

The company’s management now wants to reposition Avis closer to the business audience and take on a premium position.

To do this, they have changed the company’s tagline to “It’s Your Space.”

We simply wonder why Avis couldn’t have shifted their marketing strategy under the “We Try Harder” notion.

Couldn’t the CMO and her team bring new meaning to “We Try Harder” that would bridge the past to the current need?

This is more than sentimentality on our part.

We think it’s a real skill to recognize the emotive power resident in your business, product, or service, and to find ways to keep that very much alive over time.

Yes, your business is always evolving, responding to changing needs and grabbing at new opportunities.

We simply want to say that, along the way, be careful not to throw out the baby with the bath water.

Why do we say this? Because “we try harder” to make businesses matter to people.

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