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WHY TAG LINES CAN HELP YOU UNDERSTAND A COMPANIES PHILOSOPHY
Robert Van Rooyen explains his company’s tag line ‘Advancing the Art of Engineering’
When starting a business it is important to clearly understand the ‘why’ of your company and a great tag line can help you accomplish that. What is a tag line? They set the stage for everything you want your company to represent; from your work, to marketing and brand recognition.
When Robert created his consulting company, Summit Scientific, Inc., he took his many years of experience and decided how he wanted to differentiate his company from competitors in the industry, which resulted in a unique tag line. I was curious how he came up with ‘Advancing the Art of Engineering’ and this is what he told me.
“Pure engineering is the utilization of electrical circuits, software algorithms, and mechanical systems to accomplish some requirement of a product feature. There are often many ways to solve an engineering problem depending on what can be leveraged in a design, or what is readily available, that will typically narrow the potential solutions down to a few viable options. Then there are pros and cons for each solution that ultimately lead to the best way to proceed.
When an engineer is creating a new feature they utilize academic knowledge and industry experience in the design. However, engineers tend to have a very myopic view of the world and when they have a specific requirement for a feature they are trying to implement, they usually keep their heads down and focus on “how do I make this work”. They seldom think about the much larger picture. What other features of the product will this interact with? What environments will this product be subjected to? How will the consumer use the product? This is where the engineering becomes a foundation and the art comes in to play. Meaning the engineer has thought about how the feature is going to be used effectively, the aesthetics of what it will look like, how easy will it be for the user to identify the feature and use it, and is the feature in fact self‐explanatory. The best product is a product that does not require an owner’s manual; it’s intuitive and you just instinctively know how it works. That element of artistic interpretation or having an eye for things is an intangible quality. Products or product features that have this type of concept shows that somebody has really thought about it, not just from a purely engineering perspective, but also how it fits into the big picture. The engineer has considered the flow of how it’s used and how that feature has manifested itself in the product. When you look at competitive options and what other companies have created you can quickly see how they distinguish themselves in terms of usability.
A modern example is Apple. Their products are designed to look good and be as easy to use as possible, while adopting a minimalist approach to design. If you give the user too many options they will usually run into problems because it becomes too complicated to use. Most people are busy and they’ve got better things to do then try to figure out how something works. You are doing the consumer a great disservice if you don’t keep it simple and easy. Always think of ways that allow the feature to blend nicely into the product or the environment in which it is being used.”
A good tag line should explain the unique value that your company offers and ‘Advancing the Art of Engineering’ describes Summit Scientific, Inc.’s philosophy and the value it offers its clients. Robert explained that when he started his company he wanted to look at the big picture when working on products. He wanted to help his clients create intuitive products in an efficient and thoughtful manner./p>