December, 2003

Inspection News and Views from the American Society of Home Inspectors

Tag line announced for the ASHI Brand: We Speak House


What is a tag line? Most communications campaigns are anchored with a theme or advertising tag line. Some of the most memorable have come from McDonald’s, such as, “You Deserve a Break Today.” The Nike line, “Just Do It” is one of the most famous. They became part of our culture, to some extent, because they ring true and we understand and relate to them. But these tag lines are the culmination of a lot of work that consumers never see.   

The backbone of any branding campaign is good research and sound strategy. Over the past nine months, research provided insight into what consumers and real estate professionals want from a home inspector. We spent time with members of the ASHI PR committee and the ASHI board to determine the best message and language to use to create the new ASHI communications tag line.

In order to determine the best communications for a brand, we have a process we use at Publicis. We call it Truth and Heart. It is born out of the belief that individuals process communications and information in two different ways. One is through facts, and the other is through emotion or feelings. And in any great communication that resonates with a target audience, both factors (facts and feelings) are distilled into a meaningful message.

Here are some of the key phrases we found for facts or truths about an ASHI inspector:

We stand behind our work…reliable
We continuously educate ourselves
We are the most technically proficient
We have the greatest level of experience
We are independent and objective

Here are what we found to be the most compelling emotional aspects about an ASHI inspector:

Intimate introduction to the home
Create a level of peace of mind
Help people make smart decisions.

Once we knew the key elements of Truth (fact) and Heart (emotion), we put these words into a point of view that would lead us to relevant communications. Here’s brand.gifhow this looks when you chart it.

Moving from the consumer contract to a tag line is a bit of science and art. We wrote more than 100 tag lines. We presented five to the ASHI board of directors, and we all agreed the best tag line for consumers, real estate professionals and the Membership was simply:
The American Society of Home Inspectors
We Speak House™

If a house could speak for itself, it might tell you about the water damage at the southwest corner or about that still functioning, but not quite up-to-date knob and tube wiring. Well, of course houses don’t talk – but they do communicate. It takes a special person to sense, decipher and investigate all the clues a house offers. A highly specialized and trained person. An ASHI inspector. This tag line puts ASHI in the role of a trusted translator who has special knowledge, and it balances the very organizational sounding “American Society of Home Inspectors” with a little lighter personality.

The new ASHI tag line is just the tip of the iceberg of the communication materials that will be coming your way in the next several months. All will convince consumers and real estate professionals that an ASHI inspector is the best because We Speak House.