What Puerto Rico needs is a new slogan, a basis for a marketing campaign that, like most marketing campaigns, shines selective light on the good and casts shadows on the bad.
Seth Godin says "All marketers are liars." Maybe so. However, if no Truth is provided, the lying marketer will ultimately fail. So the game is to present as much Truth as possible. Some products, such as politicians, have no Truth: there's not a damn thing you can do with them, though Hades knows some idiots try mightily. As for the rest of the marketed products in the world, what truth they have can be augmented with minor or wholesale changes. Puerto Rico lies (pardon the pun) in that majority of "reasonably good, but needs improvement" category of products.
The Jenius suggests a slogan with more than a hint of mystery to it so as to invite inquiry and initiate a conversation. Here it is:
Puerto Rico: Talent at the profit point.
The Jenius hears a collective "Huh?" Read on.
There are four strengths to this slogan and any suggestion of a better one (and there may be many) would have to meet or exceed these four strengths:
1) Talent: By using a word clearly geared at a high-end characteristic, We are throwing off that severely outdated model of "cheap labor." We are not and have not been "cheap labor" since before The Bee Gees falsettoed at #1. Talent is never cheap and it isn't a commodity you can get anywhere...but you can certainly find it here.
2) Profit: Cheap labor is a cost-reduction strategy with an often-limited impact on the bottom line. By using the word "profit", We are clearly stating that Our contributions are not only useful, they are also valuable. Too many places focus on "cheap," but the true test of success is to focus--and achieve--profits.
3) "Profit point": A subtle but important strength: We are not a one-stop solution for everybody. We are also growing into Our own level of global technology. A "proft point" can be defined as the moment when infrastructure meets execution or processes meet markets. In other words, it can mean virtually anything so long as it is reasonable to the listener. He or she would understand We are value-added components, not basic tools, that Our physical limitations (from poor government to overstressed electrical system, et al), can be sidestepped, but Our Talent--Our amazing human resources--can still be used. (Think outsourcing or global alliances.) In addition, We acknowledge that We are in a learning phase, and as any good manager knows, the most valuable workers are those who have enough knowledge to do the job well, but need experience. Rather than call Ourselves "eager beavers," "at the profit point" sounds more professional.
4) Long-term: The slogan isn't a "quick fix promise": Talent at the profit point implies a lengthy commitment between the partners. For one thing, talent seeks its own reward, so nurturing that talent to find its reward within the current relationship is smart strategy. For another, if profits are consistent and growing, the relationship will be long and undergo redefining anyway...but both parties will tend to seek win-win arrangements. (Remember, We are not talking about an individual, but a country. People will make sudden changes often, but countries tend to move like glaciers.) Also, by linking "talent" to "profit," We would be unequivocally stating a focus on results. Let others talk about "potential" or "opportunity" while We clearly seize the high ground. It's not easy to hold, but it certainly attracts attention.
Like many good slogans, this one is like a coat hanger: you can drape all sorts of clothing on it. The important thing here is to find a way to cut through the clutter of global marketing (Ireland, Singapore, India, China, Malaysia, Chile, former Soviet satellites), kick-start The Fools from their inertia (at least try to) and give Puerto Rico an element that plays to Our strengths rather than magnify Our warts.
You might have a suggestion about a different slogan. Good. The more the merrier. So long as We pick one and give it an A+ effort. It's Our job and We need to get on it immediately.
The Jenius Has Spoken.