"vanguarding"??!?

Discuss all general (i.e. non-personal) investing questions and issues, investing news, and theory.

Clever marketing, or linguistic torture?

Poll ended at Thu Mar 25, 2010 4:55 pm

Clever Marketing
19
5%
Linguistic Torture
119
34%
Linguistic Torture
119
34%
Both
46
13%
Both
46
13%
 
Total votes: 349

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sommerfeld
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"vanguarding"??!?

Post by sommerfeld »

Sleepless
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Post by Sleepless »

Levett
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Post by Levett »

It's stupid.

I wonder how much VG paid for such stuff.

Bob U.
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tim1999
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Post by tim1999 »

For some reason it reminds me of those Dr. Sholls "Are you gellin'?" ads.
stlrick
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Post by stlrick »

I hate it.
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Kenster1
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Post by Kenster1 »

The Valley Forge, Pa., mutual fund company announced Monday it launched a multi-channel advertising campaign that encourages investors to “Stop just investing and start Vanguarding.”

Sean Hagerty, a principal at Vanguard and its head of retail marketing and communications, said that ads will run in financial publications, mainstream newspapers and online.
Yeah - we have many established investors worried about opening the door to small investors and driving up costs. But instead what wonderful use and allocation of their marketing budget.

We can't help the smaller investors nor improve our Brokerage services but we can open our pockets and spend on Vanguarding together. Hold hands everybody!
Last edited by Kenster1 on Mon Mar 15, 2010 5:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Boglenaut
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Post by Boglenaut »

I voted "Linguistic Torture"

Of course, I agree with the philosophy, but it seems a bit too much to claim your company as the verb to describe it. It's not intuitive.
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sommerfeld
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Post by sommerfeld »

Calvin (the cartoon character) said it best:

Verbing weirds language.
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stratton
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Post by stratton »

I'm Vanguarding:

American Vanguard Corp
China Vanguard
Texas Vanguard Oil Co.
Vanguard Enviro Sol
Vanguard Intl Semi
Vanguard Minerals
Vanguard Natl Res
Vanguard Pharm
Vanguard Airlines Inc

Those are just the ones from Yahoo stock listings.

Paul
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Opponent Process
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Post by Opponent Process »

from the e-mail title, I thought it was some kind of sex spam. then I thought they were coming out with a fraud guarantee or some kind of security announcement. that would have been nice.
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FrugalInvestor
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Post by FrugalInvestor »

bob u. wrote:It's stupid.

I wonder how much VG paid for such stuff.

Bob U.

This was my initial reaction as well. But the more I think about it if such a campaign could effectively illuminate what separates Vanguard from their competitors such as a focus on low cost index funds, proper client asset allocation and risk tolerance assessment, a focus on the long-term and stay-the-course philosophy it may be beneficial.

It'll be interesting to see how the campaign progresses and just how effectively the message is communicated.

Edit: If 'verbizing' the name gets (younger?) people to pay attention to and perhaps understand the message them I'm all for it!
Last edited by FrugalInvestor on Tue Mar 16, 2010 2:00 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Post by MWCA »

I enjoy the boats and runner commercials. Thats about all I have to say about that. :shock:
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Post by Gekko »

i thought it was cheesy.
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Post by donocash »

Yuck.

I hope they ditch this misguided idea.
555
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.

Post by 555 »

.
Last edited by 555 on Fri Mar 26, 2010 1:12 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Post by Sunny Sarkar »

I support it.

Despite occasionally coming up with utterly confusing concoctions like the Diversified Equity Fund, I believe Vanguard does stand for something special in the investment industry, and I'm inclined to support whatever it takes to spread the message in order to help people make the right choices regarding finances.

Best,
Sunny
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Post by livesoft »

It's working. Already Vanguard signed up 345,000 new customers.
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Post by woof755 »

stratton wrote:I'm Vanguarding:

American Vanguard Corp
China Vanguard
Texas Vanguard Oil Co.
Vanguard Enviro Sol
Vanguard Intl Semi
Vanguard Minerals
Vanguard Natl Res
Vanguard Pharm
Vanguard Airlines Inc

Those are just the ones from Yahoo stock listings.

Paul

Did you Bing Vanguarding, or Google it?

I think VG can do better. Hate to admit it, but Fido's green line is pretty good. Also hate to admit, but those ads (for John Hancock, is it?) where people are texting back and forth about such things as "How do we get back to when we (retire) from will we?" are pretty thoughtful, too.

What was wrong with the light boat beating the heavy boat to the finish line. Taylor Larimore obviously wasn't consulted about that change!
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555
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.

Post by 555 »

.
Last edited by 555 on Fri Mar 26, 2010 1:12 am, edited 2 times in total.
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tetractys
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Post by tetractys »

stratton wrote:I'm Vanguarding:

American Vanguard Corp
China Vanguard
Texas Vanguard Oil Co.
Vanguard Enviro Sol
Vanguard Intl Semi
Vanguard Minerals
Vanguard Natl Res
Vanguard Pharm
Vanguard Airlines Inc
A slick move by Vanguard to get the registered trademark first?

I kind of doubt it. -- Tet
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baw703916
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Post by baw703916 »

Today I clicked on a page to see what the market indices were doing.

I was reminded that "If you are reacting to the stock market every minute, you are not Vanguarding (TM) :wink:

Actually I was just curious, had no plans to react at all.

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Post by honkeoki »

livesoft wrote:It's working. Already Vanguard signed up 345,000 new customers.
... and if Vanguarding gets VG more customers and lowers my expense rates, then they can waterboard the language for all I care.
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Post by GammaPoint »

As soon as I saw this on the VG website I immediately opened a new tab because I knew there had to be a thread here about this. I personally think it sounds stupid. But maybe that's what will appeal to the most people :roll:
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Post by BigD53 »

"Vanguarding" is no more silly than being called a Voyager or a Flagship member.

Excuse me, but I'm not a sailor or a boat! :lol: And the person with a small account should be treated with the same level of customer service, courtesy, and respect as the guy with a million bucks.

(and what's up with the red kite? Is that our money floating away when the next wave of corruption hits the fan? :roll: )
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Post by Levett »

livesoft writes:

"It's working. Already Vanguard signed up 345,000 new customers."

Are you implying that the very term "Vanguarding" proved so effective that it drew 345000 new customers? Mind providing some evidence? Otherwise, I'll think the new customers are a coincidental, not causal, phenomenon.

Vanguard has been winning new customers for years without the Vanguarding promotion. Vanguard has a well-established brand without introducing this new nonsense.

But, hey: if you like "Vanguarding" you'll simply love "Bogleheading" (even if it may sound like a form of decapitation :lol:). Bob U.
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Post by DartThrower »

When I first saw this newest verb in the English language I was as appalled as everyone else. Then I thought "Gee Vanguard must have saved a ton of money on advertising because something this silly couldn't have cost much". ....so they really are keeping expenses low..... so it's a good thing!

What really sells Vanguard is (or should be) cold, hard logic and its cousin common sense. But I guess those abstract concepts in themselves have little marketing cache.
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Post by southerndoc »

bob u. wrote:livesoft writes:

"It's working. Already Vanguard signed up 345,000 new customers."

Are you implying that the very term "Vanguarding" proved so effective that it drew 345000 new customers? Mind providing some evidence? Otherwise, I'll think the new customers are a coincidental, not causal, phenomenon.

Vanguard has been winning new customers for years without the Vanguarding promotion. Vanguard has a well-established brand without introducing this new nonsense.

But, hey: if you like "Vanguarding" you'll simply love "Bogleheading" (even if it may sound like a form of decapitation :lol:). Bob U.
I'm a new Vanguard client (should I call myself a Vanguarder now?), but I didn't sign up because of the Vanguarding commercial.
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Post by csoren »

555 wrote:Interesting. Using the search feature on this forum, "vanguarding" hit 2 threads, but "bogleheading" hit 10 threads.
Looks like franglais. As in, "surfez-vous?" (which apparently applies only to internet surfing, not the wet kind).

So I suppose we could ask "Vanguardez-vous?" or "Vanguardons-nous?"

Bogleheadons? ("shall we Boglehead?")
Bogleheadez!

Toooo funny.
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Post by Sunny Sarkar »

Vanguard always has a hard time promoting the core virtue: low costs (difference magnified by compounding). Those glasses of water on the homepage didn't do much. How about something like this... "If you were Vanguarding instead of paying 2% expense ratios to those other guys, your retirement account would be twice as big!".
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Post by mptfan »

What is Vanguard's incentive to advertise? It is a mutual company owned by it's shareholders, so there is no "profit" in the traditional sense. Is it simply the desire to have greater economies of scale to reduce expenses?
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Post by jlq39 »

Cheesy and stupid sounding. I would never express my classy low cost index investing strategy as "vanguarding". It cheapens it in my opinion. I have to admit when I got the email introducing the new buzz word, it did give me a good laugh on a day I needed it!
Last edited by jlq39 on Tue Mar 16, 2010 1:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by Levett »

Hi Sunny,

I can summarize Vanguard's core virtue in a near instant using plain English:
Pay Less. Make More.

Consider it a gift to Vanguard(ing). :wink:

Bob U.
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Post by honkeoki »

DartThrower wrote:What really sells Vanguard is (or should be) cold, hard logic and its cousin common sense. But I guess those abstract concepts in themselves have little marketing cache.
Speaking as a marketer, I can tell you that logic and cold, hard common sense aren't useful promotional tools.

Speaking out of cold hard logic, I can tell you that everyone who is going to become a Vanguard customer because of cold, hard logic and common sense will not be dissuaded by any marketing message they perceive as silly.
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Post by honkeoki »

bob u. wrote: I can summarize Vanguard's core virtue in a near instant using plain English:
Pay Less. Make More.
They've already tried "The less you pay, the more you keep." Personally I think both this and your recommendation are compelling marketing message.

"Vanguarding" will probably appeal to less sophisticated investors. And by "sophisticated" I mean people who don't realize what a massive impact expenses have on returns.
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Post by Christine_NM »

Vanguarding? Yuck. Sounds like an antitheft device for minivans.

Googling was a grass roots thing. I used it myself a year or two before I heard it elsewhere. Somebody told me it was not a word.
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Post by stratton »

woof755 wrote:
stratton wrote:I'm Vanguarding:

American Vanguard Corp
China Vanguard
Texas Vanguard Oil Co.
Vanguard Enviro Sol
Vanguard Intl Semi
Vanguard Minerals
Vanguard Natl Res
Vanguard Pharm
Vanguard Airlines Inc

Those are just the ones from Yahoo stock listings.

Paul

Did you Bing Vanguarding, or Google it?
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stratton
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Post by stratton »

tetractys wrote:
stratton wrote:I'm Vanguarding:

American Vanguard Corp
China Vanguard
Texas Vanguard Oil Co.
Vanguard Enviro Sol
Vanguard Intl Semi
Vanguard Minerals
Vanguard Natl Res
Vanguard Pharm
Vanguard Airlines Inc
A slick move by Vanguard to get the registered trademark first?

I kind of doubt it. -- Tet
I'm not a lawyer, but there are 200+ categories for trademarks. They can have geographical ranges such as states and nationwide. They have to be used or they can be retracted. So Vanguard moving doesn't conflict with Vanguard the financial services company.

I'm now at my knowledge limits.

Paul
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Post by tim1999 »

Sunny Sarkar wrote:Vanguard always has a hard time promoting the core virtue: low costs (difference magnified by compounding). Those glasses of water on the homepage didn't do much. How about something like this... "If you were Vanguarding instead of paying 2% expense ratios to those other guys, your retirement account would be twice as big!".
That's good, although I think they might have some luck with the average non-boglehead investor using something like "With the money that you'll save on fees with Vanguard vs. the average mutual fund, you'll have enough for one of these (photo of man and hot blond in a new BMW convertible)."
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Post by ruralavalon »

Sunny Sarkar wrote:Vanguard always has a hard time promoting the core virtue: low costs (difference magnified by compounding). Those glasses of water on the homepage didn't do much . . .
I thought the glasses conveyed the message fairly well.

BTW Vanguard's capital inflows have been stellar recently, beating all the competition -- http://news.morningstar.com/articlenet/ ... e=0&part=3 -- although I don't believe this was really driven by advertising.

I voted "both".
cherokee 8215 wrote:I think they might have some luck with the average non-boglehead investor using something like "With the money that you'll save on fees with Vanguard vs. the average mutual fund, you'll have enough for one of these (photo of man and hot blond in a new BMW convertible)."
Now, that's clever :) .
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Post by jsnbrnd »

csoren wrote:
555 wrote:Interesting. Using the search feature on this forum, "vanguarding" hit 2 threads, but "bogleheading" hit 10 threads.
Looks like franglais. As in, "surfez-vous?" (which apparently applies only to internet surfing, not the wet kind).

So I suppose we could ask "Vanguardez-vous?" or "Vanguardons-nous?"

Bogleheadons? ("shall we Boglehead?")
Bogleheadez!

Toooo funny.
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Post by NightOwl »

When I talk to my friends, all single-stock types, about Vanguard, I get two reactions:

1. "Oh, my dad was really into Vanguard." Interpretation: someone's dad wisely learned not to pay loads on mutual funds from Jack Bogle, but Bogle's investing philosophy was not passed on.

2. "What's Vanguard?" If I had said ScottTrade, or WellsTrade, or ETrade, or Zecco, or TradeKing, these guys would all nod approvingly, assuming I was buying Citi stock.

IMHO, VG's new ad campaign isn't likely to change any of this. I'm okay with that.

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Post by Kenster1 »

ruralavalon wrote:
cherokee 8215 wrote:I think they might have some luck with the average non-boglehead investor using something like "With the money that you'll save on fees with Vanguard vs. the average mutual fund, you'll have enough for one of these (photo of man and hot blond in a new BMW convertible)."
Now, that's clever :) .
Yeah I see that all the time whenever I visited Naples, FL. :shock:
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Post by NAVigator »

Several years ago, a grocery chain in the state where I lived ran a commercial involving their name; "Let's go Krogering". I found it so annoying I stopped going there for several years. When they dropped that inane jingle, I went back and enjoyed shopping there.

The introduction of "Vanguarding" struck me the same way, at first. I then realized it is a way to identify with an investing approach and set of values in the same way as a group being called Diehards or Bogleheads. That classification is rather appealing.

I hope that this branding technique proves successful for Vanguard.

Jerry
Last edited by NAVigator on Wed Mar 17, 2010 9:33 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by Teetlebaum »

I think it's dumb and vulgar, but it reminds me of Do you like Kipling?
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Post by FrugalInvestor »

I just received my first 'Vanguarding' marketing email from Vanguard. It basically says I am already doing it, outlines the basic principles and refers me to a link with a message from Bill McNabb.

.....you're no stranger to Vanguarding. In fact, you're already doing it:

Investing at cost. You keep more of what you earn because we manage our funds at cost—the funds cost you what they cost us. Profits get returned to you as cost savings. And as we've grown, the economies of scale have allowed us to continue to lower your fund costs.

Being a client owner. Your interests are our only interests, so no private owner or stockholders take a slice of your returns. Uniquely, we're owned by the funds that are owned by clients like you.

Focusing on your goals. You can benefit from our philosophy built on investing fundamentals and the power of simplicity: Get the right asset allocation, invest at cost, and stick with a plan to reach your long-term goals.
Link to McNabb video message.....

https://personal.vanguard.com/us/insigh ... g-03152010

I like the message even if I'm a bit conflicted over the word.
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Post by InvestingMom »

Very bad. Embarrassingly so.

I had to log into Bogleheads just to see what others were saying.

I don't want to exaggerate the impact, but rather than make me feel better about my investing methods, it makes me feel silly....and causes me to trust them less. After all, what other "gimmicks" are they going to stoop to to bring in new customers. Ah well, I will continue to be a good boglehead and try to ignore the fray.
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Post by FrugalInvestor »

InvestingMom wrote:Very bad. Embarrassingly so.

I had to log into Bogleheads just to see what others were saying.

I don't want to exaggerate the impact, but rather than make me feel better about my investing methods, it makes me feel silly....and causes me to trust them less. After all, what other "gimmicks" are they going to stoop to to bring in new customers. Ah well, I will continue to be a good boglehead and try to ignore the fray.
Marketing is essentially "gimmicks." To the extent it attracts the attention and convinces those who may not take the effort to seek out the information on their own it's good, in my opinion. Not everyone is going to seek out the information like many of us here do. As far as I can see the message is consistent. This is just a way to, hopefully, reach a larger audience.
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Post by InvestingMom »

FrugalInvestor wrote:
InvestingMom wrote:Very bad. Embarrassingly so.

I had to log into Bogleheads just to see what others were saying.

I don't want to exaggerate the impact, but rather than make me feel better about my investing methods, it makes me feel silly....and causes me to trust them less. After all, what other "gimmicks" are they going to stoop to to bring in new customers. Ah well, I will continue to be a good boglehead and try to ignore the fray.
Marketing is essentially "gimmicks." To the extent it attracts the attention and convinces those who may not take the effort to seek out the information on their own it's good, in my opinion. Not everyone is going to seek out the information like many of us here do. As far as I can see the message is consistent. This is just a way to, hopefully, reach a larger audience.
You are right about Marketing and Gimmicks. However, when it comes to Vanguard, I believe they have built their reputation on not being gimmicky and selling their products through the facts. That is why I like them. I can trust that I am getting the straight story. "Vanguarding" is patronizing.

BTW: Why pick on my comment and not just answer the OP's question, especially given that most people seem to be agreeing with me.
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Post by brick-house »

They missed the boat. The marketing campaign should have been "Are you Bogling"
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Post by Gekko »

i just heard the VG radio commercial "vanguarding" on Bloomberg Radio. it actually made sense and sounded pretty good on radio!

"You should be Vanguarding!"
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