Three Simple Words

In the world of high-performance technical outwear, many brands use snappy taglines to communicate how hardcore their gear is, as verified by their trusted experts: Athlete Tested Expedition Approved (The North Face), Tested Tough (Columbia), and Designed by Adventure (Outdoor Research), to name a few.

Millet has a long history with deep ties to the mountain guiding community. From the very start, their R&D team was comprised of mountaineers who were putting up first ascents on the world’s highest peaks, and that relationship has remained core to the brand DNA. Today, their partners in development are Les Guides de Chamonix and Grindelwald Guides – two of Europe’s top guiding outfits.

Millet’s President came to me with a request: suggest a tagline that conveys the message that Millet products have been “tested and approved”, in a memorable and meaningful way.

It seems easy to do, but the only thing that’s easy about it is falling into a cliché trap. Far too often we see brands selecting words that have been used so many times they’ve lost their meaning (ie innovative) or general phrases that in no way connect to the heart of the brand. Like I said, it isn’t easy.

This was one I was particularly proud of though, as it succinctly communicated the core brand message in a way that was unique, catchy (yet still true to the brand voice), and had a lot of room to grow. Yes – Millet’s product development was literally guided by mountain guides, but so was their inspiration. It managed to be humble, yet confident.   

He also dug it, and they started using the phrase the next season: GUIDED BY GUIDES.