Positioning a Think Tank

The Sagamore Institute is a think tank operating out of Indianapolis, IN. Because of the breadth and depth of their work over 15 years, they were having understandable difficulty concisely expressing who they were and what they do.

After some brainstorm meetings, we established their location in the midwest as an important differentiation from their competitors, most of whom are located in Washington DC, attempting to influence politics and policy. With their location as a focus, I created the following copy to illuminate their advantages:


Position

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Innovative Ideas. Real Results.

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Working for society—from the heartland


Mission

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Sagamore Institute was formed to tackle difficult issues with civility and focus on solutions not ideology. 

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To build and implement innovative solutions to society’s biggest problems.


PR Blurb

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As Dan Coats was preparing to return to the United States following his service as US Ambassador to Germany in 2004, he and Jay Hein determined that America needed a think tank based in the heartland’s values and geography. In contrast to the noise and rancor coming from Washington, D.C., Sagamore Institute was formed that same year to tackle difficult issues with civility and focus on solutions not ideology. 

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Founded in 2004 by Dan Coats and Jay Hein, Sagamore builds and implements innovative solutions to society’s biggest problems. Through research, consulting, and impact investing, we fight for a society where governments provide order, businesses improve communities, and citizens are engaged.


Elevator Speech

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OUR STORY

In early 2004, as Dan Coats was preparing to return to the United States following his service as US Ambassador to Germany, he and Jay Hein determined that America needed a think tank based in the heartland’s values and geography. In contrast to the noise and rancor coming from Washington, D.C., Sagamore Institute was formed that same year to tackle difficult issues with civility and focus on solutions not ideology.      

WHY “SAGAMORE”?

One of Indiana’s Native American tribes coined the term Sagamore to identify the member who grapples with serious questions, helps build consensus, and offers wisdom and advice. This is exactly the type of think tank we wanted to build: a place that leaned into hard problems with sleeves rolled up alongside public and private leaders to dedicated to making the world a better place.

WHY INDIANAPOLIS?

It’s been said that if you want to consume community or culture, it’s good to live in great cities like New York or Los Angeles where there is much to partake. But if you want to produce culture or community assets, there is no place better than Indianapolis. Our headquarters city has a rich civic spirit and long tradition of citizen-led innovations.

To further this legacy, Sagamore hosts the annual Indiana Conference on Citizenship. Did you know that Abraham Lincoln was among Indiana’s first citizens? His family moved to the Indiana Territory merely weeks before statehood was established in 1816. Lincoln’s legacy has a deep imprint on Sagamore’s citizenship agenda: from his days as a boy reading fireside in our state’s frontier to his heroic efforts to preserve our nation as president, we seek to inspire the next generation of educated and engaged citizens.

“Our main value proposition is moving ideas into action. We do not ask who is for or against certain reforms. We ask how we are going to fix society’s most stubborn problems and sustain our most promising solutions.”

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Despite all of its good, society still falls short in many ways. In response to this failure, typical think tanks generate research to inform government policies—which is why most are based in universities or Washington DC. Academics and politicians are crucial, but Sagamore places more value on citizens—which is why we are based in the heartland.

The people of middle America are known for practicality, ingenuity, and neighborly enterprise. Since 2004, Sagamore has harnessed these heartland values to build and implement innovative solutions to society’s biggest problems.