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Taglines Need To Tell You Story

February 26th, 2013 by

Taglines are powerful communicators that can attract attention to your concept and position your brand to be remembered, long after customers and prospects pass you by.

Reality Check: Attention spans are at an all-time high, we all know that. But pithy lines are also are at an all-time high, thanks to mobile, Twitter, text messaging and social limits that demand get-to-it. So get to it with your taglines, to fit the latest trends.

What makes a tagline work? Let’s take a look at several different taglines and the categories that you might consider.

 

1. Descriptive

Get Your Good Going

Blue Diamond.  Are you nuts for nuts? If so, Blue Diamond will steer you in the right direction with nuts that keep you going, and going.

Head for the Border

Taco Bell. Which border are we talking about here, Mexico? Canada? Flavor?  Wild kingdom? That’s the beauty.

 

2. Product Centered

The Fabric Of Our Lives

Cotton. Life. Me. Family, maybe. Ok, everything I do. Cotton I guess is life. I wear cotton, therefore I am.

A Diamond is Forever

DeBeers. Frances Gerety copywriting genius in 1948 lasted many years, unlike the agency that he worked for that is no longer around.

The milk chocolate melts in your mouth, not your hands

Mars’ M&M’s slogan created in 1954 by Bates & Co stated the facts and focused on the distinction of the product in the eyes of the families who did not want to clean up the mess.

 

3. Provocative

Drivers Wanted

Volkswagen. Big welcome sign for the target audience. And if I apply, I’m maybe cool and drive fast?

You Deserve a Break

McDonalds. Financial break

Just Do It

Nike. Created by Wieden + Kennedy, three simple words that hold great meaning along with the “swoosh” that is equally as powerful on its own.

 

4. Persuasive

Priceless

Mastercard.  The memories matter, so spend more. And buying more is good… especially if you don’t have the money up front.

The Ultimate Driving Machine

BMW. Created by Ammirati & Puris backed in 1971, this campaign was launched as part of an $800,000 print magazine campaign.

Don’t Leave Home Without It

American Express. What company wouldn’t want that as a tagline?  AMEX beat us all to the punch.

Naturally, the type of tagline you choose needs to align with your target audience, and their wants and needs, along with the stage of your company and strategy in capturing market share.

And don’t forget your company’s personality, and the personality of the leaders at your company. Taglines can take many shapes and forms: concrete or abstract, amusing or serious, declarative or questioning. There are no rules.  There are only decision makers on what works and best reflects where you’ve been and where you’re going.

What makes a tagline great is really more art than science. Here are some tips:

  • Try developing your company’s mantra first.  Build from there.
  • Be brief. Then try and be more brief. Less is more.
  • Be differentiating. Call out what differentiates your products or services from the competition. Words like “best” are not even close.
  • See how it feels to have your tagline appear in multiple channels. Take the time to see how the tagline will fit and feel in the social sphere for example.
  • Align the tagline with the actual name of the company. If personal, like Guido’s Pizza, then add personality that connects with the name. If it’s a popular company name, then work in concert with the brand or perception of the brand in the eyes of the customers—and let that drive the train.
  • Ground your expectations with the final tagline. Don’t overpromise or under deliver. Reach for the stars, within your reach. (Damn, that’s almost a tagline in itself—yours for free!)

In the end, taglines are not only part of the story–they become the story.  Your story, forged in what you do, how you do it, and where you want to go with your customers, fans and company.

What’s your tagline? Do you like it and how do you develop a tagline that works? Thanks for the feedback and comments if so motivated.

One Response to “Taglines Need To Tell You Story”

  1. Jeff Reglin says:

    Those are all good examples. Another one of my favorites is Southwest’s “Want to Get Away?”

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