Let’s talk about those 2 to 6-word lines that usually appear with a company’s logo. In the advertising and branding industry, we call it a tagline. In the general population, many call it a “slogan” - which, for some reason is a term that makes us cringe. Maybe because it just seems old-fashioned, or it somehow cheapens the feel of this important brand element.
Well, we really don’t care what it’s called, unless someone labels it a “headline.” That would really be annoying. To put it simply, a “brand” represents a consumer’s emotional connection to a company or product. And a tagline is an element used to complement how the brand is being positioned in the marketplace, and how it makes that connection.
If you’re a marketer (agency, client, and the like) you may be saying, “yeah, thanks Captain Obvious”, or, “so, what’s your point?”. Well, the purpose of this blog is to stress (a) the notion that when used correctly, a tagline can be a powerful part of a brand’s identity, and (b) don’t underestimate the thought process that goes into crafting a great tagline.
In terms of (a) noted above, a tagline must be used consistently, and with frequency, to have any impact. And, it must stay true to the tone of voice that’s been established by the brand. To not utilize a tagline is a wasted opportunity to deliver a message - and that message can be one that defines, inspires, engages, or does all three.
Which brings us to (b). While there’s the chance that your grandmother may come up with an amazing tagline in 10 minutes while knitting, that’s the anomaly. Agency copywriters put tremendous energy into crafting taglines that are distinctive, memorable and relevant. The cost-of-entry for a strong tagline is the requirement that it’s easy to read and say. Can’t be a mouthful, and pronunciation must be obvious. And, depending on the brand, a tagline can span the literal to the abstract, and clever to straightforward.
Sure, sometimes that epiphany comes and a writer nails the winner quickly (yet, any agency worth its salt always presents a range of tagline options). Typically, hours and hours of creative thinking are inherent to the process.
The bottom line - never take a tagline for granted. If you’re ever able to do so, seize the opportunity to enhance your brand, and foster that connection to your audience.
Just do it.