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Brand Tagline Requirements


Brand Strategy Taglines Avis

In definitive global research, The Conference Board has found the development and consistent use of a tagline to be a key factor in brand strategy success.

A tagline that succinctly and powerfully communicates the brand’s promise is one of the quickest, easiest and least expensive ways to communicate the brand’s new position to internal and external audiences. It should consistently accompany the brand’s logo in situations outlined by the brand architecture.

I believe that developing brand taglines (and elevator speeches) are the most important next steps one can take once a brand has been positioned or repositioned.

A tagline should achieve all of the following for your brand:

  1. Communicate the brand’s unique value proposition (brand promise)
  2. Be succinct
  3. Be memorable
  4. Cause a person to want to know more about or interact further with the brand

Achieving all of the above is more easily said than done. Over time, I have found that the less sophisticated the client, the more they are primarily interested in a tagline that sounds good, even if it doesn’t really say the right thing or anything at all about the brand. Many relatively unsophisticated clients would choose a tagline option that sounds great but that is completely off brand strategy over one that just sounds good but perfectly communicates the brand’s unique value proposition.

Yes, it is up to the brand consultant or marketing agency to create or recommend the perfect tagline, one that does all of the above, but I am amazed at how many clients are willing to walk away from their brand strategy to embrace a cool sounding tagline that means nothing. I have heard marketers and clients say, “I like that tagline because it could mean anything” or “I like that tagline because it could mean different things to different people.” Or worse yet, “That sounds so cool. Does it really matter if it communicates our brand’s promise?” Yes it does. Why bother with a tagline if it is not helping position your brand the way you want it to be positioned? Don’t settle for a tagline that just sounds good. Keep the process going until you have found one that achieves all of the above criteria. You will be rewarded with a stronger brand.

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1 Comment

Andy Koch on February 05th, 2012 said

Very interesting article. Unfortunately, the downsides of a catchy, yet irrelevant tagline relates to our company’s brand.

I have been a strong advocate of changing the tagline, which accompanies and is part of company logo.

The brand is relatively new and was launched almost a year ago. The marketing agency is of the opinion that it is early to make any sort of changes to the logo, when it is just starting to settle down with the consumers at large.

Would you guys suggest that we change the tagline at this point. Or should we wait for a few more years before changing the tagline, which is relevant and communicates the brand’s value proposition in a succinct and memorable manner?

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