Bankable Biz Tips

TAG, You’re It: Are Taglines Tapped Out?

TAG, You’re It: Are Taglines Tapped Out?

TAG, You’re It: Are Taglines Tapped Out?

Taglines can be a powerful statement about your brand.  But they can also cripple your image if they are hokey or A-typical.  And these days, they are not really necessary. When I caution some clients about their lackluster slogans, they often respond with “people like it”.  BRAND CHECK: What people??!! Do you mean your friends or family who aren’t actually your clients and are programmed to ‘be nice’?  Or are you referring to the potential clients that tell you you’re great but never actually patronize you?  If you’re not a marketing professional, don’t pretend to be by penning your own message.  Besides there are other ways to communicate your brand value.

You’re ‘It’

One of the reasons it is no longer imperative to have a tagline, is because it could be far more efficient to simply list your services.  If your brand is not very well known or understood, use your marketing real estate to communicate who you are or what you do. For example: Johnson Law Firm (Personal Injury & Workman’s Compensation).   By listing your services you take the guess work out of it for onlookers.  Potential clients are able to file you in their mental Rolodex without exerting too much time or energy.  Sometimes, YOU can be the most important important thing to communicate, that’s right, you’re IT.

Tag or Ad?

If  the message is not engaging AND well stated, then its better left off. Another effective way to communicate messaging is with an ad campaign. A combination of powerful words and imagery leave a lasting impression of your brand.  Combined with a well planned marketing strategy, ads are one of the strongest ways to gain brand recognition.  Here are some examples:

  • Coke: “Its the Real Thing” (spawned the “I’d like to teach the world to sing-Perfect Harmony” Commercial) – (1971 –  Click here to see commercial)
  • California Milk Processor Board: Got Milk? (1993)

Taglines that work

A tagline (slogan) is more about communicating to your target market what makes you unique or qualified, how or what you do differently. Or it can set the tone for an experience. The phrases are usually short and emotionally charged.  They are designed to instill specific feelings that can be associated to your brand, those feelings will surface and re-surface each time the brand is recalled.  And lastly, they are timeless. If your slogan doesn’t do that, then it doesn’t work.

Here are some that did work!

  • Nike: “Just Do It!” (1988 – Click to see commercial)
  • Miller Lite: “Tastes Great, Less Filling” (1974)
  • Maxwell House: ” Good to the last drop” (1959)
  • Wendy’s: “Where’s the beef?” (1994 – Click to see commercial)
  • Energizer Batteries:  “Keeps going and going and going” (1991 – Click to see commercial)
  • Timex: “It takes a licking and keeps on ticking” (1950s)
  • American Express: “Don’t leave home without it”

Final words: If you came up with your own tagline, chances are we can tell.

Happy Branding Everyone…

You can continue this conversation on Twitter @brandcoachllc or on

Jai Stone (Master Brand Coach)
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