The Power of Taglines

Nike Just Do it

This is an article I originally wrote back in 2005, and it continues to be one of my most popular articles. Since we’ve been talking so much about branding lately, and since I haven’t shared this article on my blog, it seems fitting to share it now.  I hope you enjoy it, and it inspires you!

An effective name and tagline can be one of the best ways to successfully brand your business. But you don’t have to take my word for it.

Do any of the phrases below ring a bell?

See if you can identify which companies each of the following taglines belongs to. You’ll find the answers at the end of the article. But before you read ahead to get the answers, take a few minutes to test the power of taglines yourself by naming the brand each of these top-ranked taglines belong to.

1. Have it your way
2. Is it in you?
3. The quicker picker-upper
4. Just do it
5. It’s everywhere you want to be
6. Drivers wanted
7. When it absolutely, positively has to be there overnight
8. Finger lickin-good
9. Because I’m worth it
10. Let your fingers do the walking

So what exactly is a tagline?

When it comes to marketing, one of the most powerful tools you can use to build your brand is a tagline or slogan.

The two terms are pretty much interchangeable. I tend to use the word tagline. Following are definitions for both terms:

Tagline: an often repeated phrase associated with an individual, organization, or commercial product.

Slogan: a phrase expressing the aims or nature of an enterprise or organization.

The two most important parts from each of these definitions are:
1) an often repeated phrase
2) expressing the aims or nature of an enterprise

The power of a great tagline

Think about the taglines you know and remember. They communicate something unique, valuable and memorable about the brand they represent. And they are always included in any communication about that brand. You see the logo and there’s the tagline right there with it. They are often catchy. Easy to remember. Descriptive. Clever. Fun. Short and sweet.

Best of all, they help you remember a brand and the ONE thing that company wants you to remember about that brand. And that is the power of a great tagline.

Taglines make you top-of-mind

Your goal as a marketer should be to achieve what we call in the marketing world “top of mind awareness.” Simply put, this means you want your product or service to the be the FIRST one thought of by your prospects when they are considering a purchase in your product or service category. Because odds are, if they think of you first, they’ll buy from you.

Great taglines are possible on a small budget.

Granted we think of big-name advertisers when we think of memorable slogans, and we know those companies probably paid an advertising agency tens of thousands of dollars to create that amazing tagline for them, but as a service based professional you don’t have to spend big bucks to get a great tagline.

The first step is to identify your brand positioning…WHO you are and WHAT you stand for. You must also truly understand what is unique and valuable about your product or service. And, you must have a very clear picture of what you want to communicate about your product or service to your prospects—what is it that will clearly and concisely communicate what your business, product or service is all about. With this information and some creative brainstorming you too can have a memorable tagline.

Once you have one, USE it everywhere!

Include your tagline with your logo on every piece of communication or marketing you put out and you too will be able to create top of mind awareness among your prospects and customers.

Now, here are the answers to the Tagline Test:

1. Burger King
2. Gatorade
3. Bounty Paper Towels
4. Nike
5. Visa
6. Volkswagen
7. Federal Express
8. KFC
9. L’Oreal
10. Yellow Pages

How’d you do?

Pretty amazing how many of these you knew, isn’t it?

photo credit: dandooo via photopin cc

About Debbie

Debbie worked in marketing for 32 years and ran a successful coaching and consulting business for 19. She now teaches marketing and helps people find greater happiness and success by learning how to Follow Inspiration.

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