Tagline: it’s not just a catchy phrase

One of the most important things that define a brand is its tagline. It’s a statement that defines the company’s mission. Companies put immense passion and efforts in coming up with a few words that can define their existence. A successful tagline is something that really appeals to the target customers. Tagline is the most important ad a company will ever create and the most extensive marketing campaign they will ever launch, because it is the only thing that can become synonymous with the name and logo of the company.

Speaking of taglines, the first one that comes to my mind is the legendary Nike tagline – Just Do It. Just Do It has done wonders for Nike over more than a couple of decades now. Nike has an amazing marketing team that continue to find new and amazing ways to say it repetitively to the customer without letting them get fed-up of it. The universal tagline finds ways and methods to adapt to different parts of the World. Just Do It is owned by the customers everywhere and customers love it.

One of the taglines from more recent times that created waves is the eBay tagline: Whatever it is…find it at eBay. eBay connects directly with its customers using this message and when the customers go out shopping, they know that whatever they are looking for, there is always an option to find it at eBay. eBay has taken the tagline to another level by adding bells and whistles to the “it” factor by creating their ads around “it” and adding features to their website showcasing the “it” of the week, day etc.

Then there is Avis: We are number 2: so we try harder. This is also one of those taglines that communicate a lot about the brand. It tells the customers why they should go for Avis (because they try harder) and the passion and energy Avis is putting in the brand acknowledging the fact that they are not number uno. That makes you think what will Avis do when and if they become number 1?

This leads to a very interesting topic of revival of tagline. Tagline needs to revive with time. A company should make sure the tagline is not out-dated, different factors like competition, market dynamics etc. are taken into account and customers are able to connect to it. Coca cola is a perfect example of how a tagline is revived over decades. Coca cola started with “the real thing” in 1970s and with several iterations through the years (Coke adds life, have a Coke and smile, always coca cola, and so on) came up with “Can’t beat the real thing” in 1990s. 

But it is important to remember that although it is not “just” a catchy phrase, it should be after all a catchphrase. Something your customers can connect to, something that they can remember while making a buying decision and something that can guide them distinguish you from your competitors. What heights can a tagline take a company? Well it has the potential of becoming part of the everyday lives of your customers. When people start replacing the tagline with your company’s name in their daily chats, you can figure out that you have got a winner. So be it the Nike attitude or trying harder than Avis, tagline has the force of making a brand stand out above the rest.

One response to “Tagline: it’s not just a catchy phrase

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