September 11, 2013 Jaclyn Bickerton
Taglines were once employed as an effective marketing strategy to help a brand stand out in the customers mind. Taglines work best when a brand’s differentiation is derived from a product attribute. But with that said, we need to look at the fact that most brands today are not distinguished by product features, but more so by values and personalities.
We put a lot more focus on the overall branding of a product and it’s positioning in the marketplace. For instance, when you purchase a brand of clothing you’re not only buying the material to cover up the muffin top; you’re purchasing the whole brand image (If you want to look sporty, sport the Nike). We buy into the perceived non tangible attributes that are associated with each brand.
If you take a look at a few of today’s most admired brands – Starbucks, Whole Foods, Lululemon – none of them have a tagline. Starbucks product is not that different than what is offered at similar stores, but what we the consumers buy into is the branding. Because of the clever branding and positioning in the market place, people are willing to spend an extra 2 or 3 dollars; And if you’re a heavy coffee drinker like myself, those two or three dollars add up quickly. But nonetheless, we justify it in our minds because of the perceived value.
Taglines worked in the past when advertisers may have needed to summarize lengthy ad copy. But with today’s generation having shorter attention spans, advertisers have been prompted to shorten ad copy.
We are also moving away from the big ad campaigns as we find that smaller more targeted social media campaigns and word of mouth can produce similar results, if not better. That’s not to say that taglines won’t work with today’s campaign structures, but if you’re not going to use it regularly, don’t bother having one.
Taglines are still effective when used properly. If you want to use a tagline today you should shift from making declarative statements and rather use ones that invite or encourage consumers to interact with the brand. By doing so, you will appeal more to people’s current needs and wants to be connected and involved with the brand. Each brand has it’s “following” of consumers that feel as though they are an individual group. That sense of belonging needs to be conveyed across all advertising.
If you want to read the article that inspired this post, click here.
Denise Lee Yohn put it best: “modern taglines can function not only as welcome signs, but highly concise mission statements as well.” Does a tagline work for you? Raven out.
Jaclyn Bickerton, Social Media, Raven5 Ltd, Oakville & Toronto Ontario, Sept 2013