Most advertisers tend to think that a tagline is a catchy phrase used under a logo. Nothing is more farfetched. When it comes to taglines, remember: do as you say and say as you do. Otherwise don’t waste any valuable ink in a tag line.

Let me explain.

If you say, “You can do it; we can help,” you had better ensure your thousands of clerks are as helpful as can be à la Home Depot. If your claim is being “the ultimate driving machine,” your automobiles had best offer unparalleled handling.

In essence, your tagline is your contract between your brand and those responsible for bringing it to life. Take Domino’s Pizza®. When they promised 20 minutes or your money back, the idea wasn’t to give away pizzas. It was a well baked message sent to their franchisees – live up to that promise or else.

Which brings me to AT&T. Its new tagline is “Rethink Possible.” Hmm…the word is still out on that promise. They better be able to back it up with more than a cool animation. Certainly the average 45-minute wait time at an AT&T outlet has me feeling as if I’m confronting impossibility rather than the possibility of speedy customer service.

Maybe they need to lessons from successful brands. Companies like Apple are so articulate in their messaging they need not even use words any longer. We don’t see the Apple “Think Different,” but it still lives on in its culture.

So the next time you are engaged in crafting a tagline, remember talk may be cheap but taglines are hard to live up to.

Any mumbojumbo tag line you’ve run into lately? Please share.

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April 23rd, 2010 5 Comments Advertising / Branding / Branding Blogging / Branding Education / Branding Marketing / Branding Strategy / Branding Thesis / Logos and Tag Lines