Why You Need A Tagline
Recently, our marketing team started developing a new tagline for our main brand. We’ve used slogans and taglines before but stopped after some brand restructuring.
Our process began with independent brainstorming. We intentionally did this separately, without influencing each other’s ideas. Then we compiled our suggestions and evaluated their effectiveness.
After reviewing these initial ideas, we turned to the internet for shared wisdom on taglines.
Immediately, we saw the need to differentiate between a slogan and a tagline. According to a Masterclass article, “a slogan serves a temporary purpose for a specific marketing campaign. A tagline describes the products and services of your brand.” Creating a tagline reinforces brand identity and helps customers identify more strongly with a brand and its offerings.
Taglines are powerful and hold the potential to strengthen your brand and cement your appeal. Maybe the best tagline off the top of my head is Nike’s “Just Do It,” but there are many we associate with our favorite brands.
But not every brand uses a tagline, and many taglines go unnoticed. For example, Nike’s competitor Adidas uses “Impossible is Nothing.” I’ve not heard this before in their advertising, but it still guides the brand towards its goals.
Choosing a tagline comes with some pressure. The right one feels right, and some of the best taglines don’t explicitly reference the product. Think McDonald’s and “I’m Lovin’ It!” This abstract statement could work for many brands, products, and services, but we associate it with cheap fast food.
The wrong tagline is awkward; it sticks up like a broken piece of sidewalk waiting for someone to trip over. Usually, avoiding a tagline is better than muddling your identity or creating the wrong perception for customers with a weak one.
As a writer, creating a tagline is a challenge. The minimal length requires the perfect, punchy words and the right feel. The right one clicks, and everyone from the newest customer to the CEO gets it.
On our quest for tagline glory, we found an AI named Jasper that writes marketing copy for you. (Free trial at jasper.ai for taglines, copy, and more.) After entering relevant details, we got a list of 15 or so taglines.
However, we quickly ran into a common limitation. While AI is great at generating new ideas, it often can’t correctly imbue meaning. Since it only works with the data it has, it misunderstands context, leading to off-kilter results.
In our case, although none of the outputs worked right away, it gave us a stepping stone to continue our process. In that way, AI’s ability to quickly consider different combinations of existing elements was transformative.
Although it didn’t result in an immediate hit, AI is a valuable tool. And as it continues to improve, it will be a vital part of marketing and many other industries.
So, taglines play an essential role in brand identity, serve as a sidekick to your name, and are crucial in advertising and marketing collateral. During our search, we found that the best taglines become part of a brand’s legend, deeply intertwined with not only the brand but its products and customer service. Also, taglines are versatile; some are jingles, and others demonstrate brand philosophy.
The final discovery we made was the concept of a ‘hook point.’ Popularized by author Brendan Kane, a hook point is a specific concept that draws people in. More inclusive than a simple tagline, a hook point can be a phrase, a visual identity, or just an idea. While a tagline is more focused, a hook point relates to your competitive advantage or why people care.
As you develop these, take plenty of time to get to know your company, yourself, and your goals. Taglines are foundational to your identity and marketing, so put your best effort into developing one.
Todd Miller has spent his entire career in the metal building products manufacturing industry. He is president of Isaiah Industries, an organization recognized as one of the world’s leading metal roofing manufacturers. Todd is currently Vice President of the MRA (Metal Roofing Association) and a Past Chair of MCA (Metal Construction Association). Through his website, he strives to raise the bar on standards and practices to provide property owners with the best possible products for successful roofing projects.
You may pull quotes from this article provided you include a link back to the original article on this site. You may not reprint this full article, or even a significant amount of the article, without explicit permission. To gain permission, click here.