Can you guess the name of the company that goes with each of these taglines?
- Everything you’ve always wanted in a beer and less.
- Save money. Live better.
- We’re number two; we try harder.
- Reach out and touch someone.
- Just do it.
- I’m lovin’ it.
- The quality goes in before the name goes on.
- Because I’m worth it.
- The happiest place on earth.
- Think outside the bun.
- Don’t leave home without it.
Each of these companies spent countless hours and dollars developing a tagline (also called strapline or slogan) for an advertising promotion. Some are still in use today while others have been retired after successful campaigns ended. The goal in every case was for the tagline to remain in the consumers’ memory, underscoring the benefits of purchasing from this company over competitors. As soon as people hear the tagline, most can name the company; the tagline and company become synonymous.
Often a successful tagline becomes part of the American conversation. For instance, someone might be explaining their position about an issue without providing sufficient facts. The other person could demand more substance in their argument by asking, “Where’s the beef?” – a past Wendy’s Hamburger tagline. Or, someone might be giving a superb pitch so that a listener responds with, “That’s grrreat!” – the still-used tagline from Sugar Frosted Flakes. (Of course, different generations might not recognize a tagline.)
Taglines are also altered in daily conversation, but when said, most people will still reference the product. For instance, you might be debating whether or not to do something and surmise, “If I’ve only one life to live, let me live it as a _____.” The Clairol hair color tagline: If I’ve only one life, let me live it as a blonde.
Every business (and especially small businesses that want to grow) should have a tagline that communicates three elements:
- Company mission
- Company promise
- Company brand
Since your tagline will be used in all your marketing material it must adapt to various forms of media. Before the Internet, companies had the luxury of print media to develop an understanding of their tagline. However, in today’s split-second social media world, the tagline has to interest people to stay on your website and learn more about your company mission.
The promise shares the benefit(s) of using your company: WIIFM – what’s in it for me? Make a list of your company’s benefits and encompass them in the tagline.
This is where you extol how your company is different and better than competitors. Try using an adjective that creates an image in the customer’s mind. Here are some examples:
- When Larry and I founded Royal Care Pet Sitting in 1998, we introduced and still use the tagline: where your pet is treated royally. This tells pet parents that their cherished four-legged family member receives outstanding care.
- What more does a busy housewife and mother need to know about cleaning messes throughout the house except that Bounty is the quicker picker-upper?
- Almost every customer wants to have the product or service their way, which is why Burger King found success with have it your way.
- Motivating you to success is the tagline for my new business Motivate Your Something. Whatever your challenge, everyone wants to be successful.
Does your company have a tagline? Leave a comment about your business and include the tagline. But first, let’s see if you were able match the taglines listed at the beginning of this column:
- Miller Lite: Everything you’ve always wanted in a beer and less.
- Walmart: Save money. Live better.
- Avis Rental Cars: We’re number two; we try harder.
- AT&T: Reach out and touch someone.
- Nike: Just do it.
- McDonald’s: I’m lovin’ it.
- Zenith: The quality goes in before the name goes on.
- L’Oreal: Because I’m worth it.
- Disneyland: The happiest place on earth.
- Taco Bell: Think outside the bun.
- American Express: Don’t leave home without it.
What is your company tagline? Leave a comment that shares your company name and tagline.
Courtesy photo of the Marketing Maven, Robin Itzler.