Have you ever come across an ad online and had no clue what product was being sold or of late have you spotted a tagline in an email that was much longer than the body of the e-mail itself?
The best slogans and taglines are so catchy that they remain in our society’s shared vocabulary long after those products have achieved success. With a couple of words, make the tagline more understandable, summarize briefly the product or service offering, build trust to buy. So when you consider creating a single sentence statement what guidelines you should be following to make your slogan or tagline resonate with your product or service:
Keep It Simple
Remember, you don’t have much time. If your statement is too long and complicated, people may move on before they’ve even finished reading or hearing it. Never get intimidated by using fewer words. Take an example of American Express, which successfully launched the “Don’t Leave Home without It” campaign 38 years ago to promote its credit card. The tagline was very simple, a clear message, which worked its way with people everywhere holding up that important object and did not leave home without it. The campaign was extremely successful and it built a premium image for its card in consumer’s mind.
Avoid the Marketing Meeting Effect
Too many slogans and taglines these days acquire the “generic lifestylist” path. They’re vague and more like hollow-sounding and emphasize too much on marketing. Slogans and taglines should speak softly to a benefit. Take the example of killer one-line benefit statements from Apple, which usually rely on one memorable statement to impart an impact. For example, they describe the iPod as “One thousand songs in your pocket”. The benefits of the product are so concise without stressing too much on marketing.
Tell a Story
What’s your story? What gets you emotional when you think about what you do? Whatever it is, that’s your ultimate positioning and your logo and tagline should have that capacity to communicate that feeling precisely.
For example, Melts in Your Mouth, Not in Your Hand introduced by M&Ms, this enduring slogan has real appeal to consumers of all ages. It addresses an issue that every kid faces when they are playing in the sand and every parent laments when it’s time to do laundry-candy mess. This slogan’s simple truth reminds parents and kids worldwide what’s so appealing about these tiny treats. Very interesting story to get customer connected to the product indeed. A less messy chocolate treat than some of the others available in the market!
Explain Your Offering
No one really cares … until you make them care.
It’s true that the best taglines are simple and memorable, but they’re also something else: functional. A tagline should be able to explain your product or service to your potential customers or capture why should you make your business different than your competitors’ businesses. For example, in the eighties, Nike was locked in a war with Reebok for control of the sneakers market and this slogan “Just Do It” helped Nike counter-attack its main rival, who at the time had just announced bigger profits. And when struggling company Nike in 1988 introduced this memorable tagline into its advertising, it soon catapulted to the front of the pack. This quality brimmed with attitude slogan captivated the defiant and determined mentality.
Make it emotional.
Why should people care about what you have to sell? Grab them with something they can relate to. Benefits sell ideas, not facts. What is your idea going to do for the consumer or the world? Don’t be apprehensive to use emotion. People are usually motivated by their emotions more often than they are motivated by reason or logic. Emotion also induces visual imagery — if people can begin to see your idea, that’s a good thing. Making a purchase is often an emotional experience. If a slogan can incite a strong positive emotion (think joy, excitement, sympathy, etc.), it stands a better chance of connecting people with the products and services that aim to fill those needs. Take an example of major hotel chains which go out of their way to convey comfort: Hilton claims to be “filling the earth with light and warmth of hospitality,” while Aston bids “welcome home” to each guest who sets foot on their premises.
Ultimately, a slogan is only useful as long as it still conveys something meaningful about the brand. When circumstances change a brand may need to rethink how it expresses what it stands for. Sometimes you just need to fine tune your slogans in order to reflect the cultural psyche of the target audience. Over time L’Oreal has shifted its slogan from “Because I’m worth it” to “Because you’re worth it.” Today it reads, “Because we are worth it.” The company worked the personal pronoun to pursue the zeitgeist, moving from self-regard to flattery, and finally to collective pride.’
The best taglines must capture the “personality” of the business. Apple perfectly did this with their tagline, ”Think Different.” The tagline utterly embodied the idea that Apple is unique and so are their customers. Apple has successfully branded itself as the computer for creative professionals, and the brand has a slightly elite image that allows them to charge higher prices than their competitors.
Selling a product with a powerful tagline is one of the most useful branding exercises, a business can perform. It coerces you to think about the value you provide to your to customers and how to express it precisely. Crafting the perfect tagline for your brand is undoubtedly challenging and may take multiple attempts to nail. But in the words of Tag Heuer, “Success. It’s a mind game.”