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January 23, 2015

How Important is a Business Brand Tagline?

Your business brand tagline is the first thing your customer sees about your company after your logo. This makes it an essential component of your branding strategy that must align with your business goals.

Customers will make a quick impression about what you do just from your tagline.

We’ve all read some taglines and thought, “what?” In these cases, you can bet that there was a misalignment between business goals and brand positioning.

Let’s look at four reasons why your business tagline is important.

A brand tagline says who you are and why you’re in business

People want to do business with people like them. Customers want to buy from companies that share the same values. When customers look at your business, they want to know who you are and what you stand for. This helps them decide whether they buy from you or a competitor.

Think about it. When you buy a product, you look at the finer details about a business to decide whether you trust them and their product or service to deliver on what it says it will do.

Let’s look at Woolworths as an example. Tagline: “The fresh food people.”

Woolworths want to position itself as having the freshest food in Australia. That’s one thing it values.

As a customer, you know what Woolworths stands for. You know it has fresh food and you buy based on that assumption. If Woolworths doesn’t deliver on its promise of fresh food, it will lose your trust. This is why it’s important for businesses to not only use taglines to showcase what they do, but also to back up their claims with actions to make sure they deliver on that message.

A business brand tagline shows your point of difference

How are you different to your competitors?

Since the tagline is the second thing a customer will learn about your business after the logo, it presents a great opportunity to showcase what makes you different or better than competitors.

Let’s look at Miller Lite for example. Tagline: “Great taste, less filling.”

This tagline clearly shows how Miller Lite beer is different than other beers. If you’re looking to buy beer that’s not heavy and filling, which will choose? A regular beer or Miller Lite? From the tagline, you know straight away that Miller Lite is a viable option.

A brand tagline explains your product offering

Taglines are particularly important in the scenario where a business name and logo doesn’t obviously spell out what you do.

Let’s look the example of Hungry Jacks. Tagline: “The burgers are better at Hungry Jacks.”

If you didn’t initially know what Hungry Jacks did, you’d know now that it sells burgers. You need to give your customers a quick message to let them know what you do, otherwise you run the risk of your marketing message getting lost.

A business brand tagline appeals to your market

Business can use taglines to gives their customers a way to connect with their brand. Your customers want something they can associate with – something more than just your bare product.

Let’s look at Apple for example. Tagline: “Think different.”

Note: Although Apple doesn’t use this tagline anymore, it still connects with its audience.

People don’t buy Apple products because it’s better than Microsoft. They buy Apple because they want to be different. They want to challenge the status quo and demand products that are beautifully designed and user-friendly.

Customers feel a part of the Apple brand and can connect with its tagline. It represents what they stand for and gives customers a way to share Apple’s vision and products with their colleagues and friends.

How do you know when it’s time to rethink your tagline?

Taglines aren’t things you can just chop and change whenever you like. They are one component of your brand strategy. I challenge you to think about whether your existing tagline represents your brand the best way it could. Does it connect with your customers and tell them what you do, why you’re different and what you stand for?

Often times, we see companies that have a misalignment between their business goals and brand strategy. Here are some questions that you can ask yourself to determine if it is time to rethink your tagline and rebrand:

  • Have your products or services changed since you created your tagline?
  • Are your values and mission as a company still consistent with the tagline?
  • Does your tagline appeal to your market, clearly tell customers what you do and why you’re different?

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Simon Dell is a former agency owner and managing director, and is now a freelance consultant under his own brand SimonDell.com. His goal is to help develop and implement strategic digital and creative marketing plans for clients delivering measurable results and fantastic ROI. He also writes for Fairfax Media, MYOB's business portal and frequently speaks at events and conferences around Australia.

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