Your Tagline

playing tag, hair aflutterDeveloping a tagline is an important part of your messaging effort as, ideally, it should embody the core of what your company does and the benefits of what you product offers. A solid tagline acts as the foundation on which your message, and hence y0ur marketing and sales effort, is built.

A tagline embodies three pieces of information: 1. What your company does; 2. What value it offers customers; and 3. sizzle.  I will discuss these in turn and that describe how to generate an effective tagline

What You Do and Who You Are

This is the easiest part of a tagline to get right – describing what your product does is pretty straightforward.  In fact, it is easy to overemphasize this factor as we find it easier to describe what your company is and what it does than the value you offer (the next item).

What Value You Offer

Focusing on value when developing your tagline is remarkably difficult to do.  State your offering’s benefits clearly and succinctly.  It might be: “Sell more…” or “Spend more time with customers”, or “Improve quality, reduce errors” or simply “Save time and money”

In the random collection of B2B technology taglines you will note that some focus on “What we are” (“Intacct – a leader amongst financial software companies”), while other make it to value (Desk.com – “Conquer customer service problems with ease.”), and most tend toward the prosaic.  I included Google’s because, from a conventional messaging point of view, it is just plain weird.

Tagline

Company

Focus

Customer Service has never been easier Zendesk CSR software
Your complete business phone solution RingCentral VOIP telephony
The #1 cloud ERP software suite NetSuite Accounting
Adobe is changing the world through digital experiences Adobe Content management
Don’t be evil Google Search
Intacct, a leader amongst financial software companies Intacct Accounting
More than a century of making the world a smarter place IBM Software and services
Conquer customer service problems with ease Desk.com CSR software
Deliver apps, the right way Heroku App management
Grow sales faster with the #1 sales app Salesforce CRM software
Hardware and software engineered to work together Oracle ERP
Platform + Apps = Transforming customer service in the social enterprise LiveOps Virtual call center
Tomorrow starts here Cisco Networking

Sizzle

Adding sizzle to your tagline can be tricky,  too much and you will trivialize your offering.  Too little and it will be… well… dull.  I tend towards the low sizzle quotient when I craft taglines because, with a limited marketing budget, an early stage company needs to communicate clearly and quickly and sizzle can confuse.  Consumer brands spend millions of dollars on generating brand equity, saturating the market with their message so even something obscure (Apple’s “Think Different” or the California Milk Processor Board’s “Got Milk?”) strike a chord with recipients and becomes memorable.

Apple

You cannot talk about taglines and technology without bumping into Apple.  Apple has been a prolific producer of taglines and slogans, generating 100s over the years for its products.  The follow are some of the taglines used with the iPhone.

Tagline

Where/

When

Device

The internet in your pocket   iPhone
Touching is believing Print ads IPhone
iPhone  Apple reinvents the phone   IPhone
Say hello to iPhone apple.com iPhone
Talk about big.  iPhone now in 16GB.  More music.  More video.  More iPhone. 2008 iPhone
The iPhone you’ve been waiting for 2008 3G
The first phone to bea the iPhone 2008 3G
Twice as fast, for half the price 2008 3G
The most advanced mobile OS.  Now even more advanced 2009 OS 3.0
25,000 apps.  And counting 2009 3G
The fastest, most powerful iPhone yet 2009 3GS
More to love, less to pay 2010 2GS 8GB
There’s an app for that.  That’s the iPhone.  Solving life’s dilemma one app at a time. 2008 3G
If you don’t have an iPhone, well, you don’t have an iPhone   4
The world’s thinnest smartphone   4
Finally   4 white
It’s the most amazing iPhone yet 2011 4S
The biggest thing to happen to iPhone since iPhone   5
Loving it is easy.  That’s why so many people do.   5
For the colorful 2013 5C
Forward tjinking 2013 5S
Progress is a beautiful thing 2013 5S

Apple is primarily a B2C company that spends $100s of millions on advertising, building its brand. That money ensures that its wit and savvy are communicated to and remembered by consumers.  You do not have this luxury.

Consumer Taglines

In a survey conducted by the The Tagline Guru with marketing agencies and advertising professionals to rank the best taglines since 1948 (when TV broadcasting started), none of the top 10 (below) were generated after 1993, over 20 years ago.  I think this is as much about the diffusion of advertising spend across a profusion of channels – the Internet as a consumer communications tool really got going in the late ’90s, as it is about the relative weakness of contemporary advertising copy.  Some of these are so powerful – (“Just do it.”; “Got Milk”). they have become cultural touchpoints in their own right.

Tagline
Company
1.
Got milk? (1993)
California Milk Processor Board
2.
Don’t leave home without it. (1975)
American Express
3.
Just do it. (1988)
Nike
4.
Where’s the beef? (1984)
Wendy’s
5.
You’re in good hands with Allstate. (1956)
Allstate Insurance
6.
Think different. (1998)
Apple Computer
7.
We try harder. (1962)
Avis
8.
Tastes great, less filling. (1974)
Miller Lite
9.
Melts in your mouth, not in your hands. (1954)
M&M Candies
10.
Takes a licking and keeps on ticking. (1956)
Timex

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