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Taglines: Need ‘Em or Leave ‘Em?
By: Janet Kalandranis
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There are various perspectives on taglines and quite frankly it’s a bit confusing. Much of what is written is about the benefit of having a tagline to help explicitly represent a brand. It’s used as an additional marketing tool and hopefully helps customers understand the brand quickly and correctly. There’s definitely a benefit to having a tagline, but more importantly this tool has to be used correctly. Silly, funny taglines — are they brand supportive or do they wear over time? And long taglines are probably brand positioning statements that got misplaced. It’s important for taglines to do their job and not simply stand idly attached to a logo.

When thinking about “young” new brands, a tagline is a very good idea. It allows the customer to understand the brand when there is limited brand equity. Especially if the name of the brand doesn’t give any indication as to what the company can provide to customers. The rules of taglines are to keep it short, keep it simple, and make sure it identifies the core of the brand. Seems logical.

However, a tagline shouldn’t be so simple, so ordinary, that it fails to define the brand. Xfinity’s (Comcast) new tagline “the future of awesome” doesn’t seem to live up to the brand segment that it supports. The new spots in “the future of awesome” campaign are smart, well-written and are a great example on how to sell benefits instead of products. But the tagline that is used falls flat. “The future of awesome." Really? Who thought that was the best statement for the Xfinity brand? With such a great TV campaign, the tagline doesn’t add to the success.

Good or bad, right or wrong, taglines are out there. They can either be a successful brand tactic or a detractor from an already winning brand campaign. There are no hard and fast rules but all taglines should get the same evaluation as all other marketing tools. Make sure they stand up for the brand, can stand alone, and ultimately elevate the overall brand message.

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About the Author
Janet Kalandranis is here to give you all the little brand thoughts that run through her head with a little dash of spice. Find her online here.
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