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How a Great Tagline can Help your Business
"Just do it." "We try harder." "The Ultimate Driving Machine." "Be all that you can be." Taglines are one of the best ways of branding a product, service, company, or organization for years. Like these:
Please don't squeeze the Charmin.
A diamond is forever.
All the news that's fit to print.
Another classic case is Avis. When Avis (the # 2 car rental behind Hertz) incorporated the tagline, "We try harder", they not only turned being #2 into a positive, they also gave their company a likeable, underdog personality. To support that company personality, every ad that Avis created evolved from that simple, brilliant, three-word tag about better service. Now, over fifty years later, Avis still uses it. Another example is, "You're in good hands with Allstate." Being "in good hands" conveys a caring, protective personality. Another example is "Think different" for Apple Computer. The line gives Apple the personality of being innovative and aSo, what else makes a good tagline? A general rule is: The shorter the better. However, if you blindly follow that logic you'll be asking for trouble. You don't want to compromise a great line for brevity. And shorter doesn't always mean more memorable. One of the most famous taglines of all time is 10 words:
With a name like Smucker's, it has to be good.
So, as much as you may try to break creativity down to a formula, you really can't. A great tagline involves the perfect mix of right-brain creativity and left-brain strategic thinking. Both are critical. After all, it doesn't matter how clever it is if it's the wrong message, and it won't matter how strategically smart it is if it's dull.
Like a name, a tagline is something you'll want to live with forever. So, if you decide on getting a tagline, be sure it's great. Because just as a tagline can help your business, a bad one can do the opposite.
© 2005 John Follis. All rights reserved.
For John's booklet: "How to Attract and Excite Your Prospects: A Guide for Getting the Best Marketing Results", visit: http://www.follisinc.com/booklet.htm
John Follis is one of the 12 "Best Advertising Minds of New York" as voted by The New York Ad Club. His campaigns are in 3 college textbooks, he has written for ADWEEK, and he has taught at 3 New York universities. Currently, John works on select projects, consults, and speaks. John may be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org
For consulting info, visit: Marketing Therapy: http://www.follisinc.com/therapy.htm
For speaking info, visit: Follis Speaking: http://www.follisinc.com/speaking.htm
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Starbucks is an invitation tolinger, not just get your coffee and go.When you are assessing your own position and considering how youmight improve your image and thus your market share, rememberthat there are essentially four winning positions: better,different, faster, or cheaper. You can certainly positionyourself as one of these, perhaps even two; capturing a positionas three of them is tough and probably not desirable, andcornering all four is just about impossible.Not everyone is up to the task of creating another Starbucks.It's tempting, with price wars so rampant, to believe that aperception of being cheapest is easiest to establish. Yet intruth this is the most difficult because of fixed costs. It'slike doing the limbo: you can go only so low, and then you'reoverextended or flat on your back. Definitely not the easiestposition to be in.How about being better instead? Contrary to popular belief, thisis perhaps the easiest position to take, since making animprovement or simply creating the impression of greater qualityor ability has no constraints. One tip: when you capture thedifferent category, you may get the better category as aby-product.Starbucks capitalized on this technique, as did Dennis Rodman,the oddball of basketball. He came up with a way to take twopositions in fans' eyes: both different and better. Okay, maybehe wasn't actually better than his teammate Michael Jordan, whowas unbeatable, but certainly he was perceived for a time asbetter (cooler, trendier) among those who were captivated by hisstyle. His fashion and fascinating antics made him so unique thathe became unforgettable. And because he was also an excellentball handler, he became famous and highly regarded in hissport.BMW has also taken the better-different approach. 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Branding Guru - Brand Identity Guru
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