Taglines: Consumer Context in an Instant

Taglines can convey a story about your brand or big idea in a few words and should be the anchors for communication campaigns.BMW claims the best tagline of all time, "The Ultimate Driving Machine." Papa Murphy's may be sneaking up with "Love at 425 degrees."

The "take-and-bake" pizza company has outdone fellow pizza-maker Domino's famous previous tagline of "Pizza in 30 minutes." It may not have been good pizza, but you got a discount if it didn't arrive at your doorstep in 30 minutes.

These examples highlight the value of taglines, which give consumers a taste of your brand. They can add a smidgeon of explanation, but their true value is appealing to your senses and emotions.

"Love at 425 degrees" tells the story of enjoying your custom-designed pizza in the comfort of your home. It is pizza how you want it, when you want it, where you want it. That's a lot of meaning in just three words and a number.

Taglines can humanize products. A great example is Duluth Trading Company's Buck Naked Underwear. As the name implies, Duluth is appealing directly to men who want underwear that does its job, regardless of how it looks, thus the tagline, "No Pinch. No Stink. No Sweat." One male reviewer described the underwear as feeling like not wearing any underwear at all.

Taglines aren't just for products. They also can pull their weight in an issue environment to help add context to a project name.  A good example is a campaign aimed at equal pay for women that used the tagline, "Equal Pay is Just Common Cents." Advocates of same-sex marriage have made headway using the tagline, "Love is Love."

While taglines can be enormously useful in defining your brand or making your point, they are only as good as the strategy behind them. If the tagline languishes on your letterhead and nowhere else, it won't have much impact on its intended audiences.

Choose your tagline carefully, then leverage it for all it is worth. No Sweat.