Understanding the purpose of company or business taglines
Your company or organization name can only do so much. By nature it must not be too descriptive so that you are not restricted in the future. Your name is verbal “shorthand” for your company brand promise.
But by itself, it usually does not position the company, attract the customers, or inspire the employees with a centrally focused theme. That is left to all your other company positioning work – and it is embodied in the essence of a slogan. Great slogans can work wonders for positioning – and even be changed downstream as the company moves into new markets or along a path with a new vision. So it needs to be right and it needs to be uniquely yours.
A great business tagline or product slogan wraps up your branding in a neat, tidy and consistent manner. It will help you position the new name, inspire both customers and employees, and be a statement about your values.
Good namers understand good taglines too. Even when not hired to consult on them, it is important in the final full tradename decision. Do you put a “tail” descriptor after the name as so many small companies do? e.g. Joe’s Plumbing Supplies. Or do you simply call it Joe’s? And have a tagline like “Your local plumbing supplies company.”
A big question here is going to be connected to your business plan. Where will you be in three years? Five years? Will the name still work or will it need updating? Notice that it is a lot easier to change a tagline than a name!
Your tagline can play an important part in encapsulating a core value or theme or direction for a company
and it gives you a mechanism for imparting this to all customers, prospects, partners, suppliers and employees.It is shorter and more succinct than even your 10 sec elevator pitch. It should reside on every email, business card, brochure, web site, reception desk and T shirt.
“Quality is Job One” helped turn Ford around. The customers loved the message and made sure they delivered on the promise. More importantly, it reminded all employees every day on the factory floor how to do their most important job.
Similarly, Apple’s “Think Different” really positions the company, products and staff to change their attitude to products, services and channels. Compare this with their old tagline (when the Mac came out): “Computers for the rest of us.”
And of course, Nike’s “Just Do It” is absolutely magic. They really do empower me and you, as well as their own staff.
See Tagline Process to see some examples of the work we have done and how we develop good name-matching taglines.
There is no meaning to life except the meaning man gives his life by the unfolding of his powers…. Erich Fromm