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Brand Value May Begin and End With a Great Short Message

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A company tagline is a short phrase that sums up in a few, concise words a brand’s identity and overall value to its customers. It is difficult to imagine a significant brand not having a memorable and relevant tagline that verbally projects the company’s mission, purpose and culture. Some of the most successful taglines are as immediately identifiable as the brand itself. Nike’s “Just Do It’ has established itself as the most popular tagline with consumers and may just be one reason that Nike remains one of the most valuable and recognized brands in marketing history. If L’Oreal is your hair care brand choice it’s ”Because You’re Worth It”.  The chicken you eat has to be “Finger Lickin’ Good” according to KFC, and “America Runs On Dunkin’” say the folks at Dunkin’ Donuts.

A great tagline focuses on a targeted audience, is reflective of the company’s culture, and differentiates a brand from the competition. The best taglines are simple, concise, reflective of the social concerns of the time and clearly communicate the benefits a customer receives from a relationship with the brand. While many taglines survive decades of relevance in the marketplace, today’s dynamic social environment has many brands rethinking and retooling their iconic taglines. Proctor & Gamble (P&G) recently made headlines when it introduced a variant of Gillette’s tagline, from “The Best a Man Can Get” to “The Best Men Can Be”.  The new tagline, leaning into the #MeToo movement, came thirty years after its first tagline was introduced. Other established brands alter their subtitles more frequently. Pepsi’s relatively frequent alterations to its tagline is an attempt to stay connected to the market in a time when sugar-based soft drinks are losing favor with a younger, more health conscious consumer.

Jasmine Tanasy, executive director of naming and verbal identity at Landor, said “Overall, we’re seeing established brands shift their lines to create relevance in a world where consumers have more choice than ever and are more vocal about what matters to them.” Pepsi’s decision to stay the course may encounter resistance in the face of consumer concerns about the health effects of sugary snacks and beverages. “Interestingly, brands like Pepsi decided to double down on positive feelings despite big changes in consumer eating habits and perspectives. This position of love is a great way to keep people connected to things they enjoy but does little else to acknowledge their position,” noted Tanasy.

Pepsi has been known for creating memorable taglines for generations, but the frequent rewrites has left many of the most recent iterations being forgettable at best. In recent months Pepsi has used different taglines for each season, major sporting event and every campaign. The brand’s newest verbiage, “That’s What I Like,” will be used for regular Pepsi, Pepsi Zero Sugar and Diet Pepsi. “The ads are meant to appeal to people who are comfortable in their own skin [and] enjoy life unapologetically without really worrying about what other people think,” notes Pepsi’s VP of Marketing, Todd Kaplan.

While some marketing professionals may argue that taglines are becoming increasingly irrelevant in an era of pervasion of digital content, others claim that a well-established tagline is necessary to convey value, build loyalty and recognition, and maintain consistency across campaigns.

As changing social considerations and the fast-paced digital marketplace continue to alter the process of differentiating a brand and its relevance to consumers, it will require more frequent attention to the formulation of a brand’s short message. For more on how the experienced professionals at Junction Creative Solutions (Junction) can help you tag your brand with success, call 678-686-1125 today.