Creative Corner: The Power of Taglines
“And we do all that, but it’s only part of what we do.” She’s right. We develop a quarterly 64-page consumer magazine for a financial client, a regular 12-page newsletter for a personal services client, an e-zine for a gifts client, preemptive public relations for another client, and sometimes we train a client’s staff on what its brand really means (and how to live up to it). Yet our own site doesn’t hint at any of those things. The shoemaker’s children truly do go barefoot, no?
So we started talking about fixing it, and somebody mentioned, “We need a solid tagline that summarizes everything we do.” Another colleague added, “You know, a tagline is like an elevator pitch. Finagle a ride in the elevator with a potential client, and you have as long as the elevator ride takes to say what you have to say.”
A tagline is, indeed, a kind of elevator pitch. Say what you have to say really fast, and make it great. Of course it’s also a lot different from an elevator pitch because outside the elevator your little tagline has to clamor for attention along with a zillion others.
Fortunately, most of them are bland: “the window people”; “the bagel people”; “the cleaning people”; and on and on. So many taglines are ho-hum because it’s hard to sum up everything your company represents in just a few words. But it’s worth doing, even for direct marketers.
Why Direct Marketers Should Consider Taglines
So why should we, as direct marketers, care about a general advertising concept like a tagline? Many direct marketers don’t bother. Barnes & Noble and Lands’ End seem to be tagline-free.
But credit card marketers MasterCard and Visa leverage mighty taglines. MasterCard uses “There are some things money can’t buy. For everything else there’s MasterCard.” And, Visa uses “It’s everywhere you want to be.” American Express also has used a few taglines over the decades, including “Don’t leave home without it.” Outdoor apparel and gear cataloger Cabela’s touts its tagline “World’s Foremost Outfitter.” Meanwhile, Dell Computer is known for its “Easy as Dell” tagline.