How to Improve Tag Lines and Corporate Slogans
Let's talk about corporate slogans — the short, pithy phrases or sentences that run next to logos at the bottom of ads, on envelopes, billboards, buses … or appear in the last seconds of TV commercials.
You know what I'm talking about. Lines like:
"Sun. We make the net work."
Or . . .
"SAP. The best-run E-businesses run SAP."
I don't want to discuss the subject of corporate slogans because I think they're so terribly important in themselves. On the contrary. I think that most companies can do very well without a slogan.
The reason I want to put them under the microscope is because they reflect how companies position themselves — or don't position themselves.
At its best, a corporate slogan is like a Japanese haiku — a highly concentrated form of expression that attempts to communicate an essence, a distilled truth loaded with meaning and significance. At its worst, it's puffed-up, self-congratulatory nonsense.
Let's take a look at some corporate slogans, good and bad, and see what we can learn from them.
What do you think of this one that an airplane manufacturer is using in Forbes?
"Gulfstream. The World Standard."
For me, the problem with the line is that it's completely generic. You could just as well say:
"Fidelity Investments. The World Standard."
"Intel. The World Standard."
"Harry's Hamburgers. The World Standard."
Because "The World Standard" is generic and works equally well (or poorly!) for any company, I think it's very weak.
What do you think about this tag line?
"The Land Rover Experience."
Same problem. You could say "The Crest Toothpaste Experience" or flip it and say "Experience Crest Toothpaste" or expand it and say "Experience Crest Toothpaste. The World Standard."
It just doesn't matter what you do with clichés. You're still going to wind up with junk. And that's the point worth remembering. GENERIC IS BAD. Expect your copywriter to search for what makes your product or service unique and highlight that "Unique Selling Proposition" in the slogan.