Wednesday, April 1, 2009

The Value of a Good Tagline

As I continue with the development of promotional strategies for my client’s product, I am constantly thinking and rethinking certain taglines/key words to use repeatedly or, at least prominently in any promotional materials, social media interaction, website copy, etc. This is important because as marketers we want to make sure that the proper points are established and communicated clearly to consumers at all points of contact. Doing this ensures that people are receiving a consistent message, and are remembering the key information we feel necessary to result in top-of-mind awareness, differentiation, and ultimately product/service purchases, repeat business, and referrals.
After our last class meeting where one of my colleagues made it a point to discuss taglines in some detail, I went back to my materials to make sure I was following the correct steps to establish these, and using all of my available research. My colleague’s main point was that taglines are not just made up out of thin air. They are not just something that a marketer comes up with suddenly and decides to apply to their product because ‘it’s funny’ or ‘it sounds good’. Well, maybe sometimes that is what happens. However, those are the phrases and taglines that do not catch on with consumers in most cases. They do not invoke the necessary feeling, emotions, or memorable, relevant information to make people want to spend their money with one business versus a competitor. A successful tagline, as he mentioned, is one that is backed by sound research and invokes the needs and desires of the consumers it is being presented to.
For marketers to be successful at creating a useful tagline, they first must determine the needs of their customer. What is it that the customer must gain from using this product? What are the benefits? What benefits does this product have that differentiate it from the competition? After determining the product or service benefits, a marketer must determine what the desires of the customer are. What are they looking for in a product of this type? What do they hope to gain? Often times, these are similar if not the same as the benefits. However, sometimes they may be slightly different. The goal is to appeal to the customer’s needs through the benefits that the product is able to provide. A lot of this can come from market research. Conducting a research survey among consumers can reveal a lot about the needs and desires of the product user.
After the research is done, and the needs of the market are clearly identified, a tagline that reflects this information may be created.
A key factor in creating many successful taglines is the use of emotional and sensory appeals. For example, in my capstone I used the information provided from my quantitative research, combined with my secondary research on the market, and knowledge of how people would need to relate to my product to come up with several taglines. These taglines explained the product benefits in a way that awakened the senses and appealed to the basic needs of a family when making improvements to their home. One possible tagline is “comfort you can feel, savings you can see”. This tagline reflects two important benefits to the consumer. One is an increase in comfort level in the home through the more controlled temperature that the product provides. The second is the savings the customer will get on their energy bill. Both were then tied together with the senses to make it more real for the customer. The homeowner will be able to feel the difference in comfort in their home – their body will be warmer. They will also be able to see the savings when they compare their energy bills before and after installation of the product. These very basic tools in practice when producing marketing materials can make a large difference in how memorable a company, its products, and its advertising is to their customers. The right tagline can be the difference between a successful and memorable brand, and a forgettable one lacking an image and direction.