Do I Really Need a Tagline?

April 4, 2016

The first thing that is important to understand is that a tagline is a short, powerful phrase that becomes associated with the name of a company. It represents the overall tone and feeling to be conveyed to the target audience. This phrase is a constant on all marketing materials, and unlike a catchy slogan, it’s meant to be used for a long time to come. The only time a tagline changes is when a company decides to rebrand. A tagline should become so well known that it is instantly recognized by the audience.

A tagline’s role is to tell key benefits of the brand, to differentiate a brand, to provide recognition, to represent the vision and mission of a company, and to inspire clients to act.


Apple: Think different.

Disneyland: The happiest place on earth.

Jaguar: Don’t dream it. Drive it.

American Express: Don’t leave home without it.

This is different from a slogan. While a slogan also contains a few words that bring a company to mind, it is not intended to be long-lasting. It is meant to attack the competition right at that moment. A slogan is typically used for one campaign, and it is usually more current and modern. Also, a slogan changes depending on the type of campaign, products, or services. In some cases, a slogan is used exclusively for one product, as where a tagline is always a company-wide initiative.


Apple: This changes everything. Again.

Disneyland: Where dreams come true.

Jaguar: The art of performance.

American Express: Make life rewarding.

So now, to answer the original questions: Do I need a tagline?

The answer is yes, particularly if you are just starting. A successful tagline should feel like an extension of a brand’s name. A well-thought-out tagline captures the essence of a company and the products and services it provides.

A tagline is important for new brands who don’t yet have name recognition. A name alone won’t tell a brand’s story. A tagline alongside a name adds a deeper layer of understanding for consumers, and delivers the brand promise.

In some cases, as a brand becomes more successful and globally recognized, it no longer needs to rely on a tagline— instead brands use slogans. In other cases, the tagline becomes as easily recognized as the brand’s name. Think Nike. There are some brands that consumers are so familiar with that the tagline is all they need. This requires a lot of brand recognition and awareness, a big commitment.

For an established brand, a tagline might be irrelevant. As with anything in marketing, there is no one-size-fits-all approach. As long as the tagline is not boring, and it resonates with the intended audience while delivering the brand promise, it will work.

Ultimately, a great tagline can do wonders for any business. A great tagline communicates the brand promise in a clear, concise, and memorable way, and it’s a consistent reminder to the company’s team of what the company stands for at its very core.

Before creating a great tagline, one must understand the purpose of the company to be able to articulate it in just a few words. This isn’t easy work. I bet it is easier to write a five paragraph essay on the brand alone.

If you need help crafting the perfect tagline or slogan for your company, Keenability's expert team of brand artists can help. Contact us today to learn more.

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