by Steve Hans
I think its interesting that a lot of startup CEO’s think they need a tagline. I guess having a tagline makes startups feel like they have something “official” that defines their brand. In my experience, the time spent creating a tagline could be spent much more effectively developing more important pieces of the branding and marketing plan.
I’ll bet most people can only remember a handful of taglines, at most, despite millions of dollars of marketing exposure in many cases. In my view, taglines are a legacy of the television-advertising era. “Just Do It” is probably the most memorable tagline in history and it is only relevant because Nike spent hundreds of millions on TV ads that gave it meaning.
When it comes to successful startups, I can think of very few that have had lasting taglines. Go to the homepages of Google, Amazon, Ebay and Facebook and let me know how many taglines you see.
Don’t get me wrong, taglines are fine and if your team comes up with an interesting one, go ahead and flaunt it proudly. But my view is taglines should play a very, very minor role for most new companies. I suggest new companies spend more time building a strong brand strategy and then translating it into all critical brand touch points. You’ll know if you have an effective strategy because it will naturally inform virtually everything you do.
If you run a new company or startup, let us know if we can help you define your brand strategy.