“Dear Gumas” – Do We Need A Tagline?

The following is another edition of “Dear Gumas,” our advice column for the diligent Challenger Brand Marketer. Before we review your letters for this edition, a quick note. You may have noticed that we have changed the name of our blog from “Marketing Smart” to “Challenger Brand Marketing.” As Champions of the Challenger Brand, we felt it more appropriate to label our ongoing “conversations” in a manner that better defines our mission – to help Challenger Brands build their businesses. Now, back to our blog…

As our regular readers know, we receive lots of random calls and emails from well-meaning marketers looking for some quick advice and “simple” answers to various marketing questions. A couple times each year, we share some representative inquiries in a segment we like to call, “Dear Gumas.” All questions are real and the names of the inquisitors have been changed to deflect embarrassment.

“Dear Gumas,
Please settle a bet for us. We are a Silicon Valley software developer with a proprietary solution for e-commerce integration. Our CEO believes that B2B’s don’t need taglines, especially companies like ours whose name pretty much says what we do (DigiDollars – not the real name, but similar). Our marketing group believes the name is not enough. We also think our CEO just doesn’t want to pay for the development of a tagline. So, who gets the free pizza?”

– Struggling in Silicon Valley

Dear Struggling,
First off, try not to get hung up on marketing rules that apply to B2B vs. B2C. Most Challenger Brand marketing is H2H, Human-to-Human. Humans make the buying decisions, not businesses. Consequently, messaging should speak to the decision-maker in terms of value. If the company name communicates who you are, what you do and where the value lies for the prospect, then your CEO is right and you may not need a tagline. However, in the case of DigiDollars, we would argue the prospect does not immediately understand the value of doing business with you and you do need a tagline. Here are a few reasons why DigiDollars would benefit from a meaningful tagline:

Emerging and re-energized brands cannot always stand on their own and require a tagline to briefly and meaningfully communicate what they are and what they stand for.
Every time you see the DigiDollars branding, you see the support language that “does the talking for you” and sets the emotional tone of the brand.
The tagline must be true, emotional, stand for something, be declarative and proprietary.
A meaningful tagline must be original, bold and use powerful words that rise above their simple definition.
The tagline must encapsulate the brand essence while establishing value and serving as an internal rallying cry.

Looks like pizza is on your boss.

If you have a “Dear Gumas” question, please do not hesitate to email it to: editor@gumas.com. We’ll answer it immediately and possibly even publish it in a future Challenger Brand Marketing.

Until next time…

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