Why Challenger Brands Need Taglines

When you hear, “Don’t leave home without it,” you know we’re talking about American Express. When you hear, “The breakfast of champions,” you know it’s all about Wheaties. And, when you hear, “Just do it,” well, you get the point. The best taglines can stand alone and represent their brand without even stating the brand’s name.

Taglines accompany brand names and concisely communicate the core essence, position and/or value of the organization. And, for Challenger Brands, having the right tagline means everything.
Emerging, repositioned and start-up brands cannot always stand on their own and require a tagline to briefly and meaningfully communicate what they are and what they stand for. Accepting the fact that members of most organizations can’t always be face-to-face with their prospects, every time their target sees the brand marks, they see the support language that “does the talking” for the brand.

For Challenger Brands , a tagline must concisely encapsulate the brand’s essence while establishing value and serving as an internal rallying cry. The best taglines are true, emotional, stand for something, are declarative and proprietary. Language that only your brand can say and can be defended against competitors. Impactful taglines are original, bold, and use powerful words that rise above their simple definition.

We think the most dynamic taglines are both a mission and an outcome. “You give us 22 minutes, we’ll give you the world,” (WINS Radio, NY), “Every kiss begins with Kay,” (Kay Jewelers), “Good to the last drop,” (Maxwell House Coffee), all make bold claims and then deliver on them. In some cases, the tagline became so dynamic that the consumer neither knew nor cared who the company was – “Got milk?” (California Milk Processors Board), “A diamond is forever,” (Debeers), “Only you can prevent forest fires,” (US Forest Service).

Developing the right brand tagline is as much a science as it is an art. For some brands, wit is essential to get the message across – “With a name like Smuckers, it has to be good,” (Smuckers), “I can’t believe I ate the whole thing,” (Alka Seltzer), “Tastes so good, cats ask for it by name,” (Meow Mix). For others, sincerity and empathy are more important – “When you care enough to send the very best,” (Hallmark), “A mind is a terrible thing to waste,” (United Negro College Fund), “Be all that you can be,” (US Army).

Let us know if we can help you develop a fresh tagline to help communicate your brand’s essence, mission and value, please drop us a line at: editor@gumas.com. After all at Gumas, we are the “Champion of the Challenger Brand.”

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Gumas is an award-winning, full-service advertising agency generally recognized as the country’s foremost experts on Challenger Brand Marketing®. We are dedicated to helping you take on your industry gorillas to quickly generate the greatest results from your marketing investment.

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