Aug
12

Tag lines: if they don’t help people, there’s no point

When I was in Korea a few years back, I was struck that even in cities where very few people spoke English, “upscale” stores always had an English tagline under an English name. But the words didn’t seem to matter: most were incomprehensible, vague, or with uninteded double entendres (as below). Weirdly, these businesses seemed to have taglines simply for the sake of filling space under their name with letters, not because anyone would get information from them. You know what’s even weirder? It happens here too.

Fitting and Feeling - w

For this Korean tag line, you can at least tell what they were going for. But are they really offering both those services?

A global plague:

Lest we seem to be picking on obscure stores in non-English speaking countries, a couple of weeks ago, we pointed out this tagline from a local real estate agent - and we could have chosen many more from that industry alone.

And size of company doesn’t seem to matter. Check out this bit of tagline vapidity from a major international brand – spotted in July 2009. “Sychronizing the world of commerce” is actually less meaningful than “Fitting & Feeling” – and I imagine UPS has a few more people working on their materials than Teman.

ups-truck-slogan

Another space-filler tagline - UPS fails to deliver.

Say something nice… or say nothing at all

KR - KY - Good Feel

Another uncomfortable tagline from a Korean store - but it just looks right to have one doesn't it?

Or rather, just say something useful.
Like every other aspect of your brand, a tag line is supposed to be a tool to help people understand something about your brand - some aspect of your service that will help them make a purchase decision in your favour.

A good tag line needs to inform me or help me differentiate you from your competitors; maybe it will make a leadership claim or offer me a guarantee; at the very least it should give me a clever “hook” to remenber you by; otherwise it’s just filling a space.

Here’s a secret that should never have to be spoken: a tag line isn’t a design element. It’s actually a set of words that happen to be occupying  prime real estate on your sign, page, or Web site. So make sure they ”pay their rent” by actually doing useful things.

At Brandvelope, we have a whole set of tools to help clients develop really useful tag lines. But without getting too deeply  into that topic in this post, just remember that at the very least, make sure it’s helping somebody.
Tomorrow: 25 useless taglines from brands that should know better.
Aug
11

Breaking news: new vehicle claims 330 Miles per Gallon

And in a startling development, a new company has chosen this day to steal GM’s thunder after GM’s unveiling of the “230″ campaign for the Chevy VOLT this morning. The big news: this upstart is launching a new vehicle that has been proven to go 100 miles further than the Volt with a single gallon of gas.

(Note to readers: keep tongue planted firmly in cheek. That’s where mine is.)

Aug
07

Announcing: Ottawa Brand Strategy Boot Camp – August 27

Registration has just opened for the August edition of our successful Beg to DIFFER Brand Strategy Boot Camp – brought to you by the Ottawa Centre for Research and Innovation (OCRI) and Brandvelope Consulting.

Wide angle - brighter

Dennis fields questions at the last OCRI Beg to DIFFER Brand Strategy Bootcamp in May 2009.

Register here at the OCRI Web site.

This  boot camp is for all managers and executives with marketing, PR, or communication responsibility–whether in technology, government, not-for-profit, or other industries.  Basically, if you manage a brand and want to learn how to manage it for maximum connection and value (for your customers and for yourself) this boot camp is for you.

Date:

Thursday August 27, 2009

Location:

Nepean Sailing Club - 3259 Carling Avenue

Two Options:

OPTION 1: Half-Day Bootcamp – morning only

  • 8:30 a.m. – 9:00 a.m. – Registration and Coffee
  • 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. – Seminar 

OPTION 2: Full-Day Bootcamp

  • Morning seminar (as above), plus:
  • 12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m. – Lunch\
  • 1:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. – Hands-on Workshop

Why you should attend:

Reason 1: morning session

Dennis at front -square

Morning Session provides theory, practical case studies, & tips

This seminar provides a great overview of three important topic areas for all Brand Managers:

  • What is a brand, and why is it important? You’re being branded one way or the other; we’ll help you take control.
  • The building blocks of brands. How to analyze, develop, and leverage the different facets of corporate strategy to ensure that your brands are making the right promises, and following through.
  • Brand management. How to use the brand elements and marketing tools at your disposal to manage your image in the minds of consumers. How to be a brand stickler without being seen as a “brand cop”. How to get your colleagues to live the brand.
  • Reason 2: afternoon workshop (only for full-day participants)

    Interaction

    Afternoon workshop (available only to full-day bootcampers) is more interactive, and involves hands-on critique of your brand.

    In this smaller-group setting, you’ll get a chance to apply the theory from the morning to your brand and get help from other participants and the workshop leaders.  The workshop will allow you to do a point-by-point inspection all the aspects of your brand. But note that the afternoon is for active participants only; be ready to give and take constructive feedback.

    Reason 3: Take-aways

    All participants will receive 1) Beg to DIFFER Brand Strategy Workbook  plus, full-day participants will also get 2) a personalized assesment of your brand strengths and challenges.

    Reason 4: Beautiful setting

    Nepean Sailing club is at 3259 Carling Avenue, just West of Andrew Haydon Park – only a short drive from downtown and Kanata. This venue offers stunning scenery and a relaxed atmosphere – we took the photo below from just outside the conference room. It’s the perfect place to spend a late August day gearing your brand up for the fall. Google Map here.

    Back deck

    Boot Camp will be held at the beautiful Nepean Sailing Club - 3259 Carling Avenue on Lac Deschênes near Andrew Haydon Park

    Reason 5: don’t take our word for it

    “I thoroughly enjoyed the day and want to thank you and your colleagues for your efforts. I believe this seminar is a definite requirement in the Ottawa area and you have already put in place many of the cornerstones to build on to make this a truly awesome and interactive event for new and seasoned brand management professionals.”

    Dan Chaput
    Director, Marketing Communications
    March Networks

    Register here at the OCRI Web site.