Branding

Time to Rethink Your Tagline?

With a new year under way, you may be thinking about new branding opportunities. One area that may be due for a refresh is your tagline.

Many companies settle on a tagline and never change it. While a tagline is part of your brand, it’s not as immovable as your company’s name. If your tagline feels dated or no longer reflects what you do, it’s time to take a closer look at whether updating your tagline should be part of your 2018 plans.

Does it speak to your audience? One unexpected aspect of doing business is that your audience can change. In some cases, the people you target with your products change entirely. For example, a company that sells financial software geared at offline businesses and then pivots to e-commerce stores ends up speaking to an entirely different market. At other times, the demographics of your customers can shift—consider the changing face of information technology (IT) support for a company that began marketing in the ’90s and is still in business today. Speaking to your target audience may require updating your tagline from the vision behind it to the language you use.

Does it reflect your business values? Companies are increasingly paying attention to the role of their business values when shaping their brand image. Another reason to update your tagline is because it may not adequately reflect your values. In one case, a client came to me with the concern that their tagline was off message. It didn’t reflect opposite values, but it missed an opportunity to help bring the company’s unique social and environmental focus to the forefront for potential clients. In updating their tagline, the client was able to further differentiate themselves in the market and more effectively communicate how they do business.

Does it feel dated? It may also be time to update your tagline if it feels dated. This often occurs when your tagline was tied to trends or references of a specific time period. Does the jargon or trend you reference no longer make sense? This may be your signal to dig deeper and find a tagline that reflects more timeless brand positioning. Focus on identifying and communicating your services and positioning to your audience in an easy way that’s easy to understand. This will help ensure that your tagline stands the test of time.

Brands often look critically at their visual identity and messaging but may overlook their tagline. In 2018, take the time to verify whether your tagline still adequately reflects your customers, competitive differentiation, and the values you bring to the table. If it’s time for an update, this may be an unexpected way to bring new life to your image and communications with the market.