What Your Tagline Says About Your Brand

taglines

The corporate “tagline”. It’s an often overlooked and under appreciated part of a brand’s marketing message.

Some brands have had the same tagline forever. Other brands seem to change the tagline every year. Some brands have multiple taglines. Others have no tagline at all.

There’s not universal agreement on what a tagline is and the role it plays in a brand’s marketing message.

Personally, I believe to tagline is critical. At best, it should be the most concise articulation of your value to your customers. At PGi, we just went though an exploratory which led to a new tagline. So, I’ll share some of the thinking behind it.

For several years, PGi was using the tagline: The Meeting Experts.

The old PGi logo and tagline.

The old PGi logo and tagline.

It’s not a bad tagline. It clearly highlights our expertise and experience in the virtual meeting business. For customers evaluating PGi as a potential vendor, the tagline literally positions us as “experts” in what we do.

But, for me, it lacked something. I think the main thing that bothered me was that the tagline was more about us than about our customers. It felt a little bit like we were chest beating proclaiming that we are “experts”.

Think about it this way. If you were at a party and someone walked around telling everyone they were an “expert”, you’d probably say, “that guy is an asshole.” It’s always better for other people to call you an expert rather than proclaiming it about yourself.

So, as we did an exploratory to evolve the tag line, we started by interviewing our key executives, including our CEO.

We talked to them about the history of he company, the value to our customers, what makes us special. As I conducted the interviews, one message came through loud and clear:

PGi is focused on giving our customers a strategic advantage by improving their ability to communicate and collaborate when they are not actually together in an office.

That was a very interesting message. Much different from the “Meeting Experts”. And a much bigger story about the value we bring to our customers.

So we started to work on new taglines. We had a range of ideas. But, the concept that kept sticking with me was around this idea of giving our customers a “competitive advantage”. So, we wrote that up on the white board and started iterating around it. Very quickly, we landed on the Tagline: Collaborative Advantage

The new PGi logo and tagline.

The new PGi logo and tagline.

There’s something clever yet compelling about it. It’s a nice play on the term competitive advantage yet true to our core. And it’s not about us. It’s about the value we provide to our customers.

To sell the new tagline through the organization, we developed this short video to bring it to life.

We launched the tagline in Q4 of 2013 and it has quickly become part of our corporate vernacular. You see it on email signatures, business cards and across our marketing materials. In a recent earnings call, our CEO even weaved it into his statement.

It’s not everyday you get to develop a new tagline for your company. This was only the third time in my career that I’ve done it. That’s probably more than most marketers my age. If you’re interested, you can read about another tagline project I worked on at AutoTrader here.

I’m grateful that the PGi executive team gave me the green light to change the corporate tagline. My hope is that Collaborative Advantage will be around for a long time.

So, if you’re thinking about changing your brand’s tagline, my advice is to take a deep look inside your organization. Try to find the true soul of your brand. What makes you special? Then find the few words that tell that story.

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