What’s in a Tagline? (Part 1)

Post Date: 11/07/2012
feature image

“What’s in a Tagline?” Blog Series

In the following posts we will discuss the nature of marketing and advertising in the Microsoft SharePoint industry; the significance of a tagline in Business-to-Business (B2B) and Business-to-Consumer (B2C) environments; and also discuss AvePoint’s newest product launches, their taglines and justifications based on product features in the SharePoint marketplace. Marketing and Advertising in the Microsoft SharePoint Industry When someone asks you about advertising or marketing as a profession, what are the first few things to come to mind? AMC’s hit show Mad Men? Outrageous television commercials? What about glamorous photo spreads in print magazines? Now, forget all of that and welcome to the SharePoint market! When taking on a role as a marketing, advertising, or copy writer in this industry, we all understand and accept that this particular Business to Business (B2B) market can be as different from the traditional Business to Consumer (B2C) markets as day is to night. For example, SharePoint customers come to a saturated market well informed, well prepared, and searching across a multitude of vendors to help solve their unique challenges within their budget. Most SharePoint IT administrators search for products that address their current problems, while others search for solutions to help proactively manage SharePoint throughout its lifecycle because they have researched or experienced future pain points. Traditional marketing and advertising campaigns seek to “create a want” or “construct a desire” that the consumer did not know they had. This works well in the B2C market, but this approach has little or no success in the SharePoint space. When was the last time you saw or heard a television or radio advertisement promoting the latest version of AvePoint’s DocAve Software Platform or private social network Yammer like you would for the newest Windows Phone or Microsoft Surface? Digital and social media, online marketing, partner relationships, cross-website optimization, in person and virtual tradeshows/events dominate the scope of B2B marketing and advertising for the SharePoint industry. Sales pitches and product demonstrations must be one step ahead of the competition. Product descriptions, brochures, and white papers need to be detailed, concise, and have the perfect blend of business and technical advantages to cater to IT administrators and C-Level decision makers. However, there are some similarities that transcend both markets; where television advertisements with sponsored “rock star” celebrities resonate well for traditional consumers, webinars and events with AvePoint’s own Microsoft SharePoint MVPs appeal to the SharePoint architects, administrators, and community members alike. This is also the case for advertising taglines: good, bad, and ugly! What’s in a tagline? Let’s face it: We as consumers are living in a world of information overload. We’re bombarded with information from every conceivable communication medium, every minute of every day. How many emails do you receive after visiting a trade show? How many voicemails do you have from sales representatives calling and asking you for five minutes to discuss their company's product? When’s the last time you had to do your own research and stopped in your tracks when you read a great product description or tagline? At its core, a tagline is meant to be a succinct phrase that communicates a single but powerful brand message which resonates strongly with its intended audience. Every company hopes to create an advertising tagline for its product or service that rises above the “noise” and successfully makes its target customer remember the brand or product promise with a conscious, inclination to take some future action. Great Examples in Mainstream Advertising Great examples in taglines include how three simple words changed Nike’s entire customer perception and would eventually hold great meaning: “Just do it.” Frances Gerety made his eternal mark by coining “A Diamond is Forever” in 1948 for DeBeers, and created a phrase that may last as long as his product. For example, the James Bond franchise used the popular tagline in its 1971 film release, Diamonds are Forever; meanwhile, the theme song from the film and Gerety’s tagline have been referenced in pop culture by famous artists like Kanye West and Jay-Z. Sometimes the best tagline is one that tells you in no uncertain terms what the product does. The famous “Melts in your mouth, not in your hand” slogan was created in 1954 for Mars’ famous chocolate candy pieces, M&Ms. The tagline was quite a differentiator, as it showcased the less messy chocolate treats for kids to parents who didn’t want chocolate smeared everywhere in their houses! Poor Examples in Mainstream Advertising Then there are those taglines that didn’t quite sit well with consumers. Bad taglines are typically vague, awkward, pretentious, contradictory, negative, or too complicated. They often communicate an unintended message, deceive or confuse the consumer, and subsequently devalue a brand. Bacardi Rum proclaimed that its product was “Distilled in Hell” and may have not considered the effects of using such a polarizing and negative topic. FedEx's “Why fool around with anyone else?”, while humorous for some, may be considered awkward for others and may have left a different message in the memories of consumers than expected. And the message portrayed in Stillwell Ford’s “We put people in front of cars,” may not have put the right message in front of their consumers that they had hoped. All are examples of taglines that devalue a brand name or leave an unintended message with consumers in some way shape or form. Questions and Discussion Topics · What do you consider as an example of a great tagline? What about an example of a memorable, less than perfect tagline? · What do you believe are the main elements of a great tagline? What makes tagline like the ones above and in our community posts, stand the test of time? · What elements would attract or detract you from looking further into a product if you were presented with only the product name and tagline? If you’d like to learn even more, check out this list of “The 100 Most Influential Taglines Since 1948”. In the next part of our series, we will dive into what went into some of the taglines for AvePoint’s latest product releases.

Eric is a former Vice President of Marketing at AvePoint. In that role, Eric was responsible for the strategy, creation, and execution of all messaging, positioning, Go-To-Market activities, and integrated marketing campaigns for the AvePoint software portfolio.

View all post by Eric Burniche
Share this blog

Subscribe to our blog