Taglines traditionally are defined as a part of the brand building exercise that sums up the mission, intent and image of the business. When I studied brand, logo elements and the importance of the “tagline” in theory, as a student, I was fascinated about the fact that if the tagline copy was written intelligently – it can work wonders. I admired “Just do It” and still do! I did use some of the do’s and don’ts while designing logos and creating brand identity documents in my career.
When I was creating the logo element for Madhouse, my first startup, I religiously spent sometime figuring out what the tagline should be. I dint even think of my logo without a tagline. The belief was that, we should be able to use the tagline without the company /brand name eventually to create the same recall and recognition in users minds. Inspired by the Nike Swoosh!
As time went by, I noticed that most new generation internet companies were emerging without the tagline! What mattered the most was the brand name or the name of the business and not so much the tagline. I remember the likes of ebay, amazon, yahoo, google, apple, rediff, indiatimes, etc. not having a tagline. And as we move on, many more established companies are dropping their taglines.
I guess, the way things have changed in branding, building companies, communicating the value of the business – brand recall is a great challenge and consuming, now imagine adding a tagline to it and trying to push the whole branding. Its too much to ask!
The reality for today is that Taglines are redundant! They are nothing but noise in the business scheme of things. Having said that, I think for statrups / new companies having a tagline is a personal choice. Thought, its important to get that darn tagline right – if not it’s a disaster of sorts before your company has started!
To quote relevant examples from my real-life experience: While working
with LifeMojo as part of the MVP business acceleration program in 2008, we discussed at length to have a tag-line and when we launched the site we did have a tag-line too. But soon we realized that the tagline was not adding too much value, if anything, the logo was looking clunky and bad trying to
accommodate the tag-line. And so, we just knocked it out! On the contrary, the tagline Deskaway is Simplify Teamwork and this for me is the perfect summation of what Deskaway stands for as a business.
And so… Contemplate real hard if you’d like to have a tagline for your company or not. And if you’d still like to have a tagline for your business / startup here’s some insight that I’ve garnered through some years of experience:
In all, I frankly don’t remember many taglines of companies that are doing well. I remember an one off “Just Do it!” or “I’m lovin’ it!” coz these are the rare gems that have risen out of a lot of crappy taglines by established companies.
So, as a last tip – if you’re not sure what you want the tagline to be, if it hasn’t come naturally to you – then don’t waste your time on thinking up one – its not worth the time spent. Not at all for a startup!