One of my favorite projects is working with a client on branding.
The prospect of naming anyone or anything is a large one indeed and a task rife with possibility – and problems. What to name a business entity that will be memorable, clever and translatable to the visual? What names have longevity? What names have nuance? What names need explaining?
Many clients come to my company, Your People LLC, in need of a rebranding. They’ve changed their core business focus or people just don’t know what they do and so they need clarity, cleverness.
Part of branding is the name. Part is the logo, the graphic elements that create a design to complement and convey the name. And part of branding is creating a tagline, that catchy combination of words that so clearly explains what they do and for whom.
Recently, I’ve been working with lawyers toward branding their firms. So I did some research on what types of taglines law firms use. What I found was astounding – and not in a good way.
Try some on for size:
Power of Collaboration
Leadership. Creativity. Results
A Broader Perspective
We’re Built for Change
Industry focused. Relationship Driven.
Connecting Communities, Clients and People.
Um…all of these are horrible. None of them are specific enough to know what firm they represent. Frankly, all could be used for any industry, any company, any task, any focus.
And they get even worse. Take a look at these:
Out in Front (of where? of whom?)
Not If, But How (um…ok)
Results Matter (what kinds of results and matter to whom?)
You see what I mean? The art of naming is a tricky one and one that takes time, expertise, focus and a huge gust of creativity.
So what makes a good tagline, then?
I’m pretty fond of mine, but I’ll admit it’s not perfect: building business by building relationships. Because it’s still not specific enough, I often have descriptors attached to my logo to explain that we do Public Relations, Marketing and Business Development.
A great tagline – and great branding, really – is timeless, transcends generations, connects to all sorts of consumers, geographies and markets and holds relevance for the consumer in a very personal way. Now you understand the cost behind a talented team that generates memorable branding.
Memorable branding is priceless.
I’ll vote for these great ones:
M&Ms: The milk chocolate melts in your mouth, not in your hand
California milk processor board: Got milk?
BMW: The ultimate driving machine
Disney: The happiest place on earth.
There are many more good ones and far more bad ones. Next time you connect with a brand, think about why. This consumer dance we do – it’s complicated, it tugs at the heart and it strikes to the core of who we are and what matters to us.
That’s no small story to tell.