If it ain’t broke…

I’ve never been a fan of change for change sake.

There’s a trend for national brands to revert to the taglines of their past – to the classics that have already been etched in the minds of consumers for generations. My favorite is Burger King’s “Have It Your Way.”

Changing back to the classics can be a good thing:

  • It makes them appear “eternal” which ads confidence in the brand.
  • It attracts the boomers who fondly remember them, and the younger generations who see them as “retro-fresh.”
  • With the uncertainty of 2008 – the election, the economy, housing, gas prices, etc. – a reminder of “better times” in the past can be reassuring. People want to buy a piece of past peace.
  • Sometimes the taglines are simply hard to beat!

In a recent blog post that discusses this trend, “Brand Names and Taglines: Think Before You Change”,  Diane Prang at Namewire offers some great tips for all businesses considering a tagline change.

  1. Make it relevant—for today, tomorrow and well into the future. Think BMW, “the ultimate driving machine.”
  2. Take creating a tagline seriously—your tagline is an opportunity to emotionally bond with the consumer.
  3. Test the water—ask existing employees and customers before fully implementing it.
  4. Keep it short—7 words is the most you get if you expect a consumer to log it in their short term memory, but 3 or 4 words is much better.
  5. Make it unique—try putting your competitors name in with your tagline, if it works, it’s no good.
  6. Finally, don’t think that your tagline says it all—support it with quality products and a sound marketing strategy.

There are dozens of good reasons to change your tagline, but do so with thoughtful consideration. 

So, when is it a good time to change your tagline? Short answer is: when that change would better your sales. Times of change are most common: New logo… new product… new market focus… new customer base… new service… new goals….  Or simply when your marketing message just doesn’t work anymore.

Change is good.  But if it ain’t broke…



2 Comments on “If it ain’t broke…”

  1. Dan Waldron says:

    Thanks for posting the article, was certainly a great read!

  2. pattirenner says:

    Aw shucks, Dan… thanks!

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