Part 2 of Build an Awesome Brand Month. See all other articles here: Build an Awesome Brand
By Jim Morris
According To Wikipedia:
“A logo is a graphical element (ideogram, symbol, emblem, icon, sign) that, together with its logotype (a uniquely set and arranged typeface) form a trademark or commercial brand. Typically, a logo’s design is for immediate recognition. The logo is one aspect of a company’s commercial brand, or economic or academic entity, and its shapes, colors, fonts, and images usually are different from others in a similar market. Logos are also used to identify organizations and other non-commercial entities.”
Your logo is a necessary component in the carefully orchestrated amalgam that makes up your brand. But, while the logo conveys the name of your brand, and conveys, in a non-verbal way, some sense of what your brand stands for, you have an opportunity to convey so much more about your brand by providing a little yang for the yin that is your logo. That opportunity is called a tagline, and the addition of a tagline—a GOOD tagline—wherever your logo appears, gives your brand a handle—a brief articulation of your brand that helps people not just recognize it, but grasp what your brand is about. A logo is something to be recognized and felt. A tagline is something to be understood and felt. Optimal use of every brand exposure requires both.
Let me be clear that I’m speaking here of the brand as an outward flowing, ongoing series of communications intended to create or enforce impressions, associations and predispositions toward your company’s product or service. These communications should be designed around and driven by the brand’s differessence™—that essential differentiator, whatever it may be, that distinguishes your brand from those of your competitors. There is another sense of the term “brand”, one we too often forget, in which your brand doesn’t consist of that outward flow, but rather, of the totality of impressions, associations and predispositions residing in the minds of anyone who is aware of your brand. Some of these are based on the messages and images you put out there. Others are based on direct or indirect experiences of the brand. The more you can do to intentionally and positively affect that totality, the stronger and more positive your brand will be.
If you can establish one central set of words—a tagline—that not only triggers those impressions, associations and predispositions, as the logo does, but also helps reinforce and interpret the brand in a positive light, this advantage will put you way ahead of your competitors who fail to do this. And that is probably most of them. In this way, a good tagline functions not only as a brand handle, but also as competitive edge.
Here’s another way to think about your brand and your tagline. Your brand isn’t simply a logo, obviously. In reality, your brand is a success story driven by your differessence. Your tagline can provide a glimpse into that success story—and your brand’s differessence—every time your logo appears. Seen in this light, it becomes clear how central and indispensable a good tagline is to your brand. Why would you not take advantage of such a simple, tangible opportunity to strengthen your brand?
Jim Morris is a tagline specialist. You can find him on the web at TaglineJim.com
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