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Someone on Quora asked a question about the worst taglines used in branding. Got me thinking. Brand planners may feel differently about taglines but for me they’re a powerful branding vehicle.  To the tagline falls the work of explaining and defining what the brand is when the name falls flat.   When a name doesn’t pass the Is-Does test (what a brand Is and what a brand Does), the tagline needs to. Coca-Cola was a great brand name. The fact that is was printed on a beverage can helped with the Is. Snapchat is a great brand name. The fact that it’s plastered on a web or mobile page helps with the Is.

But not all product or service names are that lucky. When a name shares no meaning, a good tagline can clear things up. For startups and new products, it’s crucial they pass the Is-Does test. In these cases taglines are even more important.

For established brand, where the Is is well known, the tagline can tighten the bond of consumer attachment — focusing of care-abouts and good-ats.

My biggest peeve is when a tagline is used as an advertising cherry.  That is, as a summation of the ad campaign. When it’s all about the ad idea not the brand idea, it is the limpest form of tagline.

Get your brand strategy right and picking the strongest tagline will be easy.

Peace.

 

 

 

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HP’s earnings were higher than expected this quarter, but revenue was down. Contemporaneously, Silicon Valley is celebrating the smartest kids in business  (I don’t know their names) owners of Snapchat who just turned down $3B from Facebook — and they have no revenue model.

For all the expense cutting Meg Whitman has done at HP — for all the business blocking and tackling — it should be known that revenue in 5 of 6 business segment is down. Not good.

In this age of “content is king,” I’d like to go off piste and say “revenue is king.”  Business process reengineering, the cloud, social business design and the maker economy are the things of Harvard Business Review essays and B+ papers. But revenue is what business is built upon. Let me say it again, revenue is the thing upon which businesses are built. Top line dollars.

Follow the revenue in the 21st century. When someone opens their wallet, marketing has happened. When someone opens their wallet learning can take place. Metrics can take place.

Ms. Whitman needs to be chasing revenue growth. Period. Let her direct reports work the expense side. Peace.

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Fever.

IPO fever is back. SnapChat, Instagram, Chegg, and the soon to go off Twitter have once again contributed to the investment energy that is IPO fever. We are reading about the fever from all angles: the composition of investors, the inventors, the bankers, underwriters and VCs, until we all in a lather. It will “bubble out” but that’s not even the worst of it. The worst is when young  entrepreneurs start to think they can build a billion with a smart idea, some energy drinks and an all-yearer (like an all-nighter but longer). Some will, most won’t.

I’ve watched CTOs with the fever working for the big payday, scrimping on quality testing, usability testing and market research all with Sand Hill Road and Union Square dreams dancing in their heads. Some smart VCs see these guys coming an say no, so the “fevered” go looking for angels and second tier investors.

The fever can be market debilitating. It’s exciting and needs to happen in a growing innovation driven economy, it just can’t be so exuberant that the inventors lose sight of business fundamentals.  Let’s just breathe. Invent and breathe.  Peace!  

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