My colleague, Frank Grubich, ECD at Maddock Douglas, recently raised this question: What’s more important — that the client like the tagline or the consuming audience?
Of course, the answer is both. The client must like the tagline enough to actually make use of it—to allow it to have its impact. If a client isn’t enthusiastic about their own brand’s tagline, there will be a reluctance to display it—on business cards, the website, print ads, brochures, signage and so on. What customers don’t see, they can’t respond to.
In addition, employees will inevitably pick up on this lack of emotional commitment, so that the tagline’s potential positive effect on these employees—clarifying the brand’s promise or “differessence”, funtioning as a rallying cry, and so forth—will be undermined.
At the same time, the fact that the client loves the tagline will mean absolutely nothing if the intended audiences—customers, employees, suppliers, etc.—don’t like, or are merely indifferent, to it. In order for a tagline to be effective, both conditions must obtain. The client must like it enough to commit to it enthusiastically, and customers and employees must respond positively to the line.