The top 10 brand tagline trends for 2009

After reading a study of more than 150 taglines that debuted in 2009 this morning from an agency who solely focus on the development of taglines I felt I should share some of the insights found. What we can learn and what I think.
According to Eric Swartz, president of Tagline Guru, “The goal of the survey was to discover the most frequently used words in this year’s taglines, and whether they reveal how companies are strategically recasting their brand message to forge a closer connection with their customers.”

The most commonly used words or concepts (alphabetically):
1. believe
2. far/further
3. future
4. imagine/see
5. innovate/innovation
6. more
7. new
8. save/savings
9. together
10. you

Are these 10 words that matter most to consumers?

“Whereas one tagline offers telling insights into a company’s brand strategy, a whole bushel of taglines reveals a brand lexicon that speaks volumes about what’s important in the minds of consumers,” says Swartz.
“This year’s tagline harvest is all about working harder and smarter, communicating greater value, and creating lasting brand affinity, which, in today’s tough economy, is crucial for cementing relationships and building customer loyalty,” Swartz notes.

Some of the taglines that echo this include:

  • Airbus New standards. Together.
  • Baker & Taylor The future delivered.
  • Buick The new class of world class.
  • Chrysler Come and see what we are building.
  • Dentsu Good innovation.
  • Home Depot More saving. More doing.
  • NBC More colorful.
  • Sony Make. Believe.
  • Syfy Imagine greater.
  • Wells Fargo Together, we’ll go far.
  • Yahoo It’s you!

Although the impact of “innovation” has been diminished from overuse, and words like “new” and “more” are typical sales jargon, concepts such as “together,” “you,” “imagine,” and “future” paint a picture that is decidedly more intimate, inclusive, and optimistic.

“Money is tight, consumers are worried, and corporations aren’t content to rest on their laurels,” says Swartz. “The overall message is that we’re all in this together so we need to set the bar higher, do more, and deliver greater value.”

Swartz continues: “Essentially, this tagline-generated brand lexicon tells us that big business wants to be perceived as a neighborly partner that is industrious, accountable, and forward-thinking. Consumers are tired of being talked at and misled. They’re looking for better ideas, better results, and, ultimately, a better relationship.”
Knowing this is really important as it indicates shifts in the market, and highlights what to avoid. To me these examples show not just a shift in the market but how easy it is to get lost and diluted in the nose as we follow like sheep: for example,

  • Target’s “Expect More. Pay Less.”
  • Wal-Mart’s “Save Money. Live Better”
  • Home Depot’s “More Saving. More Doing.”

Sure, consumers are looking for ways to save, but what in these taglines truly drives differentiation? And is that important? I think it is. I think this lack of distinctiveness show lack of creativity and becomes background noise.

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  1. Company taglines | How to write a company tagline | ABC Copywriting blog - [...] Top 10 brand tagline trends for 2009 – fascinating details of the most-used words in brands’ taglines (also fairly US-focused) ...

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