The Long and The Short Of Great Marketing Slogans

When I started exploring the implications of this post it led me to an interesting thesis.

The smaller and newer your brand, the more likely a longer tagline will deliver an effective marketing message.

There’s been some research into the power of the longer slogan, it’s ability to hold, captivate and explain over the more fashionable short and punchy tags that are predominating these days among bigger brands.

The bottom line is that shorter taglines carry greater risks of inspiring a consumer to do nothing at all in response. Nothing is bad enough, but the idea that a potential customer might go “uhh?” when he sees your tagline should send shivers down the spine of the branding team on the job.

The good news for us tagline specialists is that we get higher efficacy and emotional potential with more words – and – also a ton more options too. Longer taglines tend to be more on the nose, which in these literalist times might not necessarily be a bad thing. They offer more word play avenues, more opportunity for a call to action and positive reinforcement. In short, they might even make our lives a little easier.

Your Tagline is Your Motto

They are the modern equivalent of the mottos that ran underneath the family coat of arms. Both perform similar functions. They’re signage, identification, calls to bravery and fortitude.

Mottos were in just about every respect medieval branding, and in many respects the process really hasn’t changed that much. It’s still a powerful and immediate signifier, a statement that defines and differentiates.

Historically, one of the key elements of chivalry was a graphic expression of the deep competitiveness of medieval aristocracy, jockeying for favor in the court and on the battlefield, as well as asserting authority over underlings and vassals. Again, the similarities to the modern principles of branding are striking.

If you examine this template of a classic coat of arms layout, the motto is an important part of the framework – and of course the shield, supporters, wreath were crest themselves the centuries old equivalent of a logo.

In fact, the entire construct supports the core power message.

Some things just never change.