Brand Taglines.


At What’s The Idea?, the framework for brand building is one claim and three proof planks. The claim is the fulcrum for all branding activities. It’s the one thing you can say about a brand that distinguishes it from all others. And marketing goes to war each day to proof it and bring it to life. Any marketing breath not supporting the claim is wasted.

For most companies the brand tagline is synonymous with the claim. Sometimes and this happens more often than it should, the tagline is the work product of the ad agency. Usually siphoned off of the advertising. If the adverting is on brand strategy and the adverting is good, it works fine.  Other times, the tagline is the result of brand planning prior to advertising. 

Let’s look at a tagline gone wrong.

Evan Williams. Bourbon Done Right.

The construct “done right” has been used in taglines in every product category since modern marketing began.  It’s so overused it has lost all marketing flavor. Plus, it presumes there are lots of bourbons done wrong. In addition to using a commodity tagline, “done right” is hard to prove. With a cursory look at the Evan Williams website, the only proof laid out to support the claim is aged in charred oak barrels. And aged for 4 years. Kentucky’s first bourbon doesn’t directly support the claim, though it’s a proof (of something). 

I’m sure Evan Williams is a wonderful product. It deserves a wonderful position in the minds and mouths of consumers. Letting a 32 year old copywriter, who probably drinks kombucha, write your tagline is a mistake. (At least that’s what this one feels like to me.)

Find your proof. Find your claim. Then find your distinction.