Anyone who has ever interacted with an organisation or seen one of their products advertised on TV, the radio, in a magazine, etc. will be familiar with the phrases that are used to help build brand identity and recognition. The generic, widely recognised term for these are 'Slogans', but these long-lasting phrases, which in many cases have become synonymous with a brand or product, are also commonly referred to as 'Straplines' or 'Taglines'.
Companies use slogans as a means of concisely relaying to its customers, potential and existing, the goals and values that belong to the organisation. Taglines do not have to encompass a whole business or its entire range of products however, and it is not uncommon for companies who offer a wide selection of products or services to generate a unique slogan for an individual product.
Unlike broad straplines that aim to convey the business' character and beliefs, these singular slogans are supposed to reveal a scenario in which the product is perfectly suited, or an effect that it will have on you. Additionally, the slogan for a product attracts attention away from the slogan that belongs to the wider company, which is ideal if the product in question does not necessarily embody the company's tagline.
Not particularly well known, relatively speaking, is Nestlé's company strapline, 'Good Food, Good Life'; where as the strapline for Kit-Kats, arguably one of Nestlé's most well-known and beloved products, 'Have a break … Have a Kit-Kat' is so well recognised that even when it was replaced ten years ago, in 2004, it remained closely associated with the product.
Obviously a chocolate covered wafer biscuit is not going to be perceived as being overly healthy or good for you and therefore it will not be seen as in keeping with the Nestlé company strapline. Action has been taken to counteract this perception, as each Kit-Kat bar clearly states its relatively low calorie content; but perception is everything and it is not easily changed, which is why the product strapline is used, as it almost supersedes the company one, making it less apparent in relation to the product.
Forming a strapline, no matter how catchy or clever, around a non-existent basis can backfire as your customers will resent being lied to. If your strapline states that “quality comes first” ensure that it does, on the other hand if your strapline is “Striving for excellence in customer satisfaction” you have to ensure that your customer service is consistently sublime, as any poor performance will be picked up on and criticised more due to the promise made by your slogan.
Concern over appearing dishonest is likely one of the reasons why Nestlé feel it is necessary to distance itself from some of its products using product based slogans, even though, it should be noted, no promise is being broken. The word 'Good' is broad, and when used in their strapline it is clear that they intended for 'good' to be seen as enjoyable in some cases and healthy in others. However when we talk about healthy food we often hear or say 'it is good for you', so 'good' in relation to food becomes about health, and steps have to be taken to avoid any misunderstandings.
Straplines may seem like a gimmick, but they have proven themselves an effective means of advertising and gaining product or brand recognition, so long as they are transparent and truly embody the spirit of an organisation; as well as its products and services. It is their benefits as a marketing tool that make straplines so ideal for use alongside promotional pens, which have likewise proven themselves to be a popular and effective method of promoting a company, spreading awareness about its products and establishing a loyal customer base.