Date Tags treasure

Touching the truthful chord is the root of good lines. Tell the truth but make it interesting. Like naming your brand, creating a tagline is more art than science. You want a tagline that works in your market and connects with your customers, and ideally can translate globally. It took me about an hour to sit down and map out a route, identify good places for clues and write out the hints for each place on my treasure hunt when I set it up.

Great taglines can be catchy and memorable, like Verizon’s “Can you hear me now?” or Las Vegas’s “What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas.” Apple’s famous “Think Different” tagline is on most lists for the best taglines of all times, and it breaks the rules of grammar since different should have an “-ly” as an adverb. In Walter Isaacson’s biography of Steve Jobs, Jobs said he wanted “different” to be used as a noun as in “think victory.” Says Jobs, “It’s not the same, it's different. Think a little different, think a lot different, think different.

Think differently wouldn’t hit the meaning for me.” Often, marketers try to drill in the brand promise, like BMW’s “The Ultimate Driving Machine,” the Chinese company Alibaba’s “There’s no hard business,” or Uniqlo’s “Made for All.” Toms Shoes’ line is “One for One,” to underscore that a free pair of shoes will be given to a poor child with each purchase. Target’s promise is “Expect More. Pay Less,” and FedEx’s is “The World on Time.” Your tagline can position your brand versus its competitors, like Avis rental car “We try harder.”

You want your brand name to be easy to remember. Alliteration or repetition can help lock in the brand tagline, like Spotify’s “All the music, all the time” or Jaguar’s “Don’t dream it. Drive it.” A pun can make the tagline sticky, like IKEA’s “Make yourself at home” or Weight Watchers’ frozen meals tagline, “Taste. Not waist.”

One sure way to connect the slogan and the brand is to use the brand name in the slogan, like John Deere tractors’ “Nothing runs like a Deere” or Citibank’s “Because the Citi never sleeps” or Mumm champagne’s “One word captures the moment. Mumm’s the word.” Rhyme can make a tagline easy to remember, such as “Takes a licking and keeps on ticking” for Timex and “Nothing sucks like an Electrolux.” Some studies show that rhyming phrases are viewed as more accurate and believable, a rhyme-as-reason effect.