You Can Have a Tagline, I Guarantee it!

George Zimmer

OMG! The Board of Men’s Wearhouse fired its founder, George Zimmer – famous for his catchphrase: “You’re going to like the way you look. I guarantee it.”

Taglines Build Brands in 6 Ways

The company is mum about its exact reasons for his ouster, but I guarantee the repercussions are going to be fierce; why? Catchphrases build brands by:

  1. Creating Differentiation – Not every company can guarantee that you will look good, but a different company can ask, “does she or doesn’t she?”
  2. Boosting Familiarity – We feel as if we already know the brand by knowing the phrase. I love “Eat Mor Chikin” and I’ve yet to gobble a bite from Chick–fil-A.
  3. Expressing the Personality – “Just Do It” promotes Nike’s brand of fearless athleticism.
  4. Creating awareness – The concept of “showrooming”, for example, was used extensively to demonstrate Best Buy’s counter-attack strategies to stop consumers from browsing in their store and then buying on-line.
  5. Increasing Buzz – “Whassup?” was rebroadcast thousands of times for free as the ad for Budweiser became fodder for advertising analysis.
  6. Adding Consistency – Every ad for Motel 6 concludes with “We’ll leave the light on for you.”

Do you have a favorite tagline or catchphrase? Please share and join the conversation in the comments below.

Wishing you sizzling success!

PS: Want help in creating a catchphrase, tagline, or brand name? Master insider secrets at my 90 minute webinar this Thursday. More info here:

2 Comments
  1. Nice topic! Very timely with Men’s Warehouse, and also with the new commercial from Nationwide… (aired first on Mad Men – an audience more likely to appreciate tag lines!)

    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/05/business/media/nationwide-insurance-teams-up-with-mad-men.html?_r=0

    Matt Jauchius, chief marketing officer at Nationwide, discusses the company’s advertising history, including a memorandum found in the Nationwide archives, which contain materials that date to its founding in 1926 as the Farm Bureau Mutual Automobile Insurance Company.

    The memo was written on May 13, 1964, by the Nationwide advertising agency at the time, Ogilvy, Benson & Mather, now known as Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide. The memo suggested seven possible replacements for what was then the slogan for Nationwide’s ads, “In service with people,” which, Mr. Jauchius said in a phone interview, had been in use “pretty much since the founding” of the company.

    The suggestions included “Nationwide is on your side,” “On your side … Nationwide,” “Nationwide … a friend in need from cradle to grave” and “You’d send a friend to Nationwide.” Nationwide executives chose to rework “Nationwide is on your side” into “The man from Nationwide is on your side,” Mr. Jauchius said, adding the first three words to reflect that “we distributed our products through agents” — who, in “a sign of the times,” were referred to as men.

    The slogan was changed to “Nationwide is on your side” in 1973, he added, when the company adopted a seven-note jingle that was heard in its commercials for decades.

  2. Thanks for your comment. Also remember that rhymes are the #1 way to boost recall. So, “nationwide is on your side” also works because of its mnemonic device.

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