Amy Trang

10/06/2012

Why excessive use of periods dilutes your tagline

Amy Trang // in Creative

Taglines and slogans add value to your company because it communicates your brand identity and unique value proposition to consumers. A great tagline can payoff tenfold in your marketing if consumers can repeat and associate your tagline with your company long after they’ve read your message. But lately, we have seen a lot of marketers and advertisers using punctuation in taglines in a way that would make their English teachers cry.   

For example:

  • Service. Loyalty. Honesty. Integrity. (United Services Automobile Association)
  • The Original. Amplified. (Wrangler)
  • Better information. Better health. (WebMD) 

So what’s the problem? Too many periods dilute your tagline. The more periods we see, the more our brain gets tired and confused because we. don’t. naturally. read. in. a. stunted. sentence. structure. If we have to pause and recalibrate after every single word or phrase, we are more likely to gloss over a tagline than have our brains work overtime to decipher the overall message. The message will lose any stickiness it may have, causing customers to read it and forget it.

But never fear, your “Super. Tasty. Chocolate.” tagline isn’t without hope. 

Here are three easy tips to propel your company into a better and more memorable tagline:

Avoid buzzwords.

“Innovative. Global. Insightful.” Combining jargon words with periods may please some of your more business-minded colleagues, but it won’t resonate with a larger audience. Jargon is not a substitute for creativity. General Electric’s “Imagination at work” is a great tagline that creates a series of images that conjure up the words innovative, global, and insightful without having to say those words explicitly.

Emotion resonates.

It’s important that a tagline provokes a feeling in the consumer, so be sure to create a compelling image or story. Excessive periods stop us from creating such scenes in our mind because we will read each word individually, rather than as a collective group. We remember stories, not lists. Taglines don’t have to describe what your product or service is in exact words, but rather it should evoke what you want the consumer to feel when they choose to make a purchase. Nike’s “Just Do It.” conjures up feelings of strength and power. “Athletic shoes. Sports apparel.” does not. 

Adjectives are your neighbors, not your friends.

If your fictional cupcake product is described as delicious, yummy, decadent, and charming, it can be easy to pen a period-heavy tagline around these friendly adjectives. Write in sentence structures or phrases, using adjectives to emphasize your identity but not be the identity. “Delicious cupcakes to the rescue” has a more visual and lingering impact than “Sweet tooth? Decadent treats here.”

We know there is a tagline waiting out there for you – one that doesn’t require the excessive use of periods. And if all else fails, there is always The Advertising Slogan Generator

My personal favorite:

Like Amy Trang. Like Never Before.

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