Taglines and Naming


Taglines are short descriptors that capture the essence of an organization’s uniqueness, nature, and quality of products and services.


Just as keywords are critical for ranking high in search engine results, taglines are essential for ranking high in the memory of consumers. Creating an effective tagline requires culture-specific knowledge, in addition to being a great word-smith.

Taglines – like names – must deliver precise, distilled organizational values that also fit within the context of the cultures and societies the organization operates within. Every culture and society has its own interpretation of language. The tagline must capture the essence of the organization, and fit perfectly into the linguistic mold of the culture that it is operating in. Consider Chevrolet’s Chevy Nova. A great concept that may evoke feelings of a car that boasts spaciousness and urban chic. In Spanish, however, the name ‘nova’ literally means ‘won’t go’ – not the most suitable connotation for an automobile. Which words will you put into your customers’ minds today? Will they remember tomorrow? The measure of success for taglines rests in the ability of customers to recall those taglines.

A name is the reason for brands being discussed, remembered, recommended, or simply ignored. Consumers make snap decisions, purchases, impressions, and conversations all on the strength of a brand’s name. The best names invite connections.

It’s relatively easy to change any aspect of a brand’s identity. Changing a brand’s name or its taglines is much more tricky in getting your customers to reconnect with you. The right name is timeless, credible, easy to use, fun to talk about, can be trademarked, and invites extensions. It looks and sounds great, and creates buzz across the marketplace and in homes and offices.

Successful naming requires meaningful strategic insight and a sound understanding of the intrinsic qualities of sound, language, and cultural implications. These are some common naming conventions:
• Founder (Ben and Jerry’s)
• Descriptive (Toys “R” Us)
• Functional (General Motors)
• Metaphor (Nike)
• Acronym (IBM)
• Experiential (Land Rover)
• Invented (Google)


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