Straplines

A brand strapline is a short phrase that conveys a business’ USP memorably and concisely, and distinguishes it from competitors. Ideally, it represents what the business does and what it stands for, in a way that becomes synonymous with the brand name.

Straplines originate from advertising, where they’d be the centrepiece of a global product campaign, but would usually fade away once that campaign had run – and have shorter lifespan than the company logo. Some were so successful at sticking in people’s minds, though, that the strapline’s value beyond a campaign quickly became apparent. Today, the best straplines are integral to the brand, and weather even the most significant shifts in market trends and consumer preferences.

There are many different approaches to creating the perfect brand strapline. Some simply describe what the company or organisation does, like Cap Gemini’s ‘Consulting. Technology. Outsourcing’, while others cleverly express the added value that they bring, such as Accenture’s ‘High performance. Delivered’, or John Lewis’ famous ‘Never Knowingly Undersold’. Others adopt a noble stance or cause, as with Google’s ‘Don’t be Evil’, or are category-specific, as in BMW’s ‘The Ultimate Driving Machine’. Meanwhile, some take an emotive or inspirational approach, like L’Oreal’s ‘Because You’re Worth It’ or Nike’s ‘Just Do It’.

Why do we need a strapline?
Plenty of businesses operate perfectly well without one, but in our experience a well thought-out strapline can add real value, with a unique and memorable angle to your marketing, and a competitive edge that will only grow stronger over time.

After all, a strapline’s singular purpose is to differentiate your brand in a concise and intriguing way. This will trigger positive thoughts in people’s minds and reflect what you do – and just as importantly, how and why you do it – accurately. It should inform and inspire, and be a natural extension of your brand’s character and tone of voice.

Liven Creative’s approach to standout straplines
We begin by gaining a thorough understanding your business and what you stand for, and what you mean to your existing and potential customers – in clear market context. We then get to work brainstorming ideas, keeping in mind the core essence of your business and its USP at all times.

Potential angles for strapline creation include:

Brand promise
This technique is aimed squarely at your audience, whereby you make a pledge to them and describe briefly how you’ll honour it. This involves highlighting something central to your offer that delights customers, and that you can commit to.

Brand description
A descriptive strapline is a popular ‘does what it says on the tin’ option that tells your audience exactly what you do, and how it improves their lives or business. It should therefore convey an understanding of your customers’ needs and your dependability in meeting those needs – whether they’re practical or aspirational.

Brand differentiation
Chances are, you’re not the only brand offering what you do – or at least something very similar. Plus, you might not be the cheapest (and that’s by no means the best business or marketing model to adopt). In almost any sector or market, differentiation is key, and a strapline that stands you apart in a way that’s truly unique to you can work wonders and become a central asset to your brand.

A strapline can speak volumes
A strategically thought-out strapline can genuinely set you apart from your competitors. Done well, it can express a lot in just a few words, and become integral to your brand and how people perceive you. Ultimately, it should be recognisable on its own, as being yours – like the famous examples above.

Concise, precise and powerful

We’ve extensive experience creating straplines for all kinds of businesses. For Liven Creative’s opinion on your existing strapline, or developing a new one to boost your brand, simply drop us a line.

Get in touch to find out more…