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John Rose's Blog

About that tagline…

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I have a love/hate relationship with taglines.

On the one hand, the summing up of a brand's proposition and/or personality in one elegant little phrase can make for a compelling marketing tool. Some famous companies have used taglines to completely define themselves in the marketplace. Nike's "Just do it" or Apple's "Think different" spring to mind. Finding just that right twist of phrase can be magic for a brand. That's the love side of my love/hate equation.

On the hate side...most taglines are created by Marketing Zombies and do absolutely nothing for their brand. In fact, I would say that more than a few "lines" have actually hurt the brand to which they have been "tagged". I'm not going to name names. But, you know the ones I'm talking about. The taglines that make incredible, outsized claims, are completely self-serving, absurdly boastful or use hackneyed expressions – usually featuring words like "best", "we" or "quality".

So what should a marketer do? Glad you asked.
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Discounts, Gift-With-Purchase, Prize Drawings or Lifestyle and Travel Rewards? And the winner is…

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It never ceases to amaze me how so many marketing programs are driven more by habit or inertia, and so few are driven by common sense or innovation.

Let’s take sales promotions for example. There are all sorts of promotions. But they basically fall into one of four categories: discounts, gift-with-purchase (i.e. merchandise give-away), prize drawings, and lifestyle and travel rewards. And it would appear, that little research has been done to determine which work best, which will enhance the brand and which may in fact cause long-term damage in spite of any near term success.
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