The true value of a tagline is how it can inspire an entire workforce.
CEOs love mission statements. Most automotive suppliers have them, but they’re usually so dull and uninspiring they end up languishing in some old, forgotten PowerPoint. Go ahead, ask a co-worker what your company’s mission statement is. Unless they wrote it themselves, you’re likely to get a blank stare.
Here’s a better idea. Boil the essence of your company’s mission down to a short, memorable phrase. A battle cry, in the form of a compelling tagline, that fires up your employees and connects with your customers. When your internal and external messaging work as one, it becomes a powerful force. A source of pride for your team. This is especially important because it’s the employees who actually deliver the brand.
What tagline is right for you?
Some companies use taglines to communicate their purpose and value. Geico’s “15 minutes could save you 15% or more on car insurance” is pretty darn memorable and effective. Other companies with names that don’t telegraph what they do use descriptive taglines. Nuro, which makes self-driving vehicles to transport local goods, uses “Delivering the future of local commerce, autonomously.” Probably a good idea. Some companies, like Apple, Google and Amazon, are so gigantic, they’re household names and don’t need a tagline.
There’s nothing like a battle cry to unify your troops.
If you’re an automotive supplier, you haven’t taken over the world (yet). A tagline is a unique opportunity to unify and inspire your employees. And it helps with recruiting. Before Apple had hundreds of billions in cash, it used the slogan “Think Different.” This appealed to first-time Mac buyers, considering a break from the PC status quo. And it became a powerful mantra for Apple employees. You better believe those two words were ingrained in their heads as they tried to change the world.
I’ve got two strong words for Ford.
Ford is a giant company. People know what they do. Whether or not they need a tagline is debatable. But they made a smart move when they created “Go Further” as part of their new branding effort in 2012. It’s not just a promise that Ford models will exceed the expectations of car buyers. It also inspires every single Ford employee to go the extra mile. “Go Further” has become part of Ford’s culture. And it positions them well for the future, when the automaker promises to build an operating system of networked transportation grids, as well as vehicles.