Brands, Taglines and Good Design

by bxrtley

Today, John Saddington of Desk posted a very important vlog. I think it’s pivotal for the new developments coming soon. And hearing him share the statement below is what I believe all successful brands articulate:

The [Desk] app was created to help people write more and the forum is an extension of that value system, helping people write moreWe are consistent.

I think a few indicators of a strong or healthy brand is when the tagline:

  • aligns with the brand values
  • focuses on the customer
  • challenges the customer as a hero, not victim
  • supports customer by taking role of mentor
  • is short and sweet

“Don’t believe me, just watch”:

  • Nike: Just do it.
  • Delta: Keep climbing.
  • Apple: Think different.
  • Coca-Cola: Open Happiness.
  • Desk: Write more.

Two to three words max. Delta learned the hard way, but finally got it. Coca-Cola’s 2015 tagline is Make it Happy, but last year’s Open Happiness sounds more like a refreshing beverage of joy and less like a McDonald’s Happy Meal. But I get it, 5 syllables is a mouthful.

What’s stronger than a tagline? No tagline at all. Think of Swiss Army or Google. And they might have them, but it’s not a selling point. You know you’re in the top 1% of brands when you don’t even need a ‘how-to’ label. You just work. And people immediately know why you exist and what to do with you. It’s just good design.

I’ve come to realize that I’m loyal to the brands (just two) that mesh an elegant, beautiful, minimalist design with surprising durability and functionality. Software meets hardware. Usability matches “Look-ability”. And I look forward to Desk earning my third Loyalty Membership card. (No pressure, John!)