Brands don’t change their taglines often.
When they do, it’s often part of an evolution to solidify their position and idea in the mind of the audience.
This tends to happen when a brand has a high level of awareness in the marketplace and relies less on the tagline to provide a memory shortcut.
Once the brand enters the long-term memory of the audience, the job of the tagline can shift to crystallise the overall idea.
Two examples of taglines, which crystallise the idea of the brand, are:
Nike: Just Do It (1988)
Apple: Think Different (1997)
Both these taglines were adopted with unparalleled brand awareness already established.
In the early stages of developing a brand, the brands low level of awareness means that the tagline needs to focus all its energy on establishing its position in the mind, rather than the big idea.
Positions are solidified through the difference offered in the marketplace, which means, brand builders need to develop taglines that are laser focused on the differentiation strategy.
This means there are two stages to the tagline.
Stage 1: Solidify The Position
Stage 2: Crystallise The Idea
The tagline doesn’t need to change as it advances from stage one to stage two though it often does.
Regardless, when developing a tagline for a new brand, it needs to be developed to solidify the position with a focus on the differentiator.
Once that position has been established and held for an extended period of time, it can evolve into phase two, when it shifts focus to crystallise the idea.
If a tagline can capture both the idea and the differentiator then it should, though establishing the initial position is the primary focus.