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Brandlines Part III: 6 Brandline Development Tips

By Drew Letendre

This post is part of a series on brandline development. Read the prior posts in this series:

Brandlines Part I: What Does “For Life” Really Elicit?

What’s Closest to Your (Corporate) Heart?

I wanted to conclude my two previous posts on brandlines with a summary — the big takeaways for me after surveying a swath of the field regarding this common and very important branding tool.

Here are six brandline development tips framed as recommendations:

  1. Say (almost) anything, provided that you passionately mean it (and customers can or do passionately care). Don’t assume brandlines have one narrow, pre-ordained function common in all situations. They don’t.
  2. Create brandlines that are ‘verbalholograms’ or that have multiple layers of meaning. This is both eye- and ear-catching. It proves out innovation, creativity, and efficiency — saying two things with one statement.
  3. Make it unique. Care should be taken to audit (especially) competitive brandlines and slogans and then craft language that clearly separates you from the pack. ‘Quoting’ elements of established brandlines is a risky gamble —  it can quickly ease your tagline into acceptance, based on a perceived sense of familiarity, but it ultimately undermines perception of distinctiveness, originality, and authenticity — prerequisites of a strong brand.
  4. Keep it short. Aim for two to three words (excluding grammatical and logical connectors, like ‘and,’ ‘or,’ ‘the,’ etc.) Brandlines aren’t sentences, they’re expressions, clauses, or fragments. They don’t need to be ‘correct’ or complete.
  5. Give it context or rather, realize that the associated brand (mark) will provide some of the context and do some of the work — let it!
  6. Lock it up! Location, location, location! The clear space zone around your name, your corporate logotype (or ‘signature’) is hallowed ground. Think of it as a reserved parking space where your brandline should literally be written. This unmistakable ‘spatial cue’ will convey the value you place upon the ‘strategic sentient’ expressed therein.
  7. Contact BrandingBusiness if you’re looking to develop a first-ever brandline or replace what you’ve got — BrandingBusiness can help. We know how to do 1-6. Check out the case study for our global client, ABM — for whom we developed the ‘Building Value’ brandline.