In 1969, Hurricane Camille hit Galveston, Texas. Camille caused damage and destruction across much of the Gulf Coast of the United States. A journalist reporting on the aftermath wrote an article that the luckiest neighbors in the area had State Farm insurance.
Two years later, State Farm used the observation to coin the phrase, “Like a Good Neighbor, State Farm is There.” Unless you have lived under a rock you have heard the jingle written by Barry Manilow as well. (updated in 2011 by Weezer) For 45 years this has been their slogan.
State Farm has positioned itself as a community first company. It sets them apart from the giant, corporation feel of most insurance companies. (although I’m with Flo, progressive all the way) It’s a slogan that forms a close relationship with their customers.
Think about when you need insurance. Usually, only when something horrible has happened, a car wreck, a house fire, or an injury. With the slogan “Like a good neighbor, State Farm is there” they make you feel comfortable that no matter what happens your insurance company has your back.
Coming up with a good tagline or slogan is hard. No, seriously it’s hard. That’s part of the reason companies like State Farm keep them for so many years. A good tagline or slogan needs to not only position the brand in that sweet spot but also leave behind the desired message in your customers minds. You want your slogan to express an emotional connection to your customers. If they don’t remember you or your advertisement, they will remember your slogan when done right.
In 1927, a small bran flake cereal advertised in a minor league baseball park in Minnesota. When asking what will be placed on the sign for the ad, they came up with “Wheaties-The Breakfast of Champions”. From then on kids and adults have eaten their Wheaties around the world.
Gives You The Feels
Maya Angelou said, “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” If your company has a great tagline you can form a lasting relationship with them like State Farm, Wheaties or Maxwell House Coffee.
Positive Mental Attitude
Maxwell House Coffee made the claim that President Teddy Roosevelt in 1926 probably, kind of, maybe ( didn’t ) call a Maxwell cup of coffee “good to the last drop” to a reporter. The coffee company has kept the slogan ever since. Who doesn’t want coffee that’s good to the last drop.
Great taglines use words that are positive and upbeat. Just like Maxwell House’s “good to the last drop”. Giving your audience positive feelings about Maxwell House.
Friends With Benefits
In the 1960’s Avis was stuck in second place for car rental companies in America. They acknowledged this and embraced their inner underdog. Robert C. Townsend, the president of Avis Inc., was talking with his ad agency about Hertz’s dominance. When asked “Avis had older cars, fewer rental locations, and similar rates. Why would anybody go to Avis?” The answer was “We Try Harder” in the next two years after adopting the slogan rentals soared by 30 percent. The company has kept this slogan to this day. Making your benefits clear through a short tagline or slogan is key.
Companies have used taglines and slogans for more than 100 years. They can define the motivation or direction of the company. Every company has goals besides generating profit. Corporations and small businesses have slogans to tell the world what makes them special and different. When you have a great slogan or tagline, it can become the centerpiece of your company’s identity.