Taglines Are the First Step to Emotionally-Engaged Customers

Parallel to marketing to positioning, which lets you construct how you want people to feel about your brand.

learn more about Jim Joseph

By Jim Joseph • Aug 6, 2014

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

The art of positioning is one of the hardest concepts to grasp in marketing. Sure, we teach it in school, but it's an art and a science that is very difficult to master. I would argue that most marketers struggle with it, and very few actually nail it. It's that hard.

In this new series on Entrepreneur.com, we will de-construct the elusive concept of positioning by breaking it into bite-size pieces so that we can make it real, tangible and applicable to your business and brand.

But first, a definition. What exactly is positioning?

Related: Don't Overlook These Small, Quick Steps to Powerful Brand-Building

Aside from being one of the hardest concepts to grasp, it's also one of the most misunderstood and the most difficult to define.

In its simplest of forms, positioning is how you want your customers to feel about your brand. It's the emotional space you want to occupy in your customer's mind.

If positioning is how you want customers to feel about your brand when they think of it, then it's marketing's job to keep your brand top of mind. Hence the natural relationship between positioning and marketing.

Positioning should be inherently based on emotions -- it's how you want people to feel about your brand. It's not necessarily rational at all.

It's not what your brand does, it's not a claim and it's not a product feature. It's the high-order emotional benefit you bring to people's lives. Think Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs here.

If you are trying to figure out a brand's positioning, there is a clue that can lead you in the right direction: the tagline.

Now the tagline isn't really the positioning either, but it's often a creative articulation of it. Here are a few examples based on my interpretation of these brands' positioning statements as shown in their taglines:

Nike: Just do it.

  • Positioning: Propels me to my athletic best.

Related: The 3 Fundamentals of Wildly Successful Brands

L'Oreal: Because you're worth it.

  • Positioning: Builds my self-esteem and self-worth.

BMW: The ultimate driving machine.

  • Positioning: Allows me to exert my power and control.

Each of these examples shows the emotional qualities of the brand, and what it delivers for its customer. Each puts its customer first, and gives them something to feel, be it personal performance, self-esteem or power.

Notice that the positioning statements don't talk about types of fabrics, scientific ingredients or engine components -- those features are left for product marketing communications.

These statements reflect how the brand wants you to feel when you engage: empowered, confident, in control. The details of how it delivers come after the positioning statement.

These brands want you to feel something about them, because it's the emotion you will remember. It's the emotion that gets you to engage. It's the emotion that positions the brand in your mind. The product features merely provide the rational side of the equation.

The question lurking in your head is probably this: How do I write a positioning statement for my business and brand?

Exactly! That's what this series will be all about -- stay tuned.

Related: Beats $3.2B Sale Proves It's Great, But Not Necessarily at Headphones

Jim Joseph

Marketing Master - Author - Blogger - Dad

Jim Joseph is a commentator on the marketing industry. He is Global President of the marketing communications agency BCW, author of The Experience Effect series and an adjunct instructor at New York University.

Related Topics

Editor's Pick

Have More Responsibilities at Work, But No Pay Bump? Use This Script to Get the Raise You Deserve.
Black and Asian Founders Face Opposition at All Levels — Here's Why That Has to Change
Business News

'This Made Me Physically Recoil From My Phone': Lingerie Brand Apologizes For 'Creepy' Ad Referencing Ryan Reynolds and Bras

Online lingerie retailer Harper Wilde is under fire for a bizarre sponsored post it has since pulled from Instagram.

Business News

Viral Sensation 'Popcorn Guy' Has Earned a Gig at the 2023 Oscars

Jason Grosboll first went viral on TikTok for his theatrical method of buttering popcorn in a Texas movie theater.

Business News

The Scam Artist Who Robbed Backstreet Boys and NSYNC Blind. 'Some of the Guys Couldn't Pay Their Car Payment.'

In the 1990s, Lou Pearlman made millions creating the Backstreet Boys and NSYNC. It was all a giant Ponzi scheme.

Living

Here's Why Hustle Culture Is a Big Lie

The social norm of hustle culture is a scam. The only way to ensure continued success is to take great care of yourself, prioritize your health, recharge your relationships and keep your body and mind fresh and energized.

Business Models

3 Things To Automate In Your Airbnb To Achieve Location Freedom

Many people dream of having passive income through Airbnb. By following these automation tips, you can make that dream a reality.