We can all believe a good story

With the brand values in place, the next part of this journey is to create a narrative that wraps it all together. As individuals, we all buy into stories, it is the way that we have been taught to learn from an early age. The story that a brand presents needs to be simple, easy to understand and replicated in communication. The essence of which is the tagline.

The first line of communication

Taglines are something that can be done well or, in most cases, badly. An example of a bad tagline is one in which the line offers little help in understanding what you do and the way you do it. It is a dry piece of communication in many ways, but it is the foundation from which most communication can build off, which is more creative and fun. A tagline that is too emotive makes little sense if the company is unknown. If I were to say ‘Magnolia Solutions – we make it right’. The question in the mind of the reader is, what do you make right? It leaves the idea of who you are very unclear. Compare that with ‘Jeeves – London’s finest dry cleaners’. Here we have a name that conjures some emotion, and then we have a tag that exactly describes what they are about and adds an element of desirability to it as well.

Once a tagline is in place, other forms of messaging can be derived from the brand values that we have created. What is so cool about these brand values is that we have gone through a process which has concentrated many words down into a few meaningful ones, but now, when it comes to communication, we can take any one of those values and expand it out again to play and have more fun, as long as the meaning of that value is not lost.

Creating the right image

Finally, we bring all these elements together alongside the use of non-literal imagery. The power of non-literal imagery is that it captures the imagination. In communication these days, we have approximately a second and a half for someone to look at something and go ‘hmmm, that looks interesting.’ If the visual we use is too literal it creates no spark of interest. Take for example a picture of a shoe. Regardless of the shoe, a full page of a shoe creates a little interest. However, if that shoe is worn by a sportsman who is doing something very active, sweat pouring from their face, it takes on a little more value. Or, if that shoe is on the floor amongst a load of clothes and an image of a naked person in the background, that can just be made out (apologies to the typical ‘sex sells’ style example), then it might create a little more interest.

Once a non-literal visual can spark some desirability, the next line of communication is the actual message. It has to be short, and thus can be a message, as we mentioned earlier, that can be unpacked from the values. Then, if we are interested, we can discover ‘who did this?’ i.e. the brand name, and ‘what are they about?’, the tag line. And the story has thus unfolded.