By Rob Kinslow, Sr. Strategist, Brand Communication, KHJ Brand Activation
Time for a quick little game: match the tagline to the company (answers below):
Note that this is not meant to be an exhaustive list or a Top 7. My criteria were: the company has to have a tagline (the line tagged to its logo) identifiable on its web site; it is a company that appears frequently here on MassDevice; and the company is viewed as a major player in med devices (versus diagnostics). In other words, these were not cherry-picked. I simply went looking and this is what I found.
So, how did you do? Notice anything? Do any of these stand out?
It’s not unusual for a medical device company to spend a good deal of time and money figuring out what its tagline should be. After all, a tagline should capture the company’s essence and promise and, ideally, last a good long time. And yet—and not to cast aspersion on any of the above organizations—the end result often sounds as if someone entered some data into a Mad Lib-type computer program and it spat out “VERB + NOUN + LIFE.”
On one level that shouldn’t be surprising. All of these companies are driven by the notion of helping people live better and maybe even longer. On another level, one could argue that that could be assumed of any med device company. It’s already implied, already understood. So don’t tell me what you do. Tell me why. Tell me what drives you and your mission. Don’t be predictable. Be evocative. Evoke some emotion. You’ll have customers and prospects connecting with your brand more strongly.
For that reason, for my money, “People inspired” stands out. Not only does it speak to passion and look outward (rather than inward and thus feel insular) … it’s a bit different. This company refuses to fall in with the pack. I like that. I’ll bet physicians do, too. They’re inundated with marketing messages that sound similar. If most companies sound the same, prospective customers might surmise that they’re not very different from one another. That’s when price becomes the differentiator, which is exactly where you don’t want to be.
Of course, a tagline by itself does not make or break a business. A tagline by itself does not drive sales. What a tagline does do is make a first impression. My question to you is: wouldn’t you rather have that first impression make a lasting impression?
ANSWERS: 1. d, 2. e, 3. f, 4. g, 5. a, 6. c, 7. b.
This is the Brand and Beyond™ blog, a new resource for the medical device industry. Brand and Beyond™ is sponsored by KHJ, headquartered in Boston, MA. KHJ is a strategic brand activation firm that is passionate about helping people see and realize what’s possible for themselves and the world around them.