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We spoke to the brand experts to share their thoughts on brandtags

Corporate News


28 Nov 2016

Interview with Bill ANG

Mr Bill ANG is the brand communications strategist and storyteller at Billang Consulting in Singapore. He also teaches at La Salle College of the Arts.


Q. What, in your opinion, is a good brand?

I like how Marty Neumeier describes it in his book “The Brand Gap”. A good brand is a charismatic one – for which people believe there is no substitute. It is unique in its view of the world we live in, and in its delivery of solutions that better the way we go about our lives. It is therefore innovative, collaborative and most importantly, communicative.


Q. Does a brand always need a tagline?

Of course it’s great if you have a good tagline, but terrible if you settle for a mediocre one. Taglines or slogans can be great extensions to brand names. They embody the uniqueness of the company, its vision, or its products and services. On the other hand, a poorly crafted tagline can be the source of many headaches, confusion or worse, ridicule.


Q. What are the three most important characteristics of a successful brand tagline?

Simplicity is paramount – for instance, “The Carrier Man Can”, “I’m Lovin’ It”, “Melts in your mouth, not in your hand”, or “So good you can eat it on its own”. Next, is functionality. It needs to capture what it is that makes the company different, or explain its products and services. Finally, it needs to be honest. In other words, people should believe you can deliver on the promise.

Interview with Danny LYE

Mr Danny LYE was erstwhile General Manager of FITCH Singapore, a global retail branding and design agency.


Q. What, in your opinion, is a good brand?

A brand is more than just products and services, organisation, a cause or an idea, but the perceptions and emotions held together by the experience with the consumers. A famous quote by Walter Landor, a pioneer in branding since 1941, said, ‘products are made in factory, but brands are created in the mind’, still holds true in current times.

A good brand knows their target audience and delivers on their brand promise. The ‘good’ they deliver, beyond excellent products and services, matters. A good brand strategises to stand out, builds relationships and engages their target audience in a dialogue. This engagement exists online, in the digital and social media space, and offline, where physical space and human service still matters. A seamless brand experience drives a deeper level of relevance and sustains the brand and the business.

Q. Does a brand always need a tagline?

A brand does not always need a tagline, BUT it has an important role to play in communicating what the brand does and its purpose. A tagline is useful for new brands entering into a competitive landscape, or brands that have repositioned themselves and hence need to better express their new offers. It can communicate a brand’s aspirations supporting the brand promise. Allow me to share some examples with you.

KFC’s “Finger Lickin’ Good” communicates not just good taste with its special recipe but the experience of enjoying fried chicken, even getting your hands messy. Then there are the corporate brands like FedEx’s “The World On Time” when it launched its new identity. The tagline is confident and succinct, communicating the world as their global reach, and that punctuality is never taken for granted in their line of business. More importantly, it supports their broad service offerings and positioning as an industry leader.

Tagline, when used appropriately, can help to shape vision and drive business forward with a common goal of succeeding and delivering on the brand promise.

Q. What are the three most important characteristics of a successful brand tagline?

In my experience, a successful brand tagline supports the brand promise. The three most important characteristics are:

  • Succinct: expressed in a few words but clear and easy to understand.
  • Memorable: it triggers positive emotions, is easy to remember and special.
  • Inspiring: it harnesses the brand promise, helps to bring people together and is future-led.

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