What’s Your Strapline?
What is a strapline?
Marketing professionals use the term ‘strapline’ to describe a phrase that becomes identified with a company. Branding expert Caroline Gibson:
A company’s strapline is a long-term property and will be legally registered as a company asset.
A strapline sums up the essence of a brand or company. It does more than describe what the product does; it should encapsulate what the company stands for, its values, and its personality. It should be short enough to be remembered and memorable enough to stand the test of time – always a sign of successful thinking. No wonder Avis resurrected its brilliant 1962 line “We try harder” in 2014 having dropped it only two years earlier.
It should position the company in the context of its competitors and in the mind of the consumer – straplines like Apple’s “Think different” and L’Oréal’s “Because you’re worth it” have appeal because they say something valuable, aspirational and inspirational to the consuming public.
Some of the best ones have been around for eons. “Never knowingly undersold” has underpinned everything John Lewis stands for since 1925; it’s even hard to remember what even Nike used before creating “Just do it” in 1988. The Nike line has become so synonymous with the brand and what it stands for, the ads don’t even have to carry it anymore.
Some straplines are so blindingly simple, such as De Beers “A diamond is forever” and Imperial Leather’s “Rare but good” and Nokia “Connecting people”, you wish you’d been at the pitch. And some have a double whammy by cleverly adding in the company name, such as “Mum’s gone to Iceland” or “You can do it when you B&Q it”.
There’s a current trend in communication for brands to forego the strapline. The usual excuse is that the brand can’t be tied down by one simple phrase; the reality is something else. As time goes on, it’s harder and harder to write fresh and unique lines which make sense and work across a number of commercial activities, for a range of consumers, through a number of communications channels. Witness the esoteric nonsense of most car brand straplines (Mercedes – “The best of nothing”; Ford – “Go further”) and how often they keep changing!What’s The Difference Between A Headline, Strapline, Tagline And Slogan? Caroline Gibson
It’s fair to say there are, as yet, no identifiable straplines in the kombucha industry. If you covered up the left column in the lists below, it’s unlikely consumers would be able to guess which brands they belonged to. That’s not surprising since this is such a new industry. Indeed it took decades for brands such as Budweiser in the US to become known as the “King of Beers” or Schlitz to be “The beer that made Milwaukee famous” or, in Ireland draft Guinness to be recognizable as “Good things come to those who wait.”
Hopefully, Booch News has an appropriate strapline:
Kombucha brand straplines
We selected the top 20 brands for the UK and California based on Google search volume, with statistics provided by Searchabull – a Consumer Search Insight agency that has created reports to increase the understanding of the kombucha market.
The strapline for each was selected from (in order):
- The product label, absent this
- Social Media – starting with the Instagram profile, absent this
- Website – the most prominent text on the page.
There were some brands where no strapline was apparent, even after checking these three places. In this case, we made a judgment call from whatever was available.
We hope this allows brands to compare their terms with others. How can this help?
This might be the first time you’ve seen your brand listed alongside 19 others. You can see if you are in a crowded space (Wellness) or one less popular (Taste, Provenance). Remember, these are the terms consumers absorb, consciously or, more likely, unconsciously, as part of your brand identity.
The goal of publishing these lists is only a step in helping analyze the current state and trends in the industry.
|The new revolution in Kombucha!
|Taste is everything.
|Live Sparkling Soda.
|Authentic Since 2003.
|Gutsy Captain Kombucha
|Boost your body. Mind the gut.
|Brewed for Good.
|Organic sparkling fermented tea.
|Live-cultured, unfiltered kombucha
|Left Field Kombucha
|Craft Brewed Fermented Tea.
|Lo Bros Living Drinks
|Doin’ good with every drink.
|Sparkling Fermented Tea.
|Raised in a Small Glass Jar.
|Naturally sugar free.
|No 1 Living Drinks
|Full of Life.
|Naturally Fermented Sparkling Tea.
|Want a healthy dose of flavour? There’s a Remedy for that.
|Handcrafted in Derby.
|You and I
|Drinks with benefits.
|Sparkling Probiotic Goodness.
|Boochcraft Hard Kombucha
|Boochcraft is Different. Good Different.
|Handcrafted In Berkeley.
|Refreshingly Real Kombucha.
|Organic Sparkling Fermented Tea with Added Probiotics.
|Living foods for the living body.
|Bubbly probiotic teas for a happy gut.
|Experience Kombucha with Soul.
|Sacramento’s first kombucha taproom.
|Lovers of live probiotics.
|It’s kombucha, only better.
|Living Tea for Living Life.
|Active Culture Probiotic Tea.
|Inspired by Nature. Live Easy. Have fun.
|Bubbly beverages for your gut.
|Strainge Beast Hard Kombucha
|Unapologetically Unique Hard Kombucha.
|The Bu Kombucha
|Smooth Brewed to Taste Good and Feel Good.
|Super Tasty Classic & Hard Booch.
|Crafted with Organic Tea & Honey.
We categorized the words in one of four ways:
- Health: the strapline mentions gut health, probiotics, or that it’s alcohol or sugar-free.
- Taste: Specific use of the word ‘taste’, ‘flavor’, or implication that it is taste-forward (such as ‘sparkling’).
- Wellness: Less specific health-related claims.
- Provenance: Statement of heritage or location.
A count shows that most brands can be identified with wellness, which is soft version of health, and might talk about taste in other messages.
In some cases, it’s arguable if the slogan is Health or Wellness, “Living foods for the living body” could fit in both categories. Within the Wellness category, there’s a possible further division. Some brands focus on wellness because of the product (“It’s kombucha, only better”), the second group highlight the lifestyle benefits (“Living Tea for Living Life”).
As discussed above, there’s no ‘iconic’ kombucha strapline. It’s unlikely there ever will be. Only the world’s largest brands with massive marketing budgets would ever get to the level of a memorable strapline.
A good strapline creates a strong and clear brand image in the customer’s mind. Together with your logo, typography (font), and colors, your strapline defines your business in your customers’ eyes. It communicates your USP, defines your business, and helps set you apart from other beverages on the shelf. A good strapline will often evoke emotion and create a clear image and place for your business and brand in the customer’s mind. Likewise, as I’ve noted before, the semiotics (symbolic meaning) of your images Instagram communicate certain brand messages.
Indeed, it’s crucial to consider this from the customer’s point of view and aim to capture what you do for people in a few words to convey this succinctly. Consider the reaction a consumer feels when they read your strapline. What do they need? Is it something healthy, something that will make me feel better, or something that tastes great? Consumer needs should drive brand decisions.
A kombucha brand should make a decision about the type of consumer they want to appeal to based on where they position the product. Being very health focused might appeal to a relatively small target audience. Likewise being “Handcrafted in Derby.”
Of course, the success of a kombucha brand does not depend on the strapline. Many businesses market and sell successfully without a strapline. They do a good job, become familiar with customer tastes, and build a good reputation and a strong business.
This post was developed with the assistance of Searchabull. The content of this article is accurate to the best of our knowledge and is presented for general informational purposes only.