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Now that I’m back in marketing as a full-time employee, there’s pressure on me to come up with a snappy tagline for the credit union. It’s a fact that there have been taglines so clever they have boosted sales, enhanced reputations, and found their way into popular culture.

According to that fount of knolwedge Wikipedia “A tagline is a variant of a branding slogan typically used in marketing materials and advertising. The idea behind the concept is to create a memorable phrase that will sum up the tone and promise of a brand.”

 So a tagline is a promise or a rallying cry of sorts.

You remember these gems:

Got Milk?

Just do it.

It’s the Real Thing.

Or how about these classics?

Delta: We’re ready when YOU are.

United Airlines: Fly the Friendly Skies….(insert sound of needle sliding across a record album). What? Wait a minute.

A  clever tagline cannot help a bad company? A clever tagline could actually piss people off and be used against you? Hell yes. And that’s why I eschew taglines for credit unions.

This year I had to admit I was pretty impressed with the new Best Buy ads. In fact, if I saw one zipping by as I was TiVoing past these intrusions, I’d stop and back up.

It showed a mom shopping at Best Buy and being so impressed with their seleciton and prices – the clerk made the remark “Santa Claus better watch out.”

Cut to Christmas Eve, Santa’s come down the chimney with his paltry little presents and the smug mom nodding at the Best Buy bounty under the tree would say “Game on Santa.” That’s right – cuz Best Buy is better than you old fat man in your red sweatty suit.

Best Buy ruined Christmas and what little reputation they had left when they advertised free shipping on Black Friday and later said “Oops, we can’t fill most of those orders because the response was so overwhelming, so you’re screwed. Merry Christmas.” 

Game Over Best Buy.

Time to review your credit union’s promise. Here are just a few I found:

“Invested in Your Financial Health”
“We’re here for you!” (found at least six examples with one Google search)
“Everything we do, we do for you.” 

Are you fulfilling the promise? Or could it be used as a weapon?

I will end with my personal favorite credit union tagline. And yes, they paid an agency to come up with this.

Wait for it.

“Serves you right.”


If the caveman invented the wheel – why did it take us so long to put them on luggage?

One might also ask – “If Hallmark invented the greeting card why did it take them so long to sell them “postage paid?”

You may go back to work now. Thanks for listening.


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December 2011