I am sure when you ask organizational members if they can recall the essence of the vision or mission statement of their company – the answer most likely is ‘no’ or ‘not very sure’. But they do remember the tagline very well. A tagline is a common tool to promote brands. However there are several examples of tag lines adding more appeal to a company’s mission statement. In such cases a tagline becomes a punch line which strikingly sums up what a company believes in.
Absolutely – Positively – Overnight!
The original tagline of FedEx used to be “When it absolutely, positively has to be there overnight.” Just the three words absolutely – positively – overnight best described Fred Smith, founder, president and CEO (FedEx) strategy and business model and perhaps served as a mission statement. The tagline had a powerful emotional appeal to all the stakeholders. Its employees everywhere could imbibe and live the spirit of the mission. Come what may they had to play their own roles to ensure integrity of ‘the three words’. To the customer it became a value proposition.
In 1992 when FedEx decided to expand overseas it changed its tagline to “The World on Time.” Here the tagline not only drives the brand but also powers its mission as – speed and efficiency globally.
Can the tagline of KINGFISHER Airlines, Fly the Good Times with KINGFISHER Airlines also serve as its mission statement?
The answer will depend upon whether Kingfisher can build its group strategy and business model on the tagline. After the merger with Deccan a low cost airline it had to create Kingfisher Red, known formerly as Simplifly Deccan and prior to that as Air Deccan, is a low-cost airline. Therefore strategy formulation on its tagline will can pose a challenge as the focus will be difficult to maintain.
Examples of taglines that power the strategy
Wal-Mart – Always low prices
McDonald’s – I’m lovin’ it
Nike – Just do it
Disney – To make people happy
Mission statement aligns better to the company strategy
A mission statement is the bedrock of a company strategy and a tagline can only in exceptional cases irresistibly project the mission and strategy of the company. If the brand tagline focus is on the customers then a mission statement is directed to the customers and employees – in fact to all stakeholders.
Therefore it is best to us these ‘strategy drivers’ in their respective classical context.