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The benefits of signposts for boosting your brand


The benefits of signposts for boosting your brand


Katharine Milner has four examples of when brands have used powerful taglines to build context and brand awareness.

Katharine Milner headshotMarketers spend a long time thinking about when and where consumers use their products, and even how to crack the product out of its traditional time and place into a new one (cereal for a late night snack anyone?)

But some brands have embraced the notion of signposting usage in their tagline, in the hope of confirming the place and time in people’s minds. Does this give them an edge when it comes to being first choice in that occasion?


V energy drink: ‘your afternoon wake-up call’

I think many of us who work in an office could relate to the idea of the 3.00 pm afternoon slump. Coffee, chocolate, cola, or how about a V? When it first launched, the slogan alone cleverly put the product into my consideration set, even though I wasn’t an energy drink consumer.


Extra: ‘eat, drink, chew’

There’s a perception that chewing gum is an impolite thing to do. The more it is linked to doing something good for you, the less like a rebellious act and more like a gesture of good manners it becomes. A line that puts gum firmly as an after eating behaviour aims to do two things: create a habit that encourages more usage, and an opportunity to position the product with appealing benefits like freshening your breath, or even cleaning your teeth.

Hardly an act of teenage gum chewing rebellion and a great reminder of when to pull out a pack.

Cadbury Favourites: ‘what to bring when you’re told not to bring a thing’

An inspired strap line that places the product firmly in my mind as something to take to other people’s houses when they are doing all the work. It’s a category story about boxes of chocolates being great gifts but a specific sign post as to where Favourites fit in the whole category. Classic problem/solution advertising.


Berocca: ‘big days start with Berocca’

Moving away from ‘b..b..bounce’ tagline and its common usage as a hangover cure, Berocca went with a slogan that plants the usage occasion for a boost at the beginning of the day, not just to make up for the night before. In doing this, Berocca merges the benefit and the suggested consumption time together.


Claytons: ‘the drink you have when you’re not having a drink’

A product from my childhood, Claytons was a non-alcoholic, non-carbonated drink, coloured and packaged to look like a bottle of whiskey. But this slogan took a product no-one knew what to do with and transformed it into a solution for occasions when everyone around is having a drink and you want to take it easy, but perhaps still feel like you’re having a drink. I don’t know how the product went down but the brand name went on to become a euphemism for something fake, demonstrating how good advertising can make product names part of the vernacular.


In a world crowded with advertising messages, the opportunity to use occasion messaging in the core brand is worth considering. Giving consumers that extra mental note about how and when to use a product might provide that extra advantage it needs to succeed.


Katharine Milner is head of marketing and new business at The Leading Edge


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