In my last couple of posts, I talked about why I liked the tagline that Workflowy uses and the tagline that Xero uses. Today I’ll cover another example I enjoy.
Friends make products. Enemies make documentation. – Pragmatic Marketing
Pragmatic doesn’t make software, but they promote a framework (and train and certify software people in it) for building and marketing software. Their framework is aligned with Agile, and this tagline is a clear shout-out to the second “value” statement in the Agile Manifesto,
“[we have come to value]: Working software over comprehensive documentation.”
Those of us in the industry that use some version of agile-based processes to create products will immediately identify with this statement – especially those of us that “grew up” in a waterfall environment. So, to that end, this tagline is both entertaining and functional. People that don’t know anything about Pragmatic will at least discern that they rely on an iterative approach to product development and marketing in their framework.
In my last post, I talked about why I liked the tagline that Workflowy uses on their home page. Today I’ll cover another example I enjoy.
Beautiful accounting software – Xero
Beautiful and Accounting are not two concepts that we normally put together. Really, nothing associated with accounting seems beautiful, except perhaps to accountants themselves. However, as a small business owner, I can tell you that accounting software can be a nightmare, even for a tech-savvy person who isn’t afraid of numbers and has a decent understanding of accounting. So, for any accounting software company to care about making a beautiful product is one huge step forward for those of us that have to use it – and for a company to actually deliver on that is an even bigger deal.
In the long run, I think Xero will need to come up with another tagline – the more competition there is, the more sophisticated users become, the more we will expect beauty in the products we use – but for now, I think they’re using their tagline to make an important statement about an element that distinguishes them from the competition, when competition in this area largely relies on pricing. There are some feature differences between various tools, but accounting software has to do largely the same thing because it’s such a well-defined practice.
In the meantime, though, I enjoy using Xero, both for its aesthetics and its functionality.
The tagline has long been an instrumental tool in a company’s marketing toolbox. Short and sweet, the objective of the message is to draw you in for one purpose or another, be it an attempt at direct persuasion (sales), a catchy phrase that sticks in your head and is easily recalled (brand recognition), or an entertaining or inspiring note that triggers an emotional response or molds your perception of a product, service, or company (brand culture/identity/philosophy).
I personally am most interested in those taglines that convey culture, philosophy, or identity in some way. As humans, we are wired for connection, and though we may normally think about that in terms of connection to other people, we clearly also connect with brands and products. I’m sure you have friends or family members that swear by the make of car they drive or have been members of the Apple cult since Day 1.
As a software geek, I regularly try new products, and like most software users today, there are many things that matter to me beyond the pure function of a given tool. Company philosophy and personality are one of those extras that grow in importance as more and more solutions are created in a given space. The short tagline a company uses to express itself can contribute or detract from the overall image it attempts to put forth. Here’s one I like:
Organize your Brain. — Workflowy.
I wrote a high-level review about how enamored I was with this tool last year, and I still hold a fondness in my heart for Workflowy (even though I hate the name itself). In this case, I like the tagline because it is an utterly simple explanation of why you should use this software. If you’re someone that thinks in lists and outlines and just wants to get things done, you’ll swear by the elegant simplicity of this product. I’ve seen another tagline on their site that I like a bit less. When logged in, you’ll find a short note at the bottom of your screen that says, “Make lists. Not war.” Cute, maybe – but it doesn’t grab me on an emotional level on par with the product itself.