Researched Taglines Attract Consumers

An interview with Casey Boccia, Creative Director, Devaney & Associates

Researched Taglines Attract Consumers

Researched Taglines Attract Consumers 348 464 Hutchison Law

Companies excel at telling consumers what they do. However, many companies struggle with telling consumers why to choose their company over their competitors. In this interview with Casey Boccia, Creative Director of Devaney & Associates, a full-service advertising, marketing, and public relations firm, we learn how to attract consumers with a market-researched tagline.

Casey asks client companies, “What’s your big WHY statement?” The answer may be short and sweet. Casey points out that “the easiest way to distill that in a way that everyone understands, and is extremely market-ready to use, is a tagline.”

A tagline is a form of trademark. Casey and her colleagues begin tagline development with discovery. Discovery comprises primary and secondary research, such as learning stakeholder perspectives and identifying market trends, respectively. Consider, for example, a county interested in drawing new residents to its borders. Stakeholders of a tagline for the county may include new residents, long-term residents, county officials, and local employers. Interviews with these stakeholders will yield primary research results. Searches of, for example, new mover trends, home buying trends, and how neighboring counties position themselves provide secondary research results. The primary and secondary research provides important discovery results.

Casey and her colleagues also gather trademark search results. Trademark rights go to the earliest user of the trademark, so a search of the Internet answers the question, “Who is already using a similar tagline and can stop me from using the tagline?” Tagline research may also comprise a search of a registration database for prior registered and confusingly similar trademarks. These searches answer the question, “Who can stop me from registering and protecting my tagline?” Casey and her colleagues develop taglines in view of discovery results, trademark search results, and creativity.

“Once we have some ideas that we love and have vetted, we present our short list of ideas to the client.” A client may decide to “run with the tagline” or “test this idea with focus groups or some other form of market research.” The focus group and market research will answer the question, “Will my tagline draw consumers to my goods or services?”

Casey describes the market research process: “We test ideas with various study sizes and methodologies, ranging from one-on-one phone interviews and small group workshops to large online surveys.” Focus group participants or survey takers are “a reflection of the target audience we want to reach with our end product.” Analysis considers both quantitative and qualitive results. “You can look at it very quantitatively, but there’s a lot of nuance in the qualitative stuff, the comments, and the open-ended feedback you get.” A final list of suggested taglines may comprise a “winner” from a quantitative perspective, as well as taglines that “people seem to have a really deep emotional reaction to.” Qualitative analysis is key – “We want people to have a deep emotional feeling to whatever we are creating, as that creates brand loyalty.”

At the end of the day, it is up to the client to say, “This is the tagline that feels right to us.” Casey explains, “A tagline is a way to convey your brand promise.” The company must be ready, willing, and able to deliver on that promise.

I want to thank Casey Boccia for sharing her expertise on market research and tagline development. To learn more about Devaney & Associates, please visit Devaney & Associates.

Hutchison Law, LLC has experience performing trademark searches and preparing and filing trademark applications to protect trademark rights. To learn more about our intellectual property practice, please contact us at 410-978-7287 or

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