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Marketing What “Matters”

by Ace Van Wanseele

I saw a Mazda commercial last night that ended with “Driving Matters.” Verizon’s current tagline is “Better Matters.” When I walked into Dick’s Sporting Goods during the holidays, the dominant door signage read, “Give a Gift That Matters.” More examples: JC Penney “Every Day Matters,” Expedia “Where You Book Matters.”

Does saying something matters make it more relevant? Not really.

That’s because everything matters to a degree. (In fact, a New York electric company currently uses “Everything Matters” as a tagline.) Stating “Fill-in-the-blank Matters” is not unlike bolding every word in an ad, or highlighting every sentence in a book; if everything is bold or highlighted, then essentially nothing is.

A marketing tagline should reflect the originality of a company.

How many car manufacturers could realistically use “Driving Matters”? All of them. And that’s the problem. Mazda moved away from “zoom-zoom”—which was distinctive and memorable—to a more watered-down tagline instead of reinforcing their unique value proposition (UVP) and accentuating their own personality.

It’s not easy to decide on the singular, differentiating aspect of a company, but it’s essential. And by doing so, there emerges a recognizable focus for employees and customers. It’s impossible to be everything to everyone—successful companies know who they are and their customers do, too.