When KFC came up with its tagline "Finger-Lickin' Good", many consumers resonated with the slogan, instantly associating it with the brand's delicious fried chicken. In China, however, the slogan was translated as "Eat your fingers off". This missed culture consideration, unfortunately, displayed a lack of market knowledge as the idea of licking your fingers was not something the Chinese audience identified with in the same manner as Americans.

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In 2009, HSBC learned an expensive marketing lesson when the bank had to spend $10 million to change its tagline from "Assume Nothing" to "The World's Private Bank''. HSBC spent a significant amount for re-branding as "Assume Nothing" was translated as "Do Nothing" in multiple countries. Also lost in translation, when Pampers advertised with an image of a stork in Japan, it confused consumers. While most western countries may be familiar with the baby and a stork story, the Japanese were not. This lack of research caused the stork imagery to lose its value and Pampers having wasted their marketing efforts.

Effective communication is personalizing your message to ensure you deliver it in a relevant context for your target audience. Being a Consumer-First marketer, we use consumer data to make sure our messages are relevant and understood by our consumers.

In our previous article, we shared how you can get inspiration from consumers to come up with a relevant brand message. Here we go into factors to consider when selecting your message, how to test them with consumers to make sure your message is not lost in translation, confused by culture, or conflicting with current affairs. Here are some considerations to take into account when creating a brand message:

Evaluating Brand Message: Metrics to Measure Messaging Relevancy

Now that you have come up with some ideas for your brand message, you can test the messages to learn what emotions are evoked when consumers read or hear it, and more importantly, the actions they would be inclined to take after being exposed to it. As your brand tagline is not something you change very often, it’s vital to choose one that “speaks” to your consumers and creates positive emotions at all times.

Here are some questions that you can use to test your brand message to find out what emotions does it evoke, and how relevant do consumers find it. If you are unsure of the question formats used below, you can refer to our previous article 'Consumer-First - How to Decide Which Question Type to Use?’, which shares why and when to use certain question types.

You can gain answers to the questions above within 24 hours, using Every. This swiftness allows you to make consumer data-driven decisions on what works, and what doesn’t. Don’t worry if you’re unsure about asking the right questions the right way. With Every, our expert consumer-researchers will review your questionnaire, ensuring your survey delivers actionable insights for you.

Remember that analysing the answers you receive plays a grand role in identifying the tagline that could do great things for your brand. To help you understand how the questions above could help you make a decision on your brand tagline, we’ve run a survey using our platform, Every.

We surveyed 429 Nationally Representative Malaysians from ages 18 and above, to understand their views on the taglines we have come up with for a local fashion brand. Below is the full questionnaire and also an example of how you can analyse your results.

Evaluating your results: Know where to focus

These are a few practical ways you can evaluate the results you receive.

  1. Find consistent words or phrases your consumers have used to describe their feelings toward the taglines you have shared and evaluate if these words match your brand positioning.
  2. Notice if you have received extreme varying answers from your consumers, as it may imply uncertainty or confusion.
  3. Always refer to your research objective, this will help you focus on the results and insights you need, and/or decide if you need to make changes in any categories (e.g consumer age groups, consumer location)

When analysing your results, it will be valuable to look at responses from different audiences. Consumers from the Central regions may favor tagline A, while consumers in Southern regions may prefer tagline B. Additionally, Gen Y consumers may prefer one tagline over another as well. This will provide further insight into which tagline may be best to be used to represent your brand, based on the type of audience or consumers you are targeting.

Learn as much as you can about your consumers. Learn how political, environmental and societal developments change their behavior from time to time. Understand how these changes impact their lives and aim to be on top of their minds through these changes.

Our next article will share ways in which you can evaluate your Product or Campaign Message. We will go more in-depth into understanding the insights you can discover and learn about your product(s) or services in order to create a more purposeful brand and product messaging.


This is our third post on “Your Ultimate Guide to become a Consumer-First Marketer”, our next post “How to Come up With a Product Messaging That Converts (Part 1, Ideating)” will be released in the coming weeks. Subscribe to our newsletter to receive updates when it’s live.