10 Ways To Build A Winning Brand Story: Part 5 of 10


By Jed Morley, CMO at Consensus

This 10-part article explains how to create a compelling brand story for your company, products and services. Great brands are great stories that are always in the process of being told, refreshed and continued. Great brand stories are easy to recognize and sometimes happen intuitively, but a clear framework can improve your chances of success.

If you missed it, read 10 Ways To Build A Winning Brand Story: Part 4 of 10

Part 5 of 10: Brand Description, Brand Descriptor and Tagline

There are three related elements of brand messaging that are important to distinguish from one another: the brand description, descriptor and tagline.

Brand Description

The brand description is sometimes called an “elevator statement” or “elevator pitch”. Ideally, it’s a single sentence and it answers the question “What is the brand?” in clear, literal terms. A good description is memorable and easy to grasp. It doesn’t do the work of a slogan or tagline, which tries for something that has more impact. Unlike a tagline, a descriptor isn’t a play on language or a turn on phrase.

Brand Descriptor

A brand descriptor is a shorthand version of the brand description. For example, a brand description like “Product X is the most powerful and convenient way to connect with the people who matter most” converts into a descriptor like this: “Powerful business connection”. Descriptors can be descriptive taglines.


A tagline can be different than a descriptor by being more evocative, less literal. Taglines are often meant to create a spark in the customer’s mind through an evocative image or turn of phrase to get them to see something fresh or memorable about the brand or convey some key quality of it in a powerful, forceful way. A tagline takes the idea of the descriptor and trades literal clarity for emotional impact and stickiness through other means. A well-written tagline verges on poetry almost.

Along with the name, a tagline is the first verbal asset that people encounter for a brand. It’s all about the strong first impression it makes. It sets expectations and creates interest or intrigue about the brand.

A good test for a tagline from Applied Storytelling’s standpoint is that it should work as the title for the brand narrative. The narrative brings together all of the ideas and themes that are central to the brand. The tagline should work as the title of the narrative—and the narrative should support the tagline.

Taglines are not absolutely essential. Not all brands require or benefit from having a tagline. Sometimes it’s better to let the brand impression be more open-ended and allow other elements for the brand do more of the heavy lifting and create expectations and set up the experience.

An example would be Prada. High-end luxury and fashion brands categorically don’t use taglines. In fact, they use very little language at all. Instead, they rely on the power of imagery. Messaging is much more dialed back. It’s about the appearance: what you see, the image, the look. Words would get in the way of the visual appeal of what’s on offer. Taglines wouldn’t contribute to the story or would be counterproductive.

Nike’s “Just Do It” tagline conveys its commitment to inspiring and motivating athletes with the world’s most innovative performance-driven athletic products and, at the same time, transcends Nikes product categories and resonating with people from all ways of life as a cultural mantra.

Consensus helps salespeople discover, educate and engage all of the members of the buying committee by automatically personalizing your product demo for them.

About Consensus

Consensus is Software as a Service (SaaS) that automates custom product demos to accelerate sales. Our interactive demo platform personalizes video and documents so each prospect automatically learns about your solution in the most relevant way. This cuts sales cycles and increases close rates. Our Demolytics™ dashboard helps you discover and engage the entire buying committee by gathering analytics and tracking who’s involved, what’s important to them, what they watched, and who they shared it with. This drives consensus and gets to a purchase decision much faster than traditional sales methods. Clients have cut their sales cycles by 68% and jumped close rates by 27%.

Consensus is Intelligent Demo Automation that scales your presales function.