What’s in a tagline? Exploring the branding story for The Benchmarking Project.


Defining your organisations voice and vision is the single most important communications decision you can make. Understanding the value proposition of your organisation provides the impetus to creating the right brand tools for the job at hand.

That job, in the case of TBP is a brand logo and tagline capable of engaging the widest possible audience in our fundraising sector, while being strong and clear, AND NOT alienating anyone.

From here, we create the total brand communications suite. .

Our approach to brand development is all about nailing down the proposition, and then exploring the myriad opportunities, correlations and outcomes that come from putting ideas on the page.

How does a system relate to a story?

How does a vision relate to a voice?

How does a methodology turn into a messaging matrix?

We might determine a brand as a logo and tagline, but in reality, it’s much more. Your final decisions will define how you communicate along every touch point in your internal and external journeys.

Dan Geaves has already outlined the process of coming up with the visual style, through stylescapes. So let’s look at the journey of language.

Sometimes organisations have abstract or evocative names, like Redkite, or legacy names, like Vinnies, the Salvation Army. But in the case of The Benchmarking Project, you’ve got a name that is very Andy Warhol. It says what it is on the can.

There’s a reason a brand needs a name, and a tagline. ‘Nike’ wouldn’t have captured our imagination if it’s tagline was ‘Running shoes.’

By seeing this, we hope you get a greater understanding of the role of language development in the brand story, and how specific styles influence communication.

All brand work for TBP was based on the agreed proposition:

You can tap into and contribute to the collective wisdom required to shape the best possible external view of your fundraising programs.

Tagline 1:

Shape your future, empowered by community.

This first option took the value proposition, quite literally. Keeping agreed language and framing it as an offer to the fundraising sector.

Tagline 2:

It’s not just data, it’s your story.

Here we took a lateral approach, providing a stance from TBP and directing that stance at clients. We wanted to keep the key metric of data front and center, while framing TBP’s specialisation — turning that data into a meaningful, purposeful narrative.

Tagline 3:

Objective. Shared. Yours.

We already know it’s a Benchmarking Project, so here we decided to outline ‘what kind were they’. The secret of this line’s strength is in its confidence. By saying less, we say a great deal about the boldness and ‘sector-expertise’ of TPB.

Tagline 4:

Good thinking, everyone.

In a totally different way, this tagline works with colloquial recognition to bring confidence to TBP. It is the kind of comment that is thrown away at the end of every group meeting. Here we bring it to the fore with a comment on collective wisdom and shared outcomes, harkening back to the proposition in an unexpected way.

Tagline 5:

It takes a village to raise a charity.

Again, bringing levity to a serious subject was possible, without breaking proposition. Here we took a truism and twisted it. The purpose of a line like this is to give the audience something they recognise and a flip they can enjoy from within that recognition.

Approved tagline:

Your data tells the story.

The approved line works to capture the essence of TBP’s view of the central tool of their work, data. This simple, effective line speaks with wisdom and confidence, providing the sector with a promise of collective insight driving action.

As the launch of The Benchmarking Project’s new brand begins, you can look forward to seeing how a new tone of voice and brand style informs the new collateral, and elevates the sector’s embrace of this critical tool for fundraisers.