What is a tagline?
A tagline is a short sentence or phrase composed of a few words that capture attention and convey a quick message about your company. Your tagline or slogan should touch the emotions of your customers and express what your company or product can do for them. A tagline is not a mission statement or the promises your business makes to consumers but it’s closely related. It says quickly what you offer or how your product can help them in their daily lives.
Brainstorm a great tagline
Brainstorming is a great way to generate a tagline for your business. Get a few key people from your company, a whiteboard and enjoy the process. Here are some questions to spark your creativity:
- What’s our promise?
- How do we help people?
- Who’s our customer?
- Who’s our competition?
- How can we say this simply?
1. What’s our promise?
Write out your mission statement and the promise you make to your customers. Does your business strive to be reliable, innovative, less expensive, faster, customer-focused? Maybe you use a century-old recipe and your promise is that your product won’t ever change. Don’t worry about grammar or forming complete sentences. The purpose is to get a visual representation so you can form associations between words.
2. How do we help people?
Think about how your company or product helps people or other businesses. Does it make life easier or more enjoyable? Write down all the ways you help and all the adjectives you can think of. If your business is growing, consider your entire range of services or products. What value are you delivering to your customer?
3. Who’s our customer?
Study your target market to understand your customers and their demographics. Are they a distinct or wider group? What are their needs and concerns?
4. Who’s our competition?
Look at your competition and their taglines or slogans. How do you think they arrived at their verbiage? Make a list of the most popular taglines and the words they use to make their tagline sound different. A unique tagline is important and you’ll want to ensure yours is different.
5. How can we say this simply?
Simplify your message. This can be a bit overwhelming, and it may be a good idea to take a break before returning to the project. Put yourself in your customer’s shoes, and ask yourself what would stand out to you. Sometimes the best taglines have nothing to do with the product at all, yet they convey a sense of trust, accountability or the spirit of the company.
Boil it down to five sentences. Then, shorten to one sentence. When you’re happy with that, remove all unnecessary words to simplify as much as possible.
Last thoughts on taglines
Think of taglines that inspire you. Nike’s “Just Do It” slogan, for example, has nothing to do with shoes or apparel. Their message conveys freedom, individuality, aspiration and strength.
Some of the most successful businesses use taglines that convey the benefit their product or service delivers. Some are funny while others promise an experience. Think about some of your favorite taglines and how they convey the personality of the business. Is the “voice” friendly, regional, casual, authoritative, youthful or whimsical?
Test taglines with people you trust. Don’t rush it if you don’t have to, because it’s important that you feel good about it.
Here are some answers to frequently asked questions about taglines:
Why do most companies use taglines?
Taglines, sometimes called slogans, have been around for over a hundred years. Their purpose is to connect consumers with brands using a few keywords. While most people can’t or won’t memorize your entire mission statement, they will remember a good tagline. Taglines tell your customer who you are.
How long should my tagline be?
The general rule is 8 words or less. And even shorter is always better. The best tags require little eye movement. In other words, they don’t require reading.