Is your business tagline sticky?

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Creating a sticky tagline.

A business tagline is an important asset to your company brand. Even though taglines should be simple to create when writing your business plan or brand strategy, let me tell you, it ain’t easy! Don’t believe me? Ask any copywriter, brand strategist, or marketing guru, and you will get an ear-full. Taglines are tricky, and getting it right is vitally important because if you want to craft a message that’s memorable in the eyes of the consumer, it needs to hit your buyers where it matters most: emotionally.

Using services as a tagline is a common mistake.

Businesses often make a very common mistake when it comes to crafting their tagline. This mistake rests on creating a tagline that simply repeats their services. A tagline should not be about what you do, but about the essence of your company. It should focus on encapsulating your internal culture. Nobody cares that you sell widgets A, B and C and they certainly don’t care that you offer services A, B, and C. If they are looking at your product and service, they already know that information. What they care about is what makes you different and how their user-experience with your company will impact them. There are a lot of good examples of taglines, whether they are brand-specific or more targeted to a campaign; some of the most successful even to this day will evoke an emotional response. Does “where’s the beef?” still make you laugh? A great listing of the top 100 taglines can be found here.

Who are you targeting and what’s your USP (Unique Selling Proposition)?

The very first step to creating a sticky tagline is to understand whom you are targeting and what makes your company unique. Marketers will also refer to this as your positioning statement. If you haven’t created your buyer personas yet to identify your target market, read this blog post.

Once you’ve identified who your target market is, the next step is to figure out what makes you different. Every company has a story, and every company has something completely unique that only they can claim. What is your only statement? What is the one thing that only your company can say about what you have to offer that nobody else can? Write these ideas down and don’t stop to think about what you are writing. Just keep going.

Keep your tagline short and sweet.

Once you’ve identified your key phrases about what makes your company unique, it’s time to start creating your business tagline. The trick here is to keep it short, memorable, and functional.

Let’s take a look at some of the best taglines, retired and current, as an example:

Allstate: You’re in Good Hands
Allstate sells insurance, but their tagline doesn’t talk about insurance or their services. Instead, Allstate created a tagline aimed at their customers and what mattered most to them: safety and care.

 Jimmy John’s: Freaky Fast Delivery
While Jimmy John’s sells sandwiches, their focus was based around one word: fast.

Apple: Think Different
It’s not about going with the best of the same types of products, but products that are truly innovative and remarkable.

McDonalds: I’m lovin’ it
Don’t even get me started on McDonald’s food in terms of what it can do to your health, but if there is one thing that they got right, it’s the tagline. It’s not about their unhealthy meal choices (which they have since expanded their menu to include a few healthy options), but about how people feel when they eat it. It IS good. You DO love it, even if your body, blood pressure, cholesterol and waistline don’t.

Nike: Just Do it
It’s not about the products they sell, but about finding your inner athlete.

KitKat: Gimme a break
While this is actually a slogan used for advertising and not a tagline, I think this can serve as an example of one that can be used either way. This is probably one of the most memorable slogans that I remember as a kid. Seriously, I can recite the whole jingle for you right now.

Disneyland: The happiest place on Earth
I’m sure my kids will agree. Disneyland is probably the world’s most favorite amusement park, coining their official tagline.

These examples work because they don’t repeat their service offerings as part of their tagline. They simply encapsulate what they can offer to you that sets them apart from their competitors.

One final thought

Lastly, taglines should evolve with your company. Don’t try to cram too much into one little line. Keep it narrow and specific so that it’s easy to remember. You don’t want to overwhelm your buyers with too much information. Instead, you want to create a trigger and way for them to remember you and your company— even if they don’t remember your name!


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photo credit: loop_oh via photopin cc

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