Taglines And How To Create Them.


Before we go about how to create taglines, let’s understand what makes a good one first. A tagline is a short phrase that seeks to capture a brand’s position, promise, or personality.  Simply put, they are the shorthand for what a brand stands for and what you can expect from it.

Taglines are just as memorable as brand names if formed wisely and reinforced consistently. They have a long shelf life that can be capitalized upon if they become entrenched. Taglines take time to get established and requires consistent nurturing to build a association strong with the brand and audience.

Changes are infrequent, but possible. They may change to reflect pivots in the internal or external environment over time. Swapping taglines frequently only suggests that a brand lacks self-knowledge.

Wait! Aren’t Taglines The Same As Slogans?

It must be clearly understood that taglines and slogans are not the same. Unfortunately, they are often transposed. The key differences between the two are:

  • Taglines do not change frequently, slogans do.
  • Taglines tend to be shorter than slogans, often less than seven words.

Slogans run in sync with advertising campaigns and thus have a shorter a lifespan. Taglines tend to be overarching, of a higher purpose. They tend to provide air support for what’s happening on the ground, a terrain more suited for slogans.

Types Of Taglines

1) CALL TO ACT | Inspires you to act – YouTube – Broadcast Yourself. – Nike – Just do it. – Apple – Think Different.

2) DESCRIPTIVE | Describes the brand or makes a promise – TED – Ideas worth sharing. – Philips – Sense and simplicity – DeBeers –  A diamond is forever

3) SUPERLATIVE | Positions the entity as best in class – BMW – The ultimate driving machine – Lufthansa – No better way to fly – Budweiser – King of beers

4) INTRIGUING | Provokes thought. Usually a question. – Sears – Where else? – Microsoft – Where do you want to go today? – Dairy Council – Got Milk?

5) OBVIOUS | Indicates the entity’s category of business – HSBC – The world’s local bank. – The New York Times – All the news that’s fit to print. – Volkswagen – Drivers wanted

Qualities Of Good Taglines

  • Concise
  • Unique
  • Meaningful
  • Memorable
  • Emotional
  • Associative
  • Inspirational
  • Trademark possible
  • Translatable
  • No Negative Connotations
  • Longevity

How To Create A Tagline In 5 Steps

Always seek input from as many others as possible, inside and outside the organization. Not everyone sees it the way you do. A tagline is a collective effort.

1) Decide what you want to accomplish with your tagline. In short, settle on a type. Do you want to:

  • Inspire your audience to act
  • Compel the audience to think
  • Tell the audience you’re the best there is
  • Describe your brand and what the audience can expect from it
  • Simply tell the audience what you do

2) Write down a few sentences about your business with step 1 as the base.

3) Trim that down to one articulate sentence only.

4) Trim it further to approximately 7 words or less.

5) Ask yourself, “Does this say it all?”

Final thoughts

Many small businesses do not place stock in taglines. Some believe they  create visual noise with no returns. Others believe no one would care. Fact is, taglines are great motivators. They help communicate to new customers and markets what the brand is about, what they can expect, especially if the brand lacks history with them.

Taglines are great for internal purposes as well. Employees understand what’s expected of them, both from the company and customers. Taglines are not afterthoughts. They still matter a lot. They are part of a brand’s identity. How are you using yours today?

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