Last Updated on November 10, 2017
First of all, here’s what a tagline is not: It’s not a proverb, motto, maxim or saying. It’s also not a mission statement or a generic description of what your company is and does. A tagline is a succinct phrase or slogan (typically seven words or less), usually situated under or alongside your logo, that communicates a single but powerful brand message that resonates strongly with an intended audience. An organization can have more than one tagline. Taglines can be used to accompany and modify a corporate name, a subsidiary, a product line or even an individual product. They can be used to drive a marketing campaign or used internally to motivate employees, partners or distributors.
Varieties of Taglines
There are four different kinds of taglines: those that are descriptive of function, descriptive of character, aligned with a particular category, or descriptive of a need or wish.
Descriptive of function
These taglines focus on the aims and concerns that describe your company’s mission, purpose or overriding benefit.
Descriptive of character
These taglines focus on the distinguishing attributes that reveal your company’s character and core values-the consistent qualities expected from your brand.
Aligned with a category
These taglines focus on the alignment of your company with a recognized category or class that lends it prestige and credibility, and gives it new meaning or added value.
Descriptive of a need or wish
These taglines focus on those cherished needs, wishes and aspirations that suggest the successful attainment of an abstract goal or desired outcome.
A tagline is a sentence that artistically sums up the solution that your company can provide. A tagline is the key message for your business and is important part of your promotional writing. Getting it right, however, can be difficult. The shorter a description is, the more challenging it is to write. If your tagline is clever enough, people will remember it and forever associate it with your business. You can craft an effective tagline by following theses steps:
Make a note of what captures YOUR attention. When you see an advertisement on a billboard, TV commercial, or in a magazine or newspaper that catches your attention, write down what it is that makes it memorable. You already know it works because it affected you, so you know that you’re taking notes from the best of the business.
Write down everything you can think of that relates to your business. Start big and end small. List everything important and worth mentioning pertaining to your business, then narrow it down by eliminating anything too general or that is not a central point. Keep phrases like ‘helping people’ and ‘total business solutions’ out, since they are so generic. Read everything over and strategically decide what should be eliminated until you are left with 3-4 main points and take it from there.
Keep it short. Taglines should be no more than 8-10 impact words. Use words that are positive in nature and spark interest. For example, if you were writing a tagline for the word ‘tagline,’ you might come up with “Tagline… simple and memorable.”
Develop several taglines before deciding on one. With those 3-4 points, develop several taglines. Read them out loud to make sure that they are easily repeated. Gather opinions by asking friends and even strangers what the tagline is telling them about your business and make sure that it’s the message you want to send. The key here is NOT to tell people what your business does, but let them try to figure it out by the tagline.
Use your tagline everywhere. After selecting a tagline, put it everywhere! Make sure it’s on your business card, your website, located on your logo, etc. You need to publicize it so that people will know it and remember it.
Let it change. Although many taglines are timeless (“A diamond is forever,” “Unleash a jaguar,” “It’s the best part of waking up.”), don’t be afraid to let your tagline change and evolve as your business evolves and you change focus.