Tagline, slogan, strapline, motto, catchphrase – there are various words used to describe the same concept, but in essence a tagline embodies the core principles and character of your organisation to provide consumers a sense of your brand and its market position in a few memorable words. It is important to have a powerful tagline, as it should highlight your mission, purpose and identity, as well as set your differences against competition.
Although a tagline is only meant to be a short and crisp sentence, it is amazing how hard it is in order to create an effective one. Often taglines concentrate too much on the wrong aspect of an organisation or are too long, therefore are not memorable and are ineffective.
Some of the greatest taglines are just as recognizable as the brand itself. They include Think Different (Apple), Just do it (Nike), The happiest place on earth (Disney) and A diamond is forever (De Beers). As you can see all of these taglines are powerful, yet simple.
Now you’re thinking ‘well how can I possibly replicate these massive brand’s great taglines?!” The best thing to do is to start at the very beginning. A great tactic in coming up with a great tagline is doing it the old fashion way, by getting out a pen and paper. First, write down your organisation’s functions - What do you do? Who are you? How are you doing it? Why are you different?
Write down adjectives that embody your brand. Sometimes it helps to have a thesaurus for this part. Although, you’ll find that usually a great tagline comes to you when you least expect it - in the shower, driving, wherever! So for this reason it’s worth having something to write your thoughts down wherever you are, the memo function in your phone is a great resource.
Now you’ll have a piece of paper with scribbles all over it and your phone full of memos, so it’s time for the important step of culling the mediocre to bring out the best. In order to cull appropriately follow these 5 key aspects in order to find your great tagline:
- Is it simple? All of the most powerful taglines are simple and effective. They are able to say so much about the company within a few words. As a rule of thumb, anything over seven words is too much.
- Is it correctly descriptive? Pick the best adjective that embodies your organisation’s image. Make sure the adjective adds to the meaning of the brand name without restating any of the same words or concepts.
- Is it original? A great tagline says what sets your brand apart from others. A great tagline should be so distinctive that it doesn’t suit when next to a competitor’s name. Make certain that when you’re coming up with your tagline you avoid any clichés and that no one else has the same. An easy way to ensure this is by Googling taglines you come up with and seeing if anyone owns it already.
- Does it have longevity? Will it stand the test of time? A tagline must persevere past today to express the ambitions of tomorrow. Ensure when creating your tagline you consider your future endeavours and where you see your organisation.
- Is it memorable? The greatest taglines stick with you. Once you’ve checked off the first 4 aspects and you now have a great tagline in the making the last step is running it past trusted colleagues. Do they remember it? Is it a hit? If so, you’ve got it!
Taglines are a foundation step and a very important aspect of brand building. The value of a tagline builds over time. The investment of a great tagline can be your organisation’s most powerful and least expensive form of marketing.