One of the many things I’m asked to do as freelance copywriter is come up with a tagline for a new business. My heart just skips a beat when I get this request, as coming up with snappy one-liners is my jam!
But…I’ve come to realize that creating taglines can be a really tedious task – mainly because many clients don’t truly understand the purpose of a tagline and the fundamentals that go into creating a good one. I think the biggest misconception when it comes to creating a tagline is that clients want to literally explain what their company does in their tagline. In my opinion, that is NOT the true purpose of a tagline. The real purpose of a tagline is to evoke emotion and express what a customer will feel or gain when they engage with your brand.
If you’re noodling new taglines, here are few tips I encourage you to keep in mind...
Keep the purpose in mind
According to The Balance Small Business, “Taglines are created and intended to leave a lasting effect during a short encounter with the recipient. When one is formed correctly, it will capture the overall benefit of what is being advertised, whether it's a product, business, service or idea. A tagline offers information that can be easily remembered. In the end, it should help the audience understand the bigger picture and leave them enticed and wanting more.”
Effective taglines summarize the overall benefits of your services. And as I said earlier, emotion is a big part of a tagline. It lets the audience know how they feel or what they will achieve if they do business with your company.
A great tagline needs to be memorable and as such, needs to be seven words or less. Think of it as a teaser, a preview of the movie, rather than the entire movie itself. Remember some of us have trouble recalling our children’s names!
Use simple language
Always use simple language that is clear and easily understandable. Take a friendly approach that will help you build a lasting connection with your audience. Try talking like you are speaking to a neighbor or friend; never assume that your audience understands industry acronyms and jargon! That’s THE WORST!
I like to use action verbs that will move the audience towards solutions to their problems. Remember that offering a solution to an issue will help customers invent their own reasons to take advantage of what is being advertised.
Do: Be creative.
Don't: Make a bland, vague or meaningless statement.
In case you need a little inspiration, here’s a list of 51 all time best taglines and the brands they are associated with (originally posted by TREBRAND).
#1 Coke – Open happiness.
#2 Disney – The happiest place on earth.
#3 Avis – We try harder.
#4 Nike – Just do it.
#5 Capital One – What’s in your wallet?
#6 US Postal Service – We deliver.
#7 Kentucky Fried Chicken – Finger Lickin’ Good.
#8 Budweiser – The king of beers.
#9 California Milk Processor Board – Got Milk?
#10 Gatorade – Is it in you?
#11 L’oreal – Because I’m worth it.
#12 Staples – That was easy.
#13 McDonald’s – I’m lovin’ it.
#14 Sony – Make believe.
#15 Burger King – Have it your way.
#16 Volkswagen – Think small.
#17 MasterCard – There are some things money can’t buy, for everything else there’s MasterCard.
#18 Bounty – The quicker picker-upper.
#19 Federal Express – When it absolutely, positively has to be there overnight.
#20 Yellow Pages – Let your fingers do the walking.
#21 American Express – Don’t leave home without it.
#22 Apple – Think Different.
#23 AT&T – Reach out and touch someone.
#24 Telus – The future is friendly.
#25 BMW – The Ultimate Driving Machine
#26 Campbell’s Soup – M’m! M’m! Good!
#27 Charmin – Please don’t squeeze the Charmin.
#28 Citibank – The Citi never sleeps.
#29 Clairol – Does she or doesn’t she?
#30 Wendy’s – Where’s the beef?
#31 Wheaties – The Breakfast of champions
#32 WINN Radio, New York – You give us 22 minutes, we’ll give you the world.
#33 Hallmark – When you care enough to send the very best
#34 John Deere – Nothing runs like a Deere
#35 IBM – I think, therefore IBM.
#36 Rice Krispies – Snap! Crackle! Pop!
#37 Lay’s – Betcha can’t eat just one.
#38 Coke – Open Happiness
#39 Kit-Kat – Have a break. Have a Kit-Kat.
#40 Maxwell House – Good to the last drop.
#41 Morton Salt – When it rains, it pours!
#42 M&Ms – The milk chocolate melts in your mouth, not in your hand.
#43 New York – I love New York.
#44 Meow Mix – Tastes so good cats ask for it by name.
#45 7 Up – The Uncola.
#46 DeBeers – A Diamond is Forever.
#47 Molson Canadian – I am Canadian
#48 Verizon Mobile – Can you hear me now?
#49 Timex – It takes a licking and keeps on ticking.
#50 Yahoo! – Do you…Yahoo!?
#51 Heineken – Heineken refreshes the parts other beers cannot reach.
Now – go get ‘em! If you find yourself struggling – don’t despair! I’m here for you! Request a tagline review now.