How to Create a Tagline that Works

How to Create a Tagline that Works

Trying to Create a Tagline? Most companies do. But the tag lines that most companies use don’t really do anything for them. How about yours?

Create a Tagline that Works

How many time have you see a tagline that just takes up space?  Like “Serving the community since 1492” or “Close is not Good Enough.” They’re general, and mean virtually nothing. They don’t accomplish any of the 5 goals of a valuable tag line.

Goals to consider when you create a tagline:

  1. Two to five words that can be recognized in a glance
  2. Memorable
  3. Easy to see that it’s related to what you do
  4. Conveys benefit(s)
  5. Bonus: it’s easily repeatable (viral potential)

 

Most taglines that we remember have been used in multi-million dollar advertising campaigns.  This is a relic of The Golden Age of Advertising.  In the advent of television in the 50’s, national advertising was new and cheap, and advertisers like Proctor and Gamble and General Foods could reach us, again and again, with the “C&R” formula: Creativity and Repetition.  The ads were creative for their era, and they were repeated until we couldn’t forget them.  Things have changed.  You can’t afford C&R, and consumers are bombarded with so many ads every day (up to 8,000) that you can’t cut through the clutter.

Create a tagline because you can’t afford the C&R approach.

Today, your tagline has to hit hard and fast.  It’s “guerrilla” marketing that gives you an advantage.  Here are the 3 steps to creating a tagline that will help you:

  1. Understand your customer.  That’s right: it starts with the customer, not with what you want to sell.  If your customer doesn’t want to buy what you sell, maybe you should listen.
  2. Write down the key benefits that your customer wants: they don’t want products or services. They want benefits.  Listen to prospects: why are they asking for your help?  What are the key words they use?  I like to write them down.
  3. Now use your tagline to deliver that message.  Short taglines work best.  But they’re harder to come up with.  There’s a famous quote, often attributed to Mark Twain: “If I had more time I would have written a shorter letter.”  So this will take time.  But when you find it, it will be worth it.

 

Here are some of the best taglines that do everything a good tagline should:

  • A Diamond is Forever – DeBeers
  • Don’t Leave Home Without It – American Express
  • Good to the Last Drop – Maxwell House
  • It takes a licking and keeps on ticking – Timex
  • Melts in your mouth, not in your hands – M&M’s

 

(Though you probably could have guessed them all… even though some are from 60 years ago.)

Who’s your customer?  What do they need?  How can you tell them in just a tagline?

Our tag line is “The Least Expensive Way to Sound More Professional.”  It’s too long, and you don’t know exactly what it is, but that’s the #1 reason clients come to us.

Trying to create a tagline?  Email me: service@informermessages.com or call (800) 862-8896.

About the author

Casey Hart is President and Chief Strategist of Informer Messages on hold, and helps his clients with marketing strategy and new ways to grow their businesses. Informer Messages on hold are marketing messages about your business that your callers can hear when you place them on “hold”.