So you’re looking to create a tagline for your business and figure it can’t be that hard, right? I mean, look at Nike. They came up with “Just Do It” and it’s now one of the world’s most popular and recognized taglines ever. Unfortunately, “just doing it” isn’t as easy as it may seem.
When thinking of a tagline for your company, you have to remember that the first 10-15 things you think of must be thrown in the garbage. Most people will come up with something right away and think “That’s it!” because it rhymes, is cute or seems oh so perfect. Chances are you’ve seen it used elsewhere and don’t remember or it just isn’t that good.
Below are some simple tips to help you formulate a tagline for your business.
- Vomit -The process for creativity in the branding world is interesting. You must first engage in a process called “Creative Vomiting” where you get absolutely everything out. The bad, the ridiculous, the funny, the obscene, the decent… all of it should go down on paper. Then toss it into the trash and start again. It’s not until you dig deep and keep pushing yourself do you get to the really good stuff.
- Simplify – Some companies jam their tagline with so many words that it becomes a manifesto snooze-o describing everything the business does, stands for and hopes to accomplish. Think of your tagline like words on a billboard-The shorter the better. It’s hard to read and recall a ton of words that you see while doing 70 on the interstate.
- Focus– Unless you’ve got a cult hit brand like Apple where people are influenced by and passionate about it they usually don’t care much about your business. You have to appeal to their self-interest. Also, don’t make it a situation where you’re telling someone how great you are (Customer satisfaction is our priority!) Uh… You really have to tell me that like you aren’t doing it anyway? Sounds fishy to me… and boring.
- Energize– Speaking of boring, one of the biggest mistakes is going the safe route and creating something bland. While it may not offend anyone, it almost certainly won’t excite or inspire either. If your tagline appears safe and generic, your brand is going to be perceived that way, too.
- Empower– Next, utilize an action verb to make it empowering and give a call to action (Just Do It). Make it about the customer. Remember, it’s about how you benefit the customer’s life and not about how great your company is. A solid approach is to make your tagline empowering. Take Home Depot’s long-running line for instance, “You can do it. We can help.” It not only empowers your customers, it also includes your as the resource to get them to wherever they’re doing. What is “it” in the tagline? Whatever is most important to the customer at that moment in his or her life.
- Relate– The fundamentals of telling a great story are the same for a tagline. Establish a need and paint a picture. Why does this product or service matter in THIS person’s life? Focus on the benefit it provides in their world.
- Connect– Catch the customer’s attention-Be surprising, creative and, most importantly, authentic. If you don’t normally tell a story using the word “game changer” or “turnkey,” then don’t use it in your tagline.
- Imprint– Taglines should be short, sweet, memorable and roll off the tongue easily. Just like in a popular song, get that one catchy line that sticks in the customer’s head and you’re golden. You could even try to turn it into a jingle. As old school as it is, if you make a great jingle it could be a great advantage to your business.