5 Tips for Creating Taglines to Use for your Business

Taglines are very important to grow your business.
But what exactly is a tagline?
Simply put, a tagline is a short statement or phrase that describes what your business is about, over and above your business name and logo.
The emphasis is on ‘short’. A very long business tagline made up of more than a few words will merely beat the purpose of what you are trying to do, make your business memorable.
The tagline should give your potential customers a quick impression of you are and what you do, without boring them to death. Therefore it’s a good idea to keep your business tagline at a maximum of five or six words.
So how do you express so much about your business in such few words? Coming up with memorable taglines to use for your business may seem like a formidable task but it has been done before.
Case in point, Nike with their ‘Just Do It’ tagline, or KFC’s ‘It’s Finger Lickin’ Good’, or Adidas’ ‘Impossible is Nothing’ or Ajax’s ‘Stronger than Dirt’.
I could go on and on. But the point is, many businesses have come up with wildly successful taglines, why not you?
If you are getting the impression that it’s easy to come up with memorable taglines to use for your business, you would be wrong. Coming up with a phrase that sums up your business effectively and draws customers to you is hard, really hard.

Tips for Generating Taglines to Use for your Business

It will definitely require some serious brainstorming.  Here are some guidelines for creating a good business tagline:

Keep it short

This cannot be emphasized enough. The truth is, modern day consumers have very short attentions spans and shorter memories.
You need to grab their attention and when you have done that, keep them interested. The only way to do that is to have a short and compelling tagline. A long and verbose tagline is a snooze fest, and you do not want that.
A short tagline is not only easier to remember but it will be easier to fit in your logo, or on business cards, on stationery or other bits of swag you use to market your business.
Believe it or not, this is an important consideration. However, you should know that there have been some very powerful taglines that did not conform to the short phrase requirement.
A couple of these are; Johnnie Walker Black Label Whiskey’s ‘If you want to impress someone, put him on your Blacklist’ (a rather clever play on words) and Matchbox’s ‘We sell more cars than Ford, Chrysler, Chevrolet, and Buick Combined. These are exceptions to the rule. Generally, if you do not have a cult following for your product, keep it short and sweet.

Be original and creative

This is easier said than done as it may seem like all the good ones have been done. You may look to find inspiration from successful taglines but you have to be authentic and not merely ape what others have done.
Copying what others have done makes you seem not so creative, bad, and your brand will not stand out, also bad. Use a play on words, or create a rhyme, be controversial.
A clever or witty phrase is one way to go when thinking of taglines to use for your business. Don’t use clichés and please, stay away from the cheese. Cheesy taglines are off-putting and sad.

Include a key benefit of your product

Consumers are self-interested. They want to know, what’s in it for me? Make it easy for them to buy into what you are selling. Tell them why they need to buy your product.
Do not just say good things about your product. Who cares? Highlight the benefit of your offering in your message while provoking positive feelings. Encourage the formation of a bond between your customers and your business.
So keep your message light and empowering. Don’t oversell yourself though. Promising more than you can deliver will damage whatever reputation you have. Just don’t do it.

Differentiate yourself

Your business tagline needs to help you stand out from the crowd. This is crucial in this day and age of cutthroat competition.
Trust me, there are several other companies offering a product very similar to your own. Customers are constantly bombarded by advertising about all sorts of products and services.
You absolutely need to set yourself apart to get the attention of the information-overloaded customers. How do you do this? By being creative and original and creating a short, memorable tagline that cuts through all the bull.

Be Consistent

A business tagline is an addition to your business name and logo. The brand name, logo and tagline together create your company identity.
The tagline should therefore be consistent with your brand and tie in with it explicitly or implicitly. In this way, your tagline will trigger thoughts about your product, and you want this to happen. However, it is not a good idea to include your brand name in your tagline. Studies have shown that taglines that do not include a brand name are more likeable than those that do.
A tagline is also very useful when it is not immediately apparent from your brand name what your company does. Very good taglines sometimes become more recognizable than the brand name.
Creating taglines to use for your business is hard but is certainly a worthwhile endeavor. These are some simple tips to help you as you try to come up with a successful tagline.
There are some online tools to help you with the process of creating a tagline but you do run the risk of ending up with some generic crap. This is worse than not having a tagline at all. Sit down with your marketing team at a brainstorming session and come up with some ideas.
The creative process may take a while before you get it right, so be ready for that. If all that fails, hire a copywriter. That’s what they are paid to do.

Adam Hansen

Adam is a part time journalist, entrepreneur, investor and father.