Write a Tagline that Sells

Tagline, Strapline, Slogan…whatever you call it, your brand name isn’t complete without one. A tagline articulates the value that people can expect from your brand, while positioning your brand in the market. But that’s not all: The process of writing a tagline for your brand—if done correctly—becomes a discovery exercise for uncovering the best of your brand.

Writing a tagline is a process that involves plenty of deep thought. What is your brand’s USP (Unique Selling Proposition) and how can you convey that in a few words? This is the challenge. Here are some questions you can ask yourself to get on the road to your best tagline:

  • What is the main benefit that my brand will offer to my ideal customers? Your brand may solve a number of problems, but every brand has one main benefit, and that benefit needs to be conveyed, clearly and concisely, with your tagline. Avoid witty language, double talk, and overly creative prose. This is not a creative writing contest—it’s business, and the most valuable (and most clearly stated) benefit wins.
  • How is my brand better than the competition? By incorporating your USP into your tagline, you are essentially telling your audience how you are different (and therefore better) than the competition. The competitor should not be directly referenced, but if problems in the market are well-known or if a gap is felt, the implication will be well-received.
  • What core values will my brand demonstrate? Your best customer relationships will happen with those people who share your brand’s core values. Avoid listing those values in your tagline, but rather demonstrate (show) people how your brand exercises those values.
  • How is my brand language unique, and how can I incorporate that into my tagline? Every brand has a certain way of speaking—or at least it should. Harness that language and use key words in your tagline.
  • What will people find most memorable? What do people remember about you? What do they remember about your brand? Use the answers to these questions to bolster the memorability of your tagline.

A mediocre tagline is a forgettable tagline. However, when a tagline embodies the multifaceted essence of your brand, it’s not only impenetrable by the competition, it gives you the freedom to ask for the prices that will support the lifestyle you desire.

Here are a few examples of great taglines, with some notes about why they work:

  • Don’t Leave Home Without It (American Express): On the surface, this tagline speaks of having ‘money’ on you at all times. On a deeper level, it expresses the idea that if you leave home with your American Express card, you won’t need anything else (and implies that if you DO leave home without it, you’ll regret it). It categorises the credit card as essential to daily life.
  • A Diamond is Forever (DeBeers): Diamonds themselves are indestructible, true…but add to that a sense of idealistic eternity and undying memories, and the hearts (and attention) of romantics everywhere are captured.
  • Just Do It (Nike): This tagline goes far beyond the quality of sports equipment that Nike sells. It incorporates the desire to win—to succeed—that all passionate athletes share (including the professional athletes who wear Nike).

You should now be feeling better-equipped to write your brand’s tagline. However, questions are sure to arise as you move through this challenging, but enlightening, process. Get more information on branding and marketing such as how to write a tagline by subscribing to my newsletter or by contacting me here.

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