Ask not what You can do for your Tagline Ask what your Tagline Can do for You

Most everyone involved in marketing will tell you that a tagline, or slogan, needs certain elements to be a good tagline. Here are a few examples of elements that you have probably been told that every single tagline needs absolutely, positively…

  • Focus on the consumer
  • Say what you do
  • Say who you are
  • Keep it Simple
  • Throw some flair in there
  • Keep it consistent with your brand

Some people will tell you that your tagline should tell the consumer what they will get, while others will tell you that you should show what your business is about. All of these rules can be a little confusing, and even contradicting.

That’s why I, in all humility, would like to try to make it all make a lot more sense for you with one simple principle. Namely- The only thing that your tagline needs to do is whatever you need it for. I’ll explain…

Instead of getting bogged down with trying to rack your brains and come up with the perfect tagline that meets all of the requisites of a tagline, make the tagline be your workhorse. What do you need it to do? Here are a few examples of what a tagline can do for your brand…

Tell what you are about, simply- If your audience knows what they want than your tagline may only need to tell them what you offer to draw them to you. Example: Wikipedia- “The Free Encyclopedia,” no pizzazz, no hype, just a free encyclopedia. The Wikipedia tagline works because if you are looking for free info on almost anything, knowing that Wikipedia is a free encyclopedia is all that you need to know.

Whet their appetites- If you need to convince an audience that they should want to try what you have, then one great way to do that is to get their imagination involved. Once they begin imagining how their lives will be changed for the better after trying your product they will naturally be interested in trying it. Example: Lucky Charms “Magically Delicious.” Lucky Charms being “Magically Delicious” makes the audience interested in experiencing a taste that is so delicious that it’s magical. Note that “Magically Delicious” doesn’t say anything about the company, or what the consumer will become as a result of eating the cereal, it just whets the appetite enough to tempt the audience enough to buy it.

The “whet their appetite” tagline is more recommended if stakes are low; people are willing to take a chance buying a box of cereal to see if makes magic in their mouth, but they probably won’t buy a car if you claim that it makes magic on the road.

Brand the customer- If you are selling something that potential customers will want to buy your product in order to create an image, or otherwise brand themselves, then consider using your tagline to validate their decision. Example: Harley Davidson- “American by Birth- Rebel by Choice” Doesn’t Harley Davidson sell motorcycles? “American by Birth Rebel by Choice” doesn’t tell you anything about the type of engine they are using in their transportation machine, but that’s because the brand that they are selling is much more than transportation machinery, it’s a rebellious American image.

Logical appeal- If the crux of whatever you are selling just makes sense, and that is what your potential customers are looking for, brand that with your tagline. Example: Wal-Mart- “Save Money- Live Better.” Wal-Mart points out with their tagline that by purchasing low priced products from them you will live better too, it makes a lot of sense to the average consumer.

So now, instead of asking what you can do for your tagline, ask what your tagline can do for you. What do you want your tagline to do?

Author BIO: Susie Brown is a FastUpFront Blog contributor and business consultant. Fastupfront specializes in business loan alternatives and working capital based on future sales.

View all contributions by

Search Engine Specialist - 12 year veteran SEO with multiple top 20 ComScore properties publishing experience. Enterprise level across international, mobile, and social media spheres. Advisor to startups for pre-launch optimization and ongoing SEO consulting.

Comments on this entry are closed.