If you’ve started a new business or need to rebrand but have next to no marketing budget, you’ll doubtlessly be wondering how on earth you can come up with an engaging, unique tagline that will get you noticed.
Before you give up and reach for the random tagline generator, I’ve got some good news. You absolutely can come up with that winning tagline yourself – you just need to take a few cues from the best in the business. And, like so many things in marketing, you don’t have to break the bank to do this.
Take a look at your favourite taglines. I bet they all share one common trait – simplicity. And, while the art of simplicity is a rather tricky one, if you set aside a day or so to work on your tagline, you’ll hit on that winning combination of words in no time.
Without further ado, here are 10 tips for creating a brilliant tagline.
The first process in creating the perfect tagline is to get everything out of your brain. Grab a piece of paper and write down words and phrases that typify your brand and business goals. Write down as much stuff as possible – your tag line is in there somewhere.
2. Think billboard
The longer your tagline, the less chance it has of being noticed, digested and remembered. Keep yours as short as possible. Start big, but keep trimming it until it fits perfectly on a theoretical billboard. In fact, we can learn a lot form the film industry when it comes to creating taglines for business.
3. Don’t make it about you
Your customers don’t care about your business. They care about themselves. Your tagline should speak to them and promise an answer to whatever problem it is they have that you’re intent on fixing.
4. Don’t be dull – have a laugh
Don’t be afraid to write a tongue-in-cheek or naughty tagline. A company slogan I worked on recently ended up being ‘book yourself full’. That has a whole number of connotations, but immediately draws the reader in and, crucially, is memorable.
5. If your tagline seems too safe, bin it
If you don’t fancy going down the route described in tip 4, there’s still no reason for your tagline to be dull or safe. If you read it and don’t feel inspired or energised, it isn’t good enough. Bin it and start again.
6. Tell a story
You can tell a story with a beginning, middle and end in just a few words with a tagline. Treat yours as a blockbuster people will want to read again and again. Your tagline should, in one sentence, tell the story of how you can make your customers’ lives better.
7. Ensure it rolls off the tongue easily
If you have to read your tagline several times to get the gist, or if you’ve constructed a sentence that has you tripping over your tongue when read out loud, you need to start again. Taglines should roll effortlessly off the tongue.
8. Always consider your target market
If your target market is the older generation, filling your slogan with text speak and street slang isn’t going to resonate with them. When writing yours, always consider your target market. What words turn them on?
9. Ensure it is timeless
Never tie a tagline to a specific piece of technology, or use phrases such as ‘the one and only’. As things get superseded, so will your tagline, so keep it timeless by picking words that can grow with your business.
10. Seek input
You could follow each and every tip above but if you fail to road test your slogan with your target market, your hard work could be for nothing. It may still be ill-conceived, no matter how great you think it is, so seek input on your tagline from your target market before going live.
I hope the above tips help you create a tagline that will stay with your business for years to come and attract lots of hungry new customers. When all is said and done, it is simply a collection of words, but it is the most important collection of words you’ll ever write.
Written by Mark Ellis
Mark Ellis is a freelance writer who specialises in copywriting, blogging and content marketing for businesses of all sizes. Mark’s considerable experience at director level and deep interest in personal and business success means he’s ready to comment on anything from freelance writing to workplace dynamics, technology and personal improvement.