CLP Beacon - Business Issues and Solutions

Friday, April 1, 2016

How to Create an Awesome Tagline for Your Brand

How do you create a memorable tagline? Once you have determined your brand identity and secured your name, you'll want to set your focus on creating a compelling and memorable tagline. What is a tagline, you ask? Sometimes it is called a slogan, motto, catch phrase, trademark line or even strapline and basically it's a shortened (usually) benefit-driven version of your Unique Selling Proposition (USPthat's 100% focused on what your brand/product/service promises it will deliver  for your customer (what's in it for them). Through repetition in media and online, it will eventually be identified and associated with the brand.

A properly written tagline embodies your brand, mission and promise all in one succinct and unforgettable statement. It's short because it's meant to communicate your most important benefit, advantage or unique selling point in just a few words. But these few words have great power when done right. The best taglines can be measured against 7 criteria - clarity, simplicity, uniqueness, ownership by your brand or adoptability by the competition, benefit-driven, clever wordplay and brand-driven. A well-written tagline should allow you to immediately conjure up the name of the company that is associated with that slogan.

Now before you start racking your brain and trying to come up with something short and snappy, you need to know that there are two kinds of taglines and unless you're a big multi-million dollar company, only one is the right kind for you:

1.       Cost You Money: Making something out of nothing.

These are the cute and snappy but utterly useless taglines that do nothing for the brand they are attached to and the only way they catch on is through massively expensive and exhaustive marketing campaigns over time. You can judge for yourself which mean something today and who it relates to vs. the others that you have to question the marketing wisdom.

                 “We bring good things to life”
                “Have it your way”
                 “Just Do It”
                 “Eat Jimmy Dean”
                 “Drive One”
                 “We're Exxon”
                “We make it better”
                “Choose Freedom”
                "Pork - the other white meat"
                 “The only way to fly”
                 “I'm lovin’ it”
                “The King of Beers”
                 “Life's Good”

2.    Makes You Money: Relevant and Benefit-Driven

These are the ones that make you stop and think. When you hear them, they stick in your mind and conjure up the specific images, emotions and benefits the brand wants you to experience.

 “Because so much is riding on your tires”
“When it absolutely positively has to get there overnight”
 “American by birth, Rebel by choice”
“15 minutes can save you 15% or more on your car insurance”
“The customer is always and completely right”
“The most exciting two minutes in sports”
 “Save Money, Live Better”
 “Connecting people”
“Good to the last drop”
 “Pizza delivered in under 30 minutes or it's free”
 “Melts in your mouth, not in your hands”
 “Finger lickin' good”

Can you see the difference? One is catchy, initially meaningless and would cost a substantial amount to embody in the buyers’ minds at the least.   Some of them have meaning today but after huge expenditures of money e.g. Nike's "Just Do It".  Others still languish and many have been abandoned because they are pointless and hold no true brand value, meaning or benefit to the customer.  The other set, however, swears an oath, creates a powerful brand promise and tells you exactly what you'll get, become, or experience when you buy into that brand.

When in doubt, ask yourself – if I were my customer, would I be compelled and inspired to buy this product based on the tagline alone? If your answer isn't a resounding yes, then go back to the drawing board and keep thinking! Remember, a good tagline is a promise you must keep. It should be short, to the point and memorable. It must capture your brand's essence, match your image and promise a strong benefit to your audience. And most of all, it should emotionally connect with your audience and evoke a specific emotion or action that you want them to have or do. Now that you have read this, audit and assess your own tagline. Does it stand up to this standard? Please let me know.  Share your favorite brands and tag lines and slogans with me and I will post them in a subsequent blog.

Here is a list of 360 taglines from famous companies. You can get that list here. There is another one with 400+ taglines that you will find here.  Step out on your own to develop the right tag line or slogan.  Or feel free to call me at C-Level Partners which can help companies in the tech, service, and manufacturing markets with their branding and marketing.  You can reach out to me at or (949) 445-1080 x-501. I look forward to helping you achieve your success.

Excerpt from my book "Brand to Sell" available on

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