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Taglines: The phrase that will make or break you

Words construct worlds.

We use them to tell stories to take us to far away lands. Stories that teach us valuable life lessons, stories that transport and entertain us.

Artists song lyrics get stuck in our head and we sing them based on our moods and use them as life themes. Songs come on and we stop what we’re suddenly transported in time to a specific memory.

Words change our lives and our hearts.

"I love you."

"Will you marry me?"

"Congratulations- You got the job."

"It’s a girl!"

They can also tear us down, wound us or change the trajectory of our life path.

Words carry weight.

But, in our business and branding, many of us use words flippantly. We focus on perfecting our process. We create streamlined client pathways. We constant evolve our products.

Then beyond our actual business, some of us go even further to build our business. We invest in a logo and a visual brand. We get photos taken. We even build websites for people to visit.

Yet our approach to words in our business is often flippant and done with no regard.

We forget that words are doorways that give access to what inside. And if you have an ugly, broken down, outdated, uninviting front door no one wants to come see what’s inside no matter how great it its.

Beyond all the copy on your website, the explanations, descriptions, about you information- everything- the first thing that people see is your tagline. Your tagline is the invitation, the door, to come see what’s inside.

What is a tagline?

A tagline is a catchphrase- usually a single phrase that summarizes what your brand is all about. It magically and strategically shows your purpose, value, mission in one small statement. It’s not a full sentence and it’s ideal size is about 4-5 words. It’s not a description or vision statement. It’s a HOOK.

It is meant to engage your audience. So it should be intriguing, emotive and seek to invoke a response.

While It should be interesting, it should be clear and clever but not cute and cryptic.

The added value of a tagline is that over time, it has the potential to build your brand recognition. It can be used as part of your identity and what you’re known for.

Name these businesses-

The Happiest Place of Earth. Disneyland

When it absolutely, positively has to be there overnight. FedEx

The breakfast of champions. Wheaties

What happens here, stays here. Las Vegas

The Few. The Proud. The Marines. Marines

Because You're Worth It. Loreal

These brands built worlds, connections, memories and longevity around their tagline. Yes, they have successful products or services behind the tagline. But, even if you’ve never bought a product from them, you know the tagline.

If you need more convincing think about this. Users spend less than 10 seconds on your website. You have SECONDS to attract them. If your design and visuals sn’t perfect, they will leave. And if your design is good or even great, you still need a stellar tagline to book them in to continue scrolling past those initial seconds.

Furthermore (50%) of people said a company's slogan is the brand element that helps them understand the company's purpose the most- above ALL else.

So there is POWER in words and remaining indifferent towards them is losing your business.

Let’s summarize.

A tagline is a short, single phrase that summarizes your brand and hooks and intrigues your audience.

The purpose of your tagline is :

Builds interest and hooks your audience

Demonstrates your value

Differentiates Your Business From Competition

While there’s no formula for a tagline here’s something to consider when creating yours. It should include:

  • It communicate your brand’s identity, purpose, and values.

  • It should be crafted in a creative way that makes it stick with your audience.

  • It should be clear and create, but not cryptic

  • Keep it short

Another note about taglines- they shouldn’t be about YOU. I mean, yeah, they should be about your brand but they shouldn’t focus on YOU.

Think about the examples I gave before. They all focus on the client or audience.

How different would Nike be if instead of “just do it” they said “we help you do it” or if Apple’s “Think Different” was instead “genius products at work”. Keep your ego out and draw them in by focusing on connecting with THEM.

When you’ve created your tagline here’s some questions you can ask about it to make sure it’s the best you can do:

  • Is it unique?

  • Does it differentiate you?

  • Does it intrigue your ICA?

  • Is it clear?

  • Can it move with you long term?

  • Does it linger?

Don’t underestimate the value of hooking your audience with your tagline and building the world your words create for your audience.

For expert help, you reach out to us where we work with ALL our clients to craft their unique and memorable tagline.


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