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The job of a tagline is to communicate what your brand represents in a clear and concise manner. Therefore, taking the time to create a memorable tagline is a very important step in positioning your brand – and of course, it can evolve along with your business to reflect changing market trends and industry focus.
Taglines are extremely valuable. An effective one can be a great marketing tool that helps keep your brand on peoples’ minds. A few examples of memorable taglines include:
- Got milk? (1993) California Milk Processor Board
- Don’t leave home without it. (1975) American Express
- Just do it. (1988) Nike
- Where’s the beef? (1984) Wendy’s
- You’re in good hands with Allstate. (1956) Allstate Insurance
- Think different. (1998) Apple Computer
- When it absolutely, positively has to be there overnight. (1982) FedEx
- A diamond is forever. (1948) DeBeers
- What happens here, stays here. (2002) Las Vegas
- The ultimate driving machine. (1975) BMW
There is no secret to writing a memorable tagline. In fact, many successful taglines came to life serendipitously. However, if you are currently working on writing one for your business, there are a few guidelines to keep in mind:
- Your tagline should be short and balanced – we suggest 5 to 7 words.
- Your tagline should resonate with its target audience.
- Your tagline should communicate what your brand represents.
- Your tagline should differentiate your business from your competitors.
- Your tagline should create an emotional response.
- Your tagline should be honest – stay away from hyperbole.
- Your tagline should be positive – stay away from negative words.
I suggest coming up with a few variations and vetting your ideas with co-workers and customers. Also, I advise saying possible options out loud to ensure proper flow. And don’t forget to think of the many ways your target audience might interpret your tagline (perhaps in ways you do not intend). Be careful with you word selection, as you may find yourself in need to substantiate your statement, which may cause a sense of distrust for your brand. An effective tagline can last many decades – just ask Maxwell House, whose coffee has been ‘good to the last drop’ since 1940.