What’s the secret to a great tagline?
And what qualities define one that really works?
First, let’s define what a tagline is.
It’s that handy little phrase that defines what you do.
It should be:
– Easy to understand
– and Concise
And it defines the core of your business by weaving together three essential ingredients:
– The core purpose of your business. (Who you are.)
– What your business provides. (Why should someone do business with you?)
– The personality of your brand (How are you different?)
It’s your brand clarified in condensed form, and one of the best ways to communicate what you do.
It should define your business and its personality.
And it should also work in concert with your logo.
Every time someone sees your tagline, it’s an impression. A first impression you want to stick.
The very best taglines are calls to action, inciting an emotional response.
You need to jam a lot of meaning into just a few words, so it’s not the easiest process.
Many businesses skip tag lines altogether, but I think they are needed.
Why oh why do I need a tagline, Craig?
Because you want brand clarity. While a tagline isn’t always necessary, a great one might just persuade people to do business with you.
Plus, sometimes your logo does not explain what you do. And if the name of your company or organization is not detailed enough, you need a tagline to finish the job.
So how in tarnation do I get started writing my own?
1 :: Write a positioning statement
After you’ve created this short and sweet gold nugget you’ve clearly defined your mission. This bang-on statement clarifies your purpose; is step one to making your brand stand out; and it makes everything else related to brand you easier, because it filters a continual delivery that is diggity dank.
It really is the bedrock of cohesiveness, clarity and brand stickiness. Driving every touchpoint: Logo, copy, and, um … TAGLINE!
Again … don’t skip this step. This is your focus going forward. It defines your mission and the true focus of your site, your business.
How do you want to be perceived? What will be the position your brand occupies? This becomes your core and this obviously has to be in your tagline. Your tagline is there to support your positioning.
2 :: Think about the key benefit your business provides
And don’t be general. Get into it and ask yourself specific questions. Look to your positioning statement for guidance, but start drilling down by asking the probing question.
Again, this is how you want to position yourself with your audience and potential customers, so you must write this from an external perspective … “what’s in it for them?”
Reducing your tagline to a key benefit is gold. What are the benefits someone will get by doing business with you? Buying your product? Simply reading your stuff?
3 :: Be clear
A tagline should be clear and concise. As mentioned above, your readers will be thinking, “What’s in it for me?” Potential customers don’t want to hear how great your company is or how special your services are. No. They want a problem solved. So how is your tagline going to convey this, in short form?
Remember, a tagline is like a well-crafted sales pitch. And a creative, clear and concise tagline just might turn that prospect into a customer.
4 :: Show some personality
A tagline that is too generic and says everything says nothing at all, really. A tagline is there to articulate what makes your different and help express your personality.
You probably know how important it is to differentiate yourself online. Over time this helps build authority and Google will love you even more. Why not make your tagline a key component of the “what sets you apart” model?
You don’t have to go crazy. Just proudly display the essence of your business – its personality, should be reflected in your tagline. Think about those distinct characteristics that show your company’s character.
5 :: Realize sometimes a great tagline comes out of left field
I often say the creative path to any solution is meandering and sometimes tortuous. Okay, I exaggerate a little, but a result of this? The best creative solutions are rarely planned.
You might have what you think is a final solution, but at the last minute someone says something or something pops into your head and out of nowhere … bammo! You have something better. That’s creativity my friends.
So, this should be a fairly long process. One where you go through these steps and then let the project stew. Pick it back up and go through the steps again. New ideas will flow.
Do this over an over and soon things will be popping into your head at all hours of the day (and night). Who knows? YOUR tagline might come to you at 2:00 a.m., so you better have that pad handy.
In other words, crafting a tagline is NOT an exact science, but it’s important to consider the key points above when trying to create one.
That is how the creative process works. Fill your brain with the goodies above and see what flows … then sticks.
Authority is about perception. What other people say about you and your services is more important that what you say on your about page.
A great tagline is another step in this mighty online battle for attention. So work at it and make certain it’s delivering the right message for you and your brand.
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