ATYPICAL

Three Little Words: What You Need to Know About Brand Taglines

By Amanda Bowen
Tagline me here, tagline me there. Taglines are everywhere! Do you really need a tagline as part of your branding package?

Why we write taglines

Taglines translate your branding statement into a few memorable words. It’s like the headline for your business. Chanel: Empowering Women Through Fashion. (Note: not a real tagline!)

Some businesses may not benefit from a tagline because they created a name that naturally implies what they do. In commercial real estate, a few brands that exemplify this are: Commission Trac, CompStak, Honest Buildings, and WeWork.

Not all brands have this advantage. Take “Apple.” We know the company isn’t about fruit, but that is thanks to its clever marketing, helped by a campaign tagline, “think different.” Auto manufacturer Ford has the tagline “go further,” a message implying what Ford does.

So, taglines help companies with less-than-ideal names communicate a purpose or what makes the brand distinct from the competition.

Some companies choose to use taglines to remind employees of company values in a short, sweet statement. This is fine, but remember, taglines are intended to be consumer-facing, not internal rallying statements.

Finding your tagline

Don’t spend hours and hours crafting the world’s best tagline. Remember: no one buys McDonalds because of their tagline, “I’m Lovin’ It.”

Throw out any hard and fast rules about taglines. Whether two words or one sentence, their mission is to communicate brand value.

Take Geico’s tagline: “15 minutes could save you 15% or more on car insurance.” That’s 11 words, and it nails down what Geico will do for its consumers. Everyone knows this tagline.

Ways to write your tagline:

  1. Describe your business in the shortest space possible.
  2. Write your business in 3-4 sentences. Trim that to 1-2 sentences. Trim that to 1 sentence or less.
  3. Use keywords from your positioning statement

To Tagline or Not?

The ultimate decision whether to use a tagline lies with you. Creating one can help pinpoint your brand values. Using it in marketing helps position your brand. If you’re still undecided, chat with our branding experts. We help brands position themselves for better results.

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