Your tagline is a crucial component of your brand. It can communicate your brand’s core offering in just a few words and help unify your message across different platforms.
As you have probably noticed from successful taglines such as “Just do it,” the tagline can become synonymous with the brand. It’s important to craft something simple yet compelling.
But what are the key elements of a good tagline? Let’s go over what makes a tagline tick — and how to write the one that’s best for your business.
The diﬀerence between a tagline and a slogan
First, let’s clear up a common misconception: A tagline is not the same as a slogan. A tagline is similar to a slogan, but a slogan is usually linked to a speciﬁc campaign or product, while a tagline is tied to your brand. The tagline is what will accompany your business name in places such as your website, business cards, social media proﬁles, and so on.
Many marketers also turn their tagline into a hashtag.
Your tagline is arguably your biggest brand ambassador: While your company name may vary across platforms (given social media character limits) or be partly overshadowed by the name of your product in advertising, the tagline can unify your brand no matter the context.
Why do I need a tagline?
Many companies never bother to create a tagline. This is a mistake. Your tagline helps establish your brand identity. It provides additional context to your name, especially if your name isn’t descriptive of what you do.
The tagline can express your brand personality, chief selling point, and value proposition. Without a tagline, your company misses out on a prime opportunity to better connect with your target audience.
How to write a good tagline
With all that in mind, let’s evaluate what makes a compelling tagline. Good tagline are short and sweet. While mega-million-dollar corporations can get away with vague taglines such as “Just do it” and “Think different,” you’ll need to be a little more speciﬁc.
Between four to six words is ideal; that gives you some ﬂexibility to craft a memorable phrase. The best taglines double as a value proposition.
For example, “Get your life together” could be a good tagline for a productivity app or home organization product. This tagline has a strong verb, calls out the reader by using second person (“you” or “your”), and offers something valuable. The message is clear: Your life will come together if you use our product.
However, we can make this tagline even shorter and more compelling. “Your life, organized” is only three words, yet communicates the same message. Its tone is also less demanding than the previous example.
A brand with a “tough love” personality might do well with the ﬁrst tagline; a brand with more of a “solutions” approach would likely prefer the second tagline.
Good taglines can also provide a brief, fun description of what your company offers. Think about creative ways you can express this. Aim for wordplay and wit. If you offer plumbing services, don’t just say that. Try “Flushing your troubles away” or “Piping that’s a dream.” These phrases hint at what your company offers while offering a value proposition. Bonus points go to the ﬁrst option for using “your.”
What makes a tagline bad?
A bad tagline comes off as descriptive or disengaged. As an example, “Pittsburgh home organization” is not a tagline. That text is better used in a webpage’s meta description. If you must use a tagline that doesn’t include a strong verb, you must keep the value proposition.
Aim to be bold. For example, your tagline could be “Pittsburgh’s premier home organization system.” You’re telling customers that you offer the highest value in their area.
Bad taglines also miss the mark on a brand’s identity. As discussed above, a tagline needs to match a company’s personality, so an assertive tagline wouldn’t be a good option for a company that doesn’t have that vibe in its other marketing.
Take time to craft your tagline, and test it in focus groups. Once you come down to the two best options, A/B test it before your launch or re-branding. Post your winning tagline everywhere: Include it in your Instagram bio. Make it a hashtag/ Show it on your landing page. There’s even a Tagline ﬁeld in your WordPress admin panel. In time, your customers will start to recognize the tagline as a key part of your brand identity.