You must have heard or read many, praised some and even mocked some too. But what exactly is a tagline? Is it important for a brand to have one? If yes, what makes a good tagline?
This comprehensive guide to taglines will answer all these questions, and almost all other tagline related questions as well.
Here we’ll talk about the inner workings of a tagline, how it is used, and how to create one. But first, here’s a definition of a tagline for those who are new to this concept.
What Is A Tagline?
A tagline is a short memorable description that succinctly and clearly communicates the brand message.
Why Is Tagline Important?
There’s no denying that taglines are a very important part of a brand; such important that some brands are even recognized by their taglines and their positioning in the market is influenced by their tagline.
The tagline is a powerful communication message which becomes a public earworm and gets stuck in their brain. It is crafted to have a long-lasting effect in just one encounter. It communicates the brand personality to the consumer in easy words and, if crafted correctly, communicates the overall benefit of what is offered to them.
Mcdonald’s brand positioning would have been totally different if its tagline were ‘It’s Tasty AF’ rather than ‘I’m Lovin’ it’.
Tagline vs Slogan
A tagline is different from a slogan. Unlike slogans, taglines don’t usually change. For example, Disneyland’s tagline is – The happiest place on Earth. But the company has used different slogans for its marketing campaigns:
“Where dreams come true”
“Where the magic began”
“Happiest Homecoming on Earth”
“I’m going to Disneyland”
Types Of Taglines
Different companies have different marketing objectives and want to position themselves differently. Some want to communicate an emotional message while some want to capitalize on facts. Some want to be direct while some want to remain mysterious. All their needs require them to create different taglines. These taglines, however, can be divided into 7 types. These are:
Imperative taglines usually begin with a verb and command the customers to perform a particular action relevant to the brand vision, mission, or personality. These taglines are usually used by brands which want to sound more bold, edgy, and impactful, and hence is usually used by brands which want to be a part of the target audience’s schedule.
Examples of Imperative taglines are:
- Nike – Just Do It.
- Youtube – Broadcast Yourself.
- Coca-Cola – Open Happiness.
As the name suggests, descriptive taglines are the most straightforward taglines which describe the brand offering, the benefits, and/or brand promise in simple words.
A perfect example of a descriptive tagline is Walmart’s tagline – Save money. Live better. Another good example of a descriptive tagline is KFC’S It’s finger-lickin’ good.
Provocative Taglines are thought-provoking and stimulating. They are crafted to stir up emotions and make you stop and think.
Examples of provocative taglines are:
- Adidas – Impossible is nothing.
- Under Armour – I will.
- Dove – You are more beautiful than you think.
Superlatives are the highest degree of comparison. ‘The best in class’, ‘Excellence is our blood’, etc. are some examples of taglines which use superlatives to position itself as the best in industry.
Examples of superlative taglines are:
- Budweiser – The king of beers
- BMW – The ultimate driving machine.
Some brands use questions to direct you to perform an action, think in a specific manner, or communicate any other message.
The California Milk Processor Board’s Got Milk? is a good example of an interrogative tagline.
These taglines use words cleverly to reveal the brand’s product or business category and make it memorable.
Volkswagen’s Drivers wanted. explains this category of taglines fully. Another example of specific taglines is Olay’s Love the skin you’re in.
Visionary taglines communicate the brand vision to the target audience.
Examples of visionary taglines are:
- GE – Imagination at work.
- Avis – We try harder.
Does Your Small Business or Startup Need A Tagline?
No matter how good you feel the concept of taglines is, there must a time when you’ve asked yourself – Do I really need a tagline for my business?
The answer is – It depends.
It depends on your brand name and the industry you’re dealing in.
If your brand name doesn’t tell the target audience what you do, you might need a tagline. For instance, Feedough could be anything from a cooking blog to a consultancy company, but we wanted to be known as a website which caters entrepreneurs and startup enthusiasts; hence the tagline – The Entrepreneurs’ guide.
You might also need a tagline when there are too many players in the industry you are operating in, and you need to separate yourself from others.
How To Write A Tagline?
You don’t need to be the best copywriter to write the tagline of your business. ‘Save Money. Live better.’ doesn’t have fancy words but it still does the job at explaining what Walmart is known for.
Just follow these simple steps and you’re good to go.
- Write down in one or two sentences what you do and what benefit do your customers get when they use your product/service.
- Trim the sentence to form meaningful 3-5 word phrases/sentences.
- Choose the sentence/phrase you deem fit.
Use these strategies to help you with the process
Taglines are useless if your target audience fails to understand what you wanted to communicate. Hence, we suggest you follow the ‘Keep It Simple, Silly’ approach.
Don’t overcomplicate the process. Don’t go for complex words as they are less memorable. Try to communicate the benefit using less words and simple words.
Showcase The Benefits
Don’t tell them what you have to offer, tell them what they’ll receive.
Showcasing the benefits attracts the target audience more than a self-bragging tagline.
Go On, Tell Us What You Think!
Did we miss something? Come on! Tell us what you think about our article in the comments section.
A startup consultant, a dreamer, a traveller, and a philomath. Aashish has worked with over a 100 startups and successfully helped them ideate, raise money, and succeed. When not working, he can be found hiking, camping, and stargazing.