All household brands began from start ups, and their path to the top is paved in unforgettable taglines. While some household brands are blessed with the timelessness of a single tagline, other equally large companies cycle through slogans like last week’s leftovers. De Beers’ “A Diamond is forever” tagline, for example, is 70 years old, while Coca Cola has coined a new tagline with every new brand strategy. Before jumping into crafting a tagline for your brand, let’s dig a little deeper into what a tagline actually is.
Tagline vs Slogan
According to Entrepreneur.com’s small business encyclopedia, a slogan or tagline is “a catchphrase or small group of words that are combined in a special way to identify a product or company.” But there is a slight difference between a tagline. A tagline is directly associated with a company. A slogan is associated with the products or services of the brand. For example, Apple’s tagline is “Think Different,” while the slogan for the first iPod was “1,000 songs in your pocket.” Slogans help differentiate the overall brand from the specific product.
The Sciencey Art of Taglines and Slogans
Taglines and their brands serve to create a deeper experience for customers, something bigger than the product it works for, a message, a higher purpose. For example, we all know that “There are some things money can’t buy, for everything else, there’s MasterCard.” Mastercard did an excellent job illustrating how money and the “priceless” aspects of life are experienced in our daily lives. There are dozens of companies that have edged their way into our mindsets and motivations.
Red Bull. OK, it’s an energy drink, but when you need supernatural energy, which energy drink do you grab off the shelf? The one that gives you wings, obviously. “Redbull gives you wings” was the longstanding tagline, until some jerk sued them for not growing actual wings. Win some, lose some.
Nike. “Just Do it” has been the tough love and inspiration for people on any part of the spectrum of athleticism.
Subway. When you want to “eat fresh,” but you want food fast, you go to Subway. The sandwich shop has done an excellent job introducing fast food lovers to not so terrible options, all while keeping that convenience.
L’Oreal. The beauty and cosmetics brand has been telling women they are amazing for several years now, and it is definitely working. The “Because You’re Worth It” campaign reminds women that they owe it to themselves to look, feel and be their best.
Kelloggs Frosted Flakes. For 50 years, Tony the Tiger has fostered our appetite for these sugary flakes, claiming “They’re Grrrreat!” This slogan is simple enough to appeal to generations of kids., all while having fun with the mascot, Tony the Tiger.
McDonald’s. The iconic “I’m Lovin’ It” tagline has a built in opinion about the food. Plus, using a relatively common positions the tagline for more stage time in conversations around the English speaking world. Boom.
Skittles. In 1994, Skittles invited people to do something only previously possible in their dreams: “taste the rainbow.” Thanks for making our dreams come true, Skittles.
Depending on your business, you might be considering separate slogans for your products or services. Or a single tagline might do it for you. Whether you decided to use slogans or a single encompassing tagline, there are few things that can guide you in the creative process.
Crafting Your First Tagline: Start Ups, We’re Talking To YOU
It’s one thing to write a new tagline for a long-standing business, but for a start-up there’s a different kind of pressure: your tagline is your first ever impression to the world. Deep breaths.
Your tagline should of course be simple, memorable and interesting. Now comes the brain-busting part, creating it. Taglines are tricky little things that tend to come when they please, but there are a few ways to urge them show up on your deadline.
Crowdsource Your Tagline
Ask your users what your tagline should be. They know better than anyone why they chose your service, what they value about the brand and why it suits their lifestyle. Be mindful, though, about haters and naysayers and pseudo-brand experts. Position your questions as inquiries about their brand experience.
Take Your Ideas For A Stroll
We recommend giving your brainstorming some legs. We know first-hand that some taglines hit you on your way to the corner store, others emerge during a casual conversation hours after you’ve left the office.
Go Ahead And Throw Perfect Out The Window
If you’re searching for perfect, you won’t find it. But if you’re searching for a feeling, for a way to connect with your audience, you’ll get pretty darn close to perfect.
Keep It Brief
It’s hard being concise. Especially when you’re dealing with ideas that are packed with emotional complexity and experience potential. But the truth is, people don’t care to read anything longer than 5 words, unless—here comes the irony—they’ve been hooked by a seductive tagline. So don’t make it difficult for people to remember your tagline. Also, keeping it brief also leaves opportunity to leave it open-ended enough for users to latch onto in their own personal way. Coca Cola, for example, recently changed their slogan to “Taste The Feeling.” That feeling is going to be different for everyone, and that tagline can be used to illustrate a great number of those feelings through ad campaigns.
Insert Value Here
If your tagline includes any information at all, it should allude to the main value of your service. As your company grows and fine tunes its contribution to the marketplace, rooting your tagline in a key value will remind people where you stand and what your offer.
Know It Will Change
Think of your tagline as slogan 1.0 – it will change over time as your brand evolves.
Also, depending on how you expand, the products and services you include in the future will create more opportunities for service-specific slogans.
We hope this helps you craft a tagline that really resonates with your audience. If you’re struggling at stage one, the brand identity, buy us a beer and we’ll provide some clarity and some more brains to bounce ideas off of.