Corporate Identity Series :: Your Tagline

Writing a SloganYou’ve spent countless hours coming up with the perfect name for your business. It’s unique, brief, descriptive, and expandable. Beautiful. The next step is one that is often given a bit of a short stick… after all that brand naming wordplay, you now need to come up with a short, positive and catchy slogan for your business.

Many people are simply tired of words at this point. And that’s fine, but your tagline is important enough to warrant your full attention. So take a break, and come back to it when your mind is refreshed.

Think about your unique selling points. What do you stand for? What makes you special? What simple little group of key words sums you up in a nutshell? If you’re planning on a web presence (you are, right?) it’s also helpful to think about what words people might search for when looking for what you provide. This is just another exercise to help you target the right word choices.

Remember, your tagline needs to be a relevant and memorable phrase that will both encapsulate the tone and premise of your brand or product, and reinforce your audience’s memory of the same.

A lot of our clients follow the short, three word list model. While these nice little lists are great (we have one on our homepage), they shouldn’t be treated as your primary slogan. Why? They don’t stand for you on their own. Place your competitor’s name over that sweet little list instead of yours, and what do you see out of place? Probably nothing. The three word lists are too generic when used as slogans. They may describe you, but they don’t describe you uniquely.

My own tagline might not follow all the rules in a strict sense: ‘Driven by Design’. But although the specific choice of the word ‘driven’ may not link back to my company name in a literal way, as a slogan it works. It’s unique, relevant and very much representative of how we operate.

One could argue that phrase-based slogans have the same pitfalls as the list model, but the same could be said for any option. A thoughtful phrase is just the better choice. Coke’s old slogan “It’s the real thing” on its own could easily apply to any product based company. But they’ve taken strong ownership over time through effective marketing and visible reinforcement. Remember, it’s not enough to craft the perfect slogan… you have to own it. Use it or lose it, as they say.

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