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The Importance of a Great Tagline

Marketing | October 24, 2016

Just do it.

Think different.

Can you hear me now?

The best part of waking up.

For hair so healthy, it shines.

Any of these ring a bell? You can probably name most of these companies from the taglines alone. What stands out about these popular slogans is that none of them explicitly say what the company does.

Nike’s slogan doesn’t say, “Best in athletic shoes!” or “Creating top athletic equipment since 1964.” It says, “Just do it.” It implies movement and action. It makes you want to move, and to move in their equipment.

Apple is a company known for its innovation and revolutionizing the computer and tech industry. But the brand’s tagline isn’t, “Best in computer innovation” or “Our computers change the world.” Instead, both the mission statement and the company’s success are implied in its simple “Think different” tagline. It moves the end user to want to innovate and create. To think differently and be forward thinking.

What is a tagline?

A tagline is just another piece of branding that helps establish your company’s identity in the sea of marketing and advertising. Similar to your name and logo, your tagline should be a memorable identifier to remind the consumer who you are, what you do, or what you stand for.

So, what makes for a great tagline?

Keep it short and simple

The typical tagline or slogan should be able to deliver personality and purpose in three to six words. While some longer taglines have worked, like McDonald’s “Two all-beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions on a sesame seed bun,” the typical slogan should convey meaning and function quickly and memorably.

Show who you are

Your company’s purpose, passion, or unique quality should show through without saying explicitly what you do. This isn’t a full company mission statement or an About Us page. It doesn’t need to say when you started the company, everything you’re aiming for, or the company’s detailed history. But rather, it should be a snapshot of what truly defines the heart of what you do and why.

For example, TOMS one-for-one shoe company put out a slogan of “This Is Bigger Than Us.” It doesn’t say that the company gives a pair of shoes to a child in need for every one pair purchased. What it does say is that TOMS exists for something larger than profit. For something larger than themselves. This is the heart of the company, its products, and its business model.

Speak plainly

In search for a tagline that pops, a lot of companies try for something more generic like “We’re big” or “I want that.” While it may seem catchy, it doesn’t really say much about what you offer or what sets you apart. Your tagline should say something real but in a clear and purposeful way.

For example, QuikTrip’s new slogan says “Think Quik.” It works not just because it’s short and simple, but because it says something unique about the popular chain of convenience stores. It focuses on providing a quick, convenient experience in a quality way.

When to nix a tagline

While taglines serve as a unique identifier for a brand, not every company needs one. This strategy typically only works for companies with strong identities in their communities, names that speak for themselves, a strong visual brand and logo, or companies that have frequent marketing campaigns with regularly rotating slogans.

For example, Starbucks doesn’t have a slogan, but their green siren logo is recognizable all over the world. Uber and Twitter are also successful brands that don’t rely on taglines. It works because their names speak for themselves. People grab an Uber or tweet their thoughts. They don’t need a tagline because their brand names have become part of common vernacular.

When establishing your brand, work with a team of people who know your market and can help you create a tagline and identity that conveys why you’re unforgettable. To find out more about branding, contact an Impact team member today.

Written on October 24, 2016 by:

Brett Laney

Brett Laney Brett Laney is a copywriter at the Impact Partnership. She has worked for several years developing content and social strategies for businesses across multiple industries including financial, retail, restaurant, legal, and medical. Brett enjoys spending time with her husband and son, and is excited for a new family addition on the way in March!

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