You may not need a tagline to help you create a successful business, but few things can beat the brand awareness value of a memorable slogan. In fact, some of the world’s most recognizable brands have taglines that make such an impact, they’ve become almost iconic: Think of Nike’s “Just do it” slogan or Verizon’s “Can you hear me now?”
The most memorable taglines all have one thing in common: They create an emotional response in people, one that makes them stick in people's minds long after they've seen or heard the slogan.
How can you create that kind of long-lasting impact with your company's tagline? Follow these seven steps to developing a slogan people will remember.
1. Set your ground rules and parameters. Creating a memorable brand tagline is largely a brainstorming exercise. It requires a lot of deep insight into your company and the people behind it. The first step is defining the big picture and what your tagline should look like. The best taglines are:
- Original. If your tagline is a copycat or too similar to one from a well-known brand, it will be overshadowed by the original. Make yours unique.
- Short and concise. Taglines are meant to make a mental impact and be easily remembered. That means they must be short—three to six words is the general rule of thumb.
- Relevant. The more in tune your tagline is with your company, its values and its people, the more authentic it will feel.
- Long-lasting. A tagline that taps into a current trend might be valuable in the short term, but you don’t want your tagline (or your business) to fade out like the latest fad. Opt for a tagline that has staying power.
2. Conduct a mood and personality analysis. You want a tagline in sync with your company, so the next step is to conduct a personality assessment. Write down words and emotions that are in line with your company’s image. How do you want customers to view your brand? Fun and lively? Tech-savvy? Get your team together, and brainstorm some descriptive terms that convey the mood and personality of your company.
3. Analyze your unique value proposition. What’s your mission or purpose? Think about your company’s vision and the results you wanted to achieve when you first took the leap into entrepreneurship. Analyze your unique value proposition and what you offer your customers. What benefits do your customers get from working with you?
4. Review testimonials from former clients and customers. Some of the best taglines can come straight from the mouths of your customers. If you’ve received positive feedback, review it. Write down short, catchy descriptions your customers have provided, such as “creates captivating content” or “skillful social media mastermind.” You might be able to reshape and transform some of this feedback into potential slogans.
5. Experiment with combining the features, benefits and emotions you’ve identified. Your tagline doesn’t have to consist of a word from each of these brainstorming steps, but they should be in sync. In other words, if you’ve identified your brand as fun and easygoing, eliminate the serious and stuffy-sounding benefits from your options. Your tagline can even consist of a simple, key benefit—but make sure it’s in tune with the emotional tone you want to convey. Come up with a few options based on your brainstorming results.
6. Get feedback. A tagline isn’t something you should come up with alone, even if you’re a solopreneur. Ask for opinions from friends, family, and even clients and customers. You could even take it a step further and run a poll on Facebook or another social platform that you use. In fact, you could run a full-blown contest and ask your clients or customers to come up with tagline ideas for you if you’re struggling to work through the process.
7. Test it out. There are ways to test out a slogan before you fully commit. Try it out on in your LinkedIn company description or on your website. If it attracts a lot of attention, you’ve got yourself a winner. Your slogan is never set in stone. But when it becomes an integral part of your brand image, changing it is a major risk, so choose carefully.
Creating a memorable brand tagline is no simple task. It’s a process that requires a lot of thought and consideration, not to mention creativity. But joining the ranks of Disneyland (“The happiest place on earth”), McDonald’s (“I’m lovin’ it”) and De Beers (“A diamond is forever”) is well worth the effort.
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