You can spend thousands of dollars at an agency or follow these steps and come up with a tag line yourself. All it takes is creativity, wordsmithing, an open mind, brainstorming and a real willingness to have fun. Tag lines sum up your brand in 7 small words.
1) COMING UP WITH A GREAT TAG LINE
- Simple – the idea must be easy enough for everyone to understand.
- One Idea – Pick the thing you’re best at, you can’t describe everything. Pick the one thing you would defend at all costs.
- Branded – The tagline should flow from the brand promise, positioning statement.
- Different – So what? Your tag line must make you stand out from the crowd. If your competition can use it too, you shouldn’t.
- Benefit – what does the customer get?
2) TAG LINE TEST
The end result must be: –
- Pronounceable and easy to spell.
- Captures the brand personality.
- Short, simple, concise, crisp, appropriate statement – 7 words or less.
- Distinctive, unique.
- Catchy, fun
- Easy to remember
- Explains what you do
- Pleasing to hear, have a good cadence.
- Creates desire.
- Can you deliver the promise?
- Can it be trademarked?
- Is it legal?
- If your competitors could use it, it’s probably not good enough.
3) TYPES OF TAG LINES
Descriptive: Clarifies what your organization does, best for start-ups. The tag line is often incorporated into the logo. The Water Garden, Spa & Wellness Retreat. Mutual of America, Your Retirement Company.
Conceptual: What’s the one word (or short phrase) your company can own? Apple, Think Different. Nike, Just Do It. Dell Computer Easy as Dell. Staples That was easy.
Differentiating: Promise one core brand value that makes you stand out from the crowd of your competitors. Citibank – Citi Never Sleeps., (like New York, clever). VISA It’s everywhere you want to be. Playtex Cross-Your-Heart Bra Lifts and separates.
Anticipatory: What the customer’s life will be like if they use your product/service. Eg . Improving Life, One Breath at a Time, the American Lung Association. Quickbooks Get back to business. Wal-Mart Save money. Live Better. Toshiba Choose freedom.
Aspirational: The US Army’s Be All You Can Be, matches the organization’s aspirations with client’s dreams.
4) PROCESS OF CREATING A TAG LINE
4.1) COLLECT DATA
- What do clients think and say about you? “Our brand is what people say about us when we’re not in the room,” Jason Kilar, Hulu CEO.
- What do clients think and say about the competition?
- What are your competitor’s taglines? Brand promises? Position in the market place?
- What is your brand promise and position in the market place?
- You need to know what the competition is up to so you don’t copy it and get into branding problems and legal hot water.
4.2) LIST KEYWORDS
Come up with an exhaustive list of words, verbs, nouns, adjectives, that
- Relate to the business you are in.
- Explain the Brand promise.
- What benefits and results will clients get by using your product or service? What are clients looking for?
- What attributes and advantages are there to using you?
- Why will people choose you over and above anyone else?
- What makes you different?
- What qualities characterise your target market?. i.e are they clean freaks, cool, traditional?
4.3) ADD TO KEYWORDS
- Synonyms from the thesaurus. (Words that mean the same thing).
- Add homophones, i.e another word that sounds the same as a keyword but has a different spelling and meaning e.g hire and higher.
- Can you find rhymes? Eg Kentucky Fried Chicken’s old tagline, Finger Lickin’ Good. Timex Takes a Lickin’ and Keeps on Tickin’.
Use the keyword lists to come up with a concept that must either clarify a) what you do, b) express a core brand attribute or c) support your positioning statement.
Try the following as ways of coming up with the winning phrase: –
- Combine some of the keywords – do they create a great line? Use alliteration if possible, or rhyme.
- Paradox – combine two ideas that seem to be opposites. E.g Cake Shop, The most heavenly sweets on earth.
- Fantasy wish-list, express the customer benefit, it doesn’t matter how far fetched the idea is, e.g 100% pain free.
- Everyday phrases, do the keywords suggest any clichés, mottoes you can further develop.
- Play on words. Eg Sony’s latest. Make. Believe. Use phrases that have dual meanings.
- Add words that imply mastery, you’re the best at…Queen of Lean Fitness. Avoid words like Quality, Service, Commitment, Excellence.
- What are your customers trying to avoid by using your product service?
5) FINALISE AND TEST
Come up with four favourites, develop them into a winning phrase and test them out by surveys and focus groups.
6) DECISION TIME.
Check it’s legal and no one else is using it by searching for it on Google and Trademark search functions in the U.S, Canada or wherever you live.