When you’re thinking about attracting a great audience and then drawing them into your business, odds are you’re probably thinking high-level and not thinking about how to create a tagline that really hooks your dream customer/client. Business owners usually assume that things like beautiful colors and logos get people going — and that’s where they are prepared to pour the money and time into.
But that’s not quite right. Like I’ve hammered home time and time again over the past few weeks, it’s really all in nailing down a rock-solid strategy.
One of the most fun parts of that strategy? Building an insanely good tagline for your business.
Here’s the thing: taglines are what can instantly show your audience who you are and what you do and they’re also a fantastic way to create a clearly memorable brand.
When your tagline is aligned with your brand strategy and clear with your messaging, you can create some serious magic. Here’s what you need to know.
What is a Tagline?
If you’re wondering what exactly a tagline is, Alina Wheeler put it the very best way in “Designing Brand Identity” when she said:
“A tagline is a short phrase that captures a company’s brand essence, personality, and positioning, and distinguishes the company from its competitors.”
At the end of the day, what you want to be able to convey with a tagline is a memorable, fun phrase that shows off your business and your mission well. A great tagline is something that audiences will remember — and a poor tagline is often way too complicated or underwhelming.
You’ll want to strike a balance between quippy and efficient — and it might take some work to create it — but it’s so worth it. Just to drive home how great a tagline really can be, here are some of our favorites that you probably recognize:
- Outdoor Voices: “Doing Things.”
- Rice Krispies: Snap! Crackle! Pop!”
- Allstate: “You’re in good hands.
- Nike: “Just do it.”
- Coca-Cola: “Open happiness.”
- Maybelline: “Maybe she’s born with it, maybe it’s Maybelline.”
What Makes a Good Tagline?
There are a few things that go into making a truly stunning tagline, but none of it matters without first knowing — and viscerally understanding — the core of your brand. If you don’t have clarity around your purpose, vision, and mission, it’s impossible to create a tagline that communicates your brand well.
Once you do understand each aspect of your brand, though? You’re in great hands (not in the Allstate way, 🙂 ). When you have true clarity around your business, you can create a tagline that reflects your greatness. When talking about creating great taglines, I like to think of it as a 3-point checklist. Every tagline should have:
- A super clear message.
- A creatively phrased and fun word structure.
- Your brand’s benefit or differentiator.
How to Create a Tagline
When you’re ready to start building a tagline for your business, I’d always recommend starting out with a big ole’ brain dump. What is your brand about? What do you do? What do you not do? What do you want people to instantly recognize? What do you want people to associate your brand with (and not associate it with)?
Then, it’s time to condense that big brain dump into one sentence with an emotional hook that creates a connection point with your audience. If that seems incredibly difficult, it’s because it probably will be! Your tagline probably isn’t something that you’re going to instantly come up with — and that’s okay. Everyone starts somewhere, so don’t be afraid to sit with it and think on it. After all, being more intentional with the time you spend is how you end up with something you truly love!
Once you feel like your sentence-length tagline is something you’re happy with, it’s time to refine it even more. Tighten it up and polish it down to become snappy and short, and test, test, test! It’s totally fine to create a few different variations, and it’s always a great idea to chat with your community and audience to find out what they love and don’t.
Your job? To represent that incredible business of yours the best you can.
A huge part of creating an impactful business — and tagline — lies in understanding your business on each and every level. Your core values are a massive piece of that, and figuring them out is essential to your brand. Download our Core Values Clarity Guide here, and start elevating your brand experience… on your terms.