Thursday, September 12, 2013

5 Rules For Developing Your Tagline

You want to create buzz or generate some excitement with the mere mention of your company name.You want people to Just do it or to realize that you Bring good things to life... and that you can do it in 15 minutes.

Well, here's a little help for you. A few rules that will help you win friends and influence people.

1. Your Tagline Is A Focal Point
There are entire websites devoted to helping you create the world's greatest tag line/slogan. Suspiciously, however, business schools spend very little time on this. Do you know why that is? Because a tag line is only as good as the marketing behind it. You think Just Do It was enough? That by sticking that everyone Nike was able to gather a following the size of Alpha Centauri?

Not at all. A lot of work went into making Nike's tagline as popular as it is. It took focus. Every ad you see from Nike is about people out there, DOING it! And, of course, we want to be those people. Nike makes sure of it.

That's your goal. You not only want a tagline that motivates, but you want to make sure you give context and a reason for that motivation. If Nike had started creating ads that concentrated on the comfort level of their shoes, no one would give two farts about Just Do It.

2. Your Tagline Isn't About You
Fisher Price could have easily have said Our Toys Are Pretty Damned Great. Not many people would have argued. But, it doesn't inspire, either. Instead of simply bragging about the company they reminded us of what we want for our children. Play. Laugh. Grow. Simple, but very effective. When we hear those words, we feel as if we understand the message behind what makes Fisher Price who they are. And it aligns with what we want.

If you're working on your tagline, or just reviewing it, and it reads Jimmy's Art, It's Really Good, you might want to do a little altering. Now, Jimmy's Art, It Looks Really Good Over Your Couch could be just the change you need. How about Jimmy's Art, So Good You Just HAVE To Buy It!

3. When You Need A Tagline
According to Abby Kerr of The Voice Bureau, you need a tagline when your business name is bland, like The Geraud Gallery. No one knows that I do, or what they will find there. It's screaming for a tag line. She also recommends a tagline when your business concept isn't made obvious by the name of your business. Keyser Soze Accessories could be anything ranging from necklaces to kitchen appliances. A tagline will help it out. Personally, I like Keyser Soze Accessories, Memo Boards For The Quick Thinker. Or, perhaps Keyser Soze Accessories, Killer Shoes For The Everyday Man. 

4. Make It Visceral
Your tagline should be filled with emotion. You want me to relate to it, then you've got to wow me. Let's forget that there are 1000s of advertisements on TV, in magazines, and for the first 47 minutes of every movie in the theatre (which is also when my popcorn runs out). Most of these are bland. Even the good ones get lost. But forget about that. It's not a competition. Not really. It's about connecting to the people that you want buying your product or using your service.

Now, MAYBE visceral is bad for your business. Stepford Ladies Tennis Club, Breaking A Foot Off Into The Competition would probably not bring in the sort of people you want. But, generally speaking, you want people to get excited when they see your name and hear your slogan. Action comes from excitement. You want me to get up off the couch and call, you'll need to give me a charge. I'm not turning off the game just because I hear Cagney Exterminators, We'll Get Rid of Your Bugs. But, if I hear some guy or gal doing a Cagney voice and I hear Cagney Exterminators, We'll Never Take 'Em Alive I may just head over to the phone. If not right away, then definitely later.

5. Make It Long Lasting
You can change your tag line. In fact, it's good to review it every year or two to make sure it still rings true and aligns with what you do and what your customers want. But, you aren't TRYING to change it every year. So, make it last. Global Fireworks, Best Fireworks of 2013 is terrible. It may be nice for January of 2014, but after that no one cares. Also, don't reference pop culture (unless, perhaps, you're a pop culture-based business). These references get old fast. Iggy's Housecleaning, Cause Ain't Nobody Got Time For That is hilarious for a little while. But, in a year or two, people will just think you're grammar is terrible.

Looking for some steps to build your actual tagline? Check out these 19 Steps For Creating a Great Tagline. But, more importantly, just get cracking! Start thinking and see what you can come up with. I'd love to hear your ideas!


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