Just Do It
Easy, Breezy, Beautiful
I’m Lovin’ It
You’re In Good Hands
Chances are you don’t have to be told which companies are associated with these tag lines. The respective logos pop into your mind the second you hear the short, but memorable slogans. Just like Nike, CoverGirl, McDonalds, and Allstate, a great tag line can help to establish and maintain a company's message, as well as distinguish itself from competitors. Not only do they set the foundation for a brand’s identity, but they build brand loyalty amongst new and existing customers. These examples make it look easy, but creating a message that is right for your business is a process with quite a few factors to take into consideration.
What Makes A Great Tag Line?
The obvious strategy of a tag line is to make your brand more memorable. Unfortunately there is no formula to solve this problem. However, some standard formats that most companies try are:
- Humor (Virgin Atlantic: “More experience than our name suggests” )
- Visceral reaction (L’ORÉAL: “Because you’re worth it” )
- Puns (Fortune Magazine: “For the men in charge of change” )
- Direct business sell (Gerber: “Babies are our business” )
It’s not only established, traditional brands that have succeeded with creating catchy tag lines. Online publications, bloggers, and apps have come up with some truly creative - and more importantly, memorable messages:
- Perez Hilton: Celebrity Juice. Not from concentrate.
- YouTube: Broadcast Yourself
- Airbnb: Belong Anywhere
- Ebay: The World’s Online Marketplace.
- Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia.
- Spotify: Music for Everyone.
Take Time to Plan
Quite a bit of thought needs to go into the early motions of creating a tag line before reaching a finished product. Spend time analyzing the direction in which your message should go, and then creatively brainstorm how you are going to get it there. The process should begin with some serious questions in mind:
- What is the core message you are trying to deliver?
- Who is my target audience (and what kind of messaging works best for that audience)?
- What tone do I want to use to deliver my message?
Make The Effort
If you are going to take on the project of creating a tag line for your company, then it only makes sense to put forth the maximum effort. Creating an interesting tag line requires that you devote the creative resources necessary to do the job well. Delegate a qualified team, and take the time to brainstorm. With the right minds, there should be a few viable options for you to consider and test out.
You can also think seriously about having a tag line created professionally. Relatively small businesses, and companies that cater to very specific industries, don’t always have the kind of creative talent on staff to come up with an effective message. The process takes time, and some organizations just don’t have the amount necessary to apply to a project like this. A tag line can have a significantly positive effect on your business, which is why making an investment in an advertising or branding company can pay off in the long run.
Test It Out
You may think you have a great tag line, but will your audience agree with you? Run your ideas by as many independent people as possible. Hosting some focus groups can also be beneficial if you have the ability to do so. Test them out on colleagues, clients, and even friends or associates unrelated to your specific industry.
You might be surprised which ones receive the strongest reactions.
The rules are there are NO RULES. We have seen successful tag lines take many forms. However there are a few things you will want to keep in mind:
Bragging Rarely Works
“We’re the best” is a meaningless tag line because it doesn’t tell you why. Making empty assertions and generalized promises does not set you apart from the competition. Therefore it gives the customer no reason to specifically choose your company.
When Avis said “We try harder,” it succeeded because the message was “we’re going to do everything in our power to make your car renting experience a great one.” They told their customers that they “try harder” than their competitors, opening the doors for them to prove it through their service.
An exception to this rule would be in cases where companies use bragging as a form of humor. It is a thin line that some companies have managed to successfully balance. We see Virgin Airlines practicing this model pretty frequently when they use their company name as a starting point for their innuendo-infused tag lines. Their play on words can be somewhat scandalous, but certainly memorable.
Keep it Short
Try to keep it as short as reasonably possible. Not all tag lines are short, but the best ones usually are. The goal is to make an impression, and it is much easier for customers to remember a short message than a long one. The Milk Counsel’s “Got Milk” campaign sticks out as a classic, as well as Subway’s “Eat Fresh.”
Don’t Be Generic!
Remember, your tag line should be a mini advertisement for you. If it has nothing to do with who you are, what you offer, or what your audience needs, then it will get you nowhere.
There are countless makeup brands around the world that are all advertising to the same audience. The tag lines are what make them memorable and distinguishable to prospective customers. Rimmel’s “Get the London look,” and Maybelline’s “Maybe she’s born with it…” are both synonymous with their corresponding company. Tag lines give these brands a chance to separate themselves from one another, while reinforcing the overall identity of the company. In a competitive industry such as beauty, having a tag line that stands out in a consumer’s mind can be an extremely important factor in the short-term purchase process, and build long-term brand loyalty.
Multiple Taglines For Multiple Situations
Don’t be afraid to create more than one tag line! Different events, products, and services can call for an independent tag line to reinforce your brand name while targeting specific customers. Or you could opt for designing a company slogan, as well as a more detailed tag line to expand upon the idea that the slogan introduces. For example, Blue Fountain Media has a tag line that we associate with our logo: Your Partner for Digital Growth. While our service-specific tag line is: A full service digital agency growing brands online.
With a great tag line, comes great potential. It gives your business the chance to distinguish itself from the competition, and leave a lasting impact on both existing and prospective customers. Finding the right one can be a daunting task, but remember: Just Do It.