What is a Tagline?

A company tagline is all about brevity. How can you condense what you do into just a few words? A good catchphrase might seem simple on the surface, but the reality is this seemingly simple problem can confound even the most experienced marketers. We’ll look at what a tagline does and how you can use the fundamentals to create the right one for your company. If you already know how you want to fit your tagline with your logo, we have a Free Logo Generator tool so you can preview your masterpiece.


Everything About Taglines

A tagline is a memorable phrase used in advertising. It’s not just a clever saying, but a way to tell people what you do. You can’t assume that your audience has hours to learn about what you stand for and how you can help — they might have seconds at best. If they get so far as to look beyond your logo to read your tagline, you have to give them a message that they can hold onto long after they look away.

An important part of your brand is a memorable business name. If you don’t already have a business name picked out, explore our Business Name Generator to help you nail down the perfect name.

Do You Need a Tagline?

Not necessarily. If your company has a solid logo, name, and general marketing strategy, you might want to skip the tagline. Some marketing experts argue that taglines just waste space and ultimately don’t contain a lot of meaning. However, you should study a few of the famous ones and see if any of them apply to what you do and how you want to present yourself.

Famous Taglines From Different Industries

We’ll look at a few industries and which businesses managed to nail the most important parts of a tagline or tagline.

Beauty


The best taglines set their brand apart, include positive language, and invoke a good feeling within your target audience. For example, the successful L'Oréal Paris campaign “Because you’re worth it.” There are a few takeaways from this example. While the brand was already well-known by the public, marketers wanted to inspire prospective customers to switch loyalties. In just a few words, L'Oréal is giving major clues about what it does and why.

For one, L'Oréal Paris is differentiating its brand by saying that its products are definitely not the cheapest on the market. The marketing team fully acknowledges that you have plenty of other choices, many of which might be better suited for your budget. But they’re also saying that the products are worth the price because the company values its customers so much. Instead of giving you cheaper ingredients, it provides you with superior quality. L'Oréal Paris won’t compromise on your worth and is reminding you not to do that either.

Apparel

A great tagline from the clothing industry is Nike’s famous “Just do it.” On the surface, it’s arguably ridiculous and confusing. What is ‘it’? Why exactly should you just blindly obey a command from a company? But Nike has been synonymous with sports for so long that the connection is firmly established in people’s minds.

Instead of worrying about whether you’re the best on the court or the fastest runner in the race, the goal is to get out there anyway. Nike doesn’t care if you’re not Michael Jordan, it wants you to get out there and live your life. That kind of brash and young attitude is exactly why Nike has seen so much success with athletes of every variety.

Technology

Verizon’s “Can You Hear Me Now?” tagline managed to become a pop culture phenomenon in many ways. It brings about images of a man wading through bogs and trekking through forests, all the while never missing a word of the phone call he’s on.

This rhetorical question is a nod to missed words and dropped connections, the kind that we’re all familiar with by now. Whether you’re talking to a friend about your birthday or you’re in the middle of an emergency phone call, you need your cell phone to work no matter where you are. You need to come through loud and clear and you need the person on the other line to do the same. With this campaign, Verizon was implying that its network is simply better, and the value of a better network is priceless.

Food

Take two of the best food brand taglines of all time.

  • Lay’s: Betcha Can’t Eat Just One
  • Dunkin’ Donuts: America Runs on Dunkin’

The Lay’s tagline is playing on your snacking habits because everyone knows the feeling of reaching for the bag again even after you closed it up for ‘the last time’. Lay’s is essentially reminding you that the satisfaction of going back for a second round is because its product is just too good to resist.

With the Dunkin’ Donuts tagline, it’s actually playing on a few things here. You could read this as a simple nod to its donuts. People run in, grab their breakfast, and then get back to work. They use the sugar rush to power them through even the most boring of meetings. But the tagline can also be read as a reference to its coffee.

Dunkin has managed to introduce blends and specialty drinks that have been wildly popular in a very over-saturated market. When you need more than just chocolate to perk you up, you might also think of grabbing a coffee to dip that donut. That’s the true power of a truly great tagline.

Consider Your Mission Statement

If you’re having trouble understanding what makes for a good tagline, you might want to look at your mission statement. Whether it’s a sentence or a paragraph, your statements represent what you hope to accomplish. If you had to boil everything down and reduce it to just one sentiment, what would it be?

Another way to think about it is that if your logo is the visual of your brand, your tagline is the audible part. Ideally, you’re trying to tell your customers what the benefits are of choosing your company, as opposed to selling them on one particular product or component.

Creating the Best Tagline for Your Business

Your company likely isn’t just one thing, which is being succinct can be difficult for business owners. If you run a company that offers numerous benefits, how can you really tell customers what you do without being vague?

As you read and reread your mission statement to extract what matters, remember just one simple rule:

  • You don’t necessarily have to fit everything into your tagline.

As an example, we have to look at Apple for this. From its watch to phones to laptops, the tech company has managed to corner a broad market. But the tagline has nothing to do with how amazing its products are or how it has connected millions of people around the world.

It’s just two words: Think Different. In 14 letters, Apple has managed to convey an entire philosophy. You know that the company is about challenging expectations and seeing things for what they could be rather than what they are. Make sure your tagline represents your business but also remember to keep it short and snappy. As we’ve seen in the examples above, using a few words to get your point across can be pretty effective.

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