5 Essential Qualities of a Great Tagline

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“Just do it.” “Think different.” “Got milk?”

Taglines are everywhere—but finding a good one isn’t as easy as you’d think. The truth is, when it comes to marketing a company and its products, a bad tagline is worse than none at all, and yet this easily describes 80% of the market.

Is your tagline a good one? How can you tell? What steps can you take to write a tagline that’s effective?

Below, take a look at five essential qualities that describe the best taglines. Use them to evaluate your tagline and see how well it works!

1. Clear: Your tagline is not the place to be subtle; it should be informative. Its job is to communicate, quickly and clearly, what it is that you do and what you have to offer.

How to Do It: Ask yourself what your company’s mission is. What is your purpose? What’s your focus? Knowing that is half the battle because once you know what you’re trying to say, it’s much easier to find a way to say it. 

2. Concise: The best taglines have one thing in common: they’re simple. It doesn’t matter what your industry is—even a company that makes electrical rubber gloves can do this with a tagline like “the best value in safety solutions since 1946.” Write your tagline to be easy to remember and within 10 words or less.

How to Do It: Streamline your company’s message into one simple, short phrase. 

3. Relevant: So you make flame resistant clothing—so what? Why should anyone care about that? Your tagline needs to be the answer to that question, the information that speaks to the reader’s “What’s in it for me?”

How to Do It: Take time to name client benefits: these clothes will protect you from fire, keep you comfortable while you work, free you up to focus on your tasks, get you home safely, last a long time, dry quickly, etc. Then take that knowledge and build your tagline around it.

4. Branded: A good tagline is reflective of the brand it represents. It must seamlessly match the overall sense of your style and other marketing efforts in order to enhance your impact.

How to Do It: Ask yourself what differentiates you from the competition. What is your style: witty or formal, clean-cut or colorful? Take your particular business tone and find a way to work it into your tagline to strengthen your other marketing efforts.

5. Consistent: Don’t be one of those companies who changes its tagline all the time. A tagline’s greatest strengths lies in its consistency—that clients can count on it, year after year, to stay the same.

How to Do It: Aim to write a tagline that’s timeless, one that won’t become dated as trends change in the next few years. After you choose it, stick with it, on all your marketing materials and across your branding efforts. 

What do you think? Does your tagline hold up to these qualifications?

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