6 Secrets to Writing Memorable Taglines

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The tagline: it’s those few short words with the huge responsibility of letting consumers know who you are, what you do, and why they should buy from you. How can you create a tagline that achieves all of this?

Here are 6 tips to help you out.

  1. Make it short—Taglines are usually between three and seven words long. A great tagline is short and clear. That’s why you shouldn’t use big words or industry jargon that confuses potential customers. Use one or two-syllable words as they are easy to understand and to remember.
  2. Remember your target audience—Every business has a target audience, and the success of the business is dependant upon how effectively they communicate with their target audience. Your tagline needs to speak to the needs and the wants of your target audience, and it needs to use language and a style that resonates with them.
  3. Use positive language—This reminds me of an episode of Arrested Development where Gob opens up a banana stand to competes with Michael’s. The slogan he uses for his banana stand is “Frozen bananas that WON’T make you sick and kill you” (implying that Michael’s bananas make customers sick). While this is funny for a TV show, it doesn’t work in real life. Avoid negative language in your tagline.
  4. Don’t be vague—Too many companies use taglines that are interchangeable with their competitors and even businesses from completely different industries. Avoid vague words like “innovative,” “best,” “quality,” etc. Here’s a good way to determine if your tagline is vague or not: have a stranger read the tagline, and then ask them if they know what type of business and services you offer.
  5. Focus on the benefits—I’ve said it a million times before, but I’ll say it again: consumer are selfish, and they only care about what’s in it for them. That’s why you need to have a benefit-driven tagline. For example, Burger King’s “Have it your way” tagline is effective because it tells consumers that they can customize their burger to their preferences.
  6. Don’t try to be clever—Repeat after me: taglines do not have to be witty. In fact, most of the so-called witty taglines I come across are highly ineffective as they either don’t effectively communicate what the business does, they miss the mark with their target audience, or they end up sounding dated after a short period of time.

What’s your business’ tagline? Do you think it works?

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