Tag, You’re It. How to Create a Memorable Tagline.

A tagline can be a memorable and valuable tool for quickly conveying your brand promise, differentiating you from your competition, and bringing a unifying message to your marketing and communications efforts.

Or . . . it can be an empty and senseless exercise in wordplay that leaves people cold and opens you to ridicule, rejection and hostility from men, women and children.

Now that you understand what’s at stake when doing the tagline tango, let’s look at some examples . . .

Good Taglines

“M’m! M’m! Good!” Campbell’s Soup

“The quicker picker upper.” Bounty

“Can you hear me now? Good.” Verizon

“Be all you can be.” U.S. Army

What do these slogans have in common? They promote the product or organization in a memorable way and make a meaningful promise about the brand experience. Now for the misfires.

Bad and Ugly Taglines

“I’m lovin’ it.” McDonalds

“When it rains, it pours.” Morton Salt

“No rules, just right.” Outback Steakhouse

“Every kiss begins with Kay.” Kay Jewelers

What do all these slogans have in common? They make statements that aren’t easily understandable, aren’t based on genuine strengths, and don’t reflect things that are important to customers. Oops!

So how do you create a tagline that lands on the good slogan list and has a potent influence on improving customer recall? Here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Your tagline should be simple, clear, and concise and convey your marketing message.
  • Make sure it speaks to your customers in words and tones that are important to them.
  • If possible, include words or phrases that connect with your logo — words and images working together make the most powerful impression.
  • Once you create a strong tagline, commit to using it over the long haul. Changing taglines too frequently can impair awareness of your brand and weaken your competitive advantage.

One final tip: Never, we repeat never create a tagline that relies on the multitude of worn-out words found in a million sound-alike mission statements. While words like commitment, quality, service, and value may be effective individually, use them together and you may wind up on a future “bad and ugly” tagline list with an entry like “Our Commitment to Quality and Service is a Value You Can Count On.” Arghh!!

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