Taglines 101

18February

Taglines 101

As a business owner or service provider, few things are as important as a good tagline. After all, your tagline will appear on absolutely everything, from business cards and mailers to print ads and billboards. Your tagline will help with your branding, build your company’s identity, and (hopefully, anyway) burn itself into the minds of your current and prospective clients. A good tagline is the cornerstone of any great marketing campaign.

As a copywriter, coming up with a good tagline can be one of the most challenging tasks you’ll ever encounter. At best, writing a tagline is a great creative exercise – at worst, it’s a frustrating case of writer’s block waiting to happen.

Need some inspiration to help get your creative copywriting juices flowing? Read on for five tips to help you kick-start your next tagline assignment.

1. Make a list of differentiators. What makes company XYZ different from the rest? Do they offer 24/7 service, seven days a week? Are their products “green”? Have they been around longer than the other guys? Have they invented a revolutionary technique? Often, the things that make a product unique can be great starting points for a memorable tagline.

2. Think adjectives. Write down every adjective that comes to mind when you think of company XYZ’s product or services. Even better, ask them how they’d like people to see them – do they want their customers to view them as fun and exciting, or would they prefer to be known as experienced and reliable? A few good adjectives can help set the tone for your tagline.

3. Go with the flow. Now isn’t the time to censor yourself – write down absolutely everything that pops into your head, no matter how ridiculous. Spend a good 20 to 30 minutes in stream-of-consciousness mode and just write. Sure, you’ll come up with a lot of junk, but you’ll almost always come up with a few solid ideas you can run with.

4. Work together. As they say, two heads are better than one. Hunt down a coworker and have a brainstorming session instead of going it alone. Taglines can be a lot easier (and more fun) to write when you’ve got a partner.

5. Beg, borrow, and steal. Not literally, of course (that’s plagiarism) – but, spending some time looking at other companies’ taglines can help you get a sense of what works and what doesn’t. Need a starting point? Check out The 100 Best Advertising Taglines Ever and 22 Companies With Really Catchy Slogans and Taglines– they’re good sources of inspiration for taglines for everything from paper towels to diamonds.

Got any other tips for writing solid taglines? Do you have a favorite tagline? Leave a comment and share it!

Posted by Stephanie  Posted on 18 Feb 
  • Copywriting, copywriting tips, tagline tips
  • Post Comments 4

    Posted by Cathy @ 3 at 1 Copying on
    • Oct 16 2009
    Reply  
    I have just come across this site, and have paged through finding it really great, with interesting and informative content Wow what a site and post, absolutely loved it very inspiring, looking forward to reading through some more.
    Posted by Ann on
    • Oct 26 2009
    Reply  
    Sometimes accidental puns work excellently, though they may require a slight modification before you get the final version.
    Posted by Wintress on
    • Oct 26 2009
    Reply  
    Thanks Ann, If you have any examples, I'd love to hear about them.
    Posted by Brisbane SEO Guy on
    • Aug 11 2010
    Reply  
    An accidental pun like this one, for an editor whose business name is Lexical Me: Tagline: Get lexical! For those who don't know ... lexical means "of words", but of course the business name is Lexical Me. There's copyright on that, by the way!

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