How to Write a Tagline : 3 Simple Tips
Taglines are tricky little blighters. With just a tiny handful of words, they should sum up your business and demonstrate its benefits. How the heck are you supposed to do that?
In this post, I’m going to give you 3 tips to make things easier.
1. Keep it simple
Don’t try and be clever. Your tag line needs to be so straightforward that a 3 year old will understand the vocabulary. It also needs to be short – between 3 and 8 words.
Let me give you an example:
You see? Pure genius. Dave Shelton and Liz Whiston came up with that line 20 years ago. With just 8 words Ronseal was transformed from just another varnish into a brand leader.
Use simple words that are meaningful and which clearly describe what your business actually does.
Avoid buzzwords. “Solutions”, for example, is both overused and meaningless. And besides, you haven’t the space to prove you’ve understood the problem so nobody will believe you.
Tesco don’t offer “low price solutions”. They tell you a universal truth:
2. Brainstorm some words
Which words describe your business? Forget about how you see it. Think about how you’d like customers to see it.
Write down 10 simple words that summarise your brand. Then write down another 10 words that explain how you benefit your customer.
Don’t be ashamed to use a Roget’s Thesaurus. Believe me, copywriters do it all the time.
After you’ve found some words, play around with them. Don’t rush it. The less that’s required, the more time it takes to get right.
As well as writing, the process will involve talking to yourself, staring into space and uttering sweary words. Miller Lite’s copywriter would have probably turned the air blue writing this:
3. Be honest
Don’t over-sell. Can your business deliver on the promises it makes in its tagline? Are you really “the best”, or “the number 1”?
Customers will always ignore exaggeration and they’ll actively dislike boasting. Besides, why would they take your word for it?
Being honest sets you apart from your competitors. It’s trustworthy and it makes you memorable.
The Avis slogan “We try harder”, which they still use today, was written by Paula Green in 1962. The original strapline was this: