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Thinking about a new tagline for your business? Your tagline, sometimes referred to as a slogan, can communicate a lot about your brand.  But if you want a great tagline, think of it as a telegraph— short and says something important.

Crafting that perfect tagline can help you:

  • Separate and elevate your brand,
  • Clarify the industry or business category you operate within,
  • Make your business more memorable,
  • Add brand personality to your company name,
  • Enhance your credibility and
  • Reinforce any desired brand perceptions among potential customers.

5 Tagline Types

When exploring your next tagline, consider these five basic tagline types used in small business: benefit, descriptive, superlative, provocative and action.

Benefit Taglines: What’s in it for me?

Benefit taglines are the workhorse of all taglines. They are customer-centered because they focus only on a customer benefit, or two. Examples include:

  • Dollar Shave Club- Shave time. Shave money.
  • Hint- Drink water, not sugar
  • Princess Cruises- Come back new

Descriptive Taglines: What do you do?

Descriptive taglines are excellent for newer brands or brands using a coined or concept-based name because they put the brand into the context of a product category or industry. Examples include:

  • Aruba- One happy island
  • Lush- Fresh, handmade cosmetics
  • Snooze- An AM eatery

Superlative Taglines: Who is the best?

Superlative taglines are great if you can authentically claim superiority. Superlative taglines boldly position your business as the best in the industry. Examples include:

  • BMW- The ultimate driving machine
  • Casper- The best bed for better sleep
  • Grey Goose- The world’s best tasting vodka

Provocative Taglines: Wow, that’s interesting

Provocative taglines can be real memory-makers if executed well. Provocative taglines can have double meanings, a play on words or simply convey a thought-provoking idea. Examples include:

  • ASPCA- We are their voice
  • Kay Jewelers- Every kiss begins with Kay
  • Wounded Warrior Project- The greatest casualty is being forgotten

Take-Action Taglines: What should I do?

Take-action taglines are also referred to as imperative taglines. These taglines usually start with a verb commanding the reader to do something.  Examples include:

  • Coca Cola- Open happiness
  • Travelocity- Wander wisely
  • wework- Do what you love

Writing the Perfect Tagline

When writing your tagline aim for these three things:

1. Keep Your Tagline Short

Don’t worry about complete sentences or punctuation when writing your tagline. Use punctuation only to emphasize something otherwise, leave it out. The fewer the characters, the easier it will be to read and recall.

2.Focus On One Idea in Your Tagline

Yes, just one idea. Your tagline could convey a key benefit(s) about your offering, try not to include more than two benefits. Or your tagline could focus on a key differentiator, what makes your brand special. If your business name is a concept or coined name, in other words it doesn’t overly express your product type, use your tagline to communicate what you do.

3.Avoid Redundancy in Your Tagline

Since your tagline will live near your logo, there’s no need to repeat words that are already in your logo.  Yes, some taglines do repeat words but why do that when you could use the valuable real estate to express something else.

Selecting the Right Tagline

Maybe you already have several tagline candidates and need to decide on one. Below are four criteria for objectively evaluating your marketing taglines.

  • Is it easy to say?
  • Does it reflect your brand personality?
  • Does it fit neatly below your logo?
  • Does it address something highly relevant to your target audiences?

Rate each tagline idea on a scale of 1-10 using l = poor, 5= average, 10=excellent. Add up the scores for each tagline candidate. Often there will be a clear winner.

Using Your Tagline

Once you have settled on a tagline, be sure to use it often. For small business owners, branding is a game of repetition and your tagline can be a powerful tool. Where ever your logo appears, your tagline should be below or beside it. Use your business tagline on your business cards, signage, vehicles, displays and social media profiles. The more you use your tagline, the more your it will become synonymous with your business name.

Claire Eby
Claire Eby

Claire is a Denver marketing consultant and natural problem solver. In 2007, she founded Brand Mentoring to help clients, big and small, build their brands and go to market with pride.

Claire’s background includes pivotal marketing roles, such as Marketing Director and Chief Marketing Officer. Claire has also worked inside five advertising/digital agencies, collaborating with top creative talent on B2C and B2B marketing challenges. These experiences shape her methods for working with clients today. Claire uses her extensive facilitator experience to help clients discover their brand truths, marketing priorities, and the path forward.