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Looking for a Great Tagline - Search No More

by Carrie Shearer  |  
January 26, 2007

Taglines position your brand. They are a few descriptive words that set your business apart from the competition and arouse consumer interest. Exceptional taglines can remind potential customers about your brand without mentioning your product, service or company name. Remember ‘When you care enough to send the very best,’ ‘The quicker picker-upper,’ ‘We try harder’ and ‘Just do it!’? (Hallmark, Bounty, Avis and Nike.)

Basically, a tagline should communicate your company’s positioning. What is the unique benefit that your product or service offers your target audience? Remember the 7-Up tagline, ‘The Uncola’? These two words clearly identified the positioning of 7-Up as different from cola drinks. It was memorable since the words could not have been used to describe another soft drink at that time.

This is vital to a good tagline – It is clear which product it defines. Thinkmor, a frequent contributor to KHE whose expertise is in branding, reiterated this thought in the KHE Forum question. “The test of any good tagline [is that it] should be perceived as totally incompatible under a competitor’s brand name.”

“Typically, a tagline is used to communicate or explain the main positioning benefit the company or brand provides – especially when the company/brand name doesn’t do a particularly good job of communicating that message. In that case, it’s important to go back to the positioning statement and make sure the target audience is clearly and narrowly defined, and the benefit is really one that’s important to that target audience,” Mgoodman, a Top 25 Expert in the KHE Forum, advised in a recent interview.

He later added, “Simply looking for a ‘catchy tagline’ that customers and potential customers will remember is like looking for a joke to open a show. It’s quickly forgotten unless the subject matter and substance are important to the target audience.”

What makes one tagline better than another?

  • They are short, pithy and easy to remember.

    Dawn claims, “As a rule, taglines need to be short and sweet, yet descriptive enough that they get your message across … They almost serve as your 3-second billboard.” (See question.)

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Carrie Shearer is a writer and researcher who has been published in the European Wall Street Journal and other global publications.  Before embarking on her second, or is it third career, Carrie spent 25 years in the international petroleum industry, most of it overseas.

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