What is a tagline? Beginner’s guide with examples

Many companies, including Nike and Microsoft, have used taglines in their marketing to get customers to associate their brand with a message.

A psychological phenomenon known as the mere exposure effect is where we develop a preference just because we are familiar with things.

Taglines are memorable and can be easily remembered by customers.

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However, it can be hard to create slogans and taglines that are creative and original.

What is a tagline?

A tagline can be defined as “a catchphrase, slogan, especially used in advertising or as the punchline to a joke.”

taglines brands

A tagline is the business’s mantra when it comes to marketing. It tells people who and what you are in just a few words.

A tagline serves two purposes: to make a memorable, positive phrase that customers remember and helps them identify your brand.

How a tagline works

It’s not hard to see that taglines are an important part of any brand. Some brands even have their own taglines. Their positioning on the market is also influenced by their tagline.

It is a powerful communication message that becomes an earworm for the public and sticks in their heads. It’s designed to create a lasting impression in one interaction. It communicates brand personality to consumers in simple words. If done correctly, it communicates the overall benefits of what they are offered.

A tagline can be used by any business in marketing campaigns. It can be used in print, in brochures, newspaper ads, radio spots, promotional events, on the company’s website, and social media channels.

Different types of taglines

Typically, taglines are one of five main styles.

  • Descriptive: These taglines highlight the brand or product promise. Walmart, for example, uses the tagline “Save Money.” Live Better It reflects the promise of the brand to offer everyday products at low prices.
  • Imperative: These taglines, such as Nike’s “Just Do It”, demand consumers to take action and often include a verb.
  • Provocative: These taglines can be used to encourage consumers to think about how they can improve their lives. One famous example is “Got Milk?” California Milk Processing Board.
  • Specific: This tagline highlights the business sector of a company. HSBC was once called “The world’s most local bank.”
  • Superlative: These taglines place a brand at the top of its class. BMW, for example, has used the tagline “The ultimate driver machine” to refer to its cars.

5 tips to create a successful tagline

1. Keep it simple

The most successful slogans are between 3-6 words in length and communicate the message quickly. Your tagline should not exceed six words (with some exceptions I’ll discuss in the examples section).

mcdonalds tagline

2. Remember the benefits

Customers are interested in benefits and not features. This applies to your tagline. Your tagline should communicate the main benefit of your product or brand to your customers without revealing any “features.” A feature is something that can be removed for cleaning, while convenience is something that is considered a benefit.

3. Give it importance

You shouldn’t just copy the tagline of famous companies. It should be meaningful to your brand if you are going to spend the time and money to create a catchphrase. If not, you can just stop creating one.

nike tagline

4. Clarity is the key

Your tagline should not be confusing. It should be simple and clear. You are probably wrong if you ask your friends for their opinions and get no answers.

toyota tagline

5. Tell a story

Marketing and business are dominated by storytelling. A stronger story will result in more sales. Your slogan can be an integral part of your marketing and branding.

3 steps to create a great tagline for your business

taglines

It can be difficult to create a tagline, but it can also be very easy. It all depends on how creative you are and what inspiration strikes.

Inspiration is a powerful force that can be triggered by action. We have compiled a step-by-step guide to help you get started and create your business tagline.

1. Beginning with the end

Stephen Covey, the author of The Seven Habits of Highly Successful People, has excellent advice. It is important to visualize where you would like to be (and your company) in five to ten years.

This is because your current business may not be as inspiring or big as you would like. You have a better chance of achieving your goals if you treat it as if they are already possible.

Ask yourself these questions:

  • In 5-10 years, where do you see your business?
  • What is the purpose of my business? Who do I want my business to support?

2. Find out what EMOTIONS you want to develop

Marketing that taps into emotions is the best kind of marketing. Your tagline should be no exception.

Ask yourself this question: How do you want people to think about your business?

It could be something as simple as happiness or pride. It can be a simple emotion, like happiness or pride.

Here’s Plutchik’s emotion wheel of the various types of emotions:

various types of emotions

3. Brainstorm multIple slogan ideas

This is the moment you have a clear idea of where you want to go, what you stand up for, and how your customers should feel. Next, create your tagline.

Let’s suppose you want to be the top retailer of coffee mugs. Your vision is to sell 10,000,000 coffee mugs in 10 years. Your goal is to make customers smile every time they pick up their favorite mug.

One good slogan could be:

  • A mug for love
  • There are at least one reason to smile
  • One smile per day…
  • Sit. Sit. Smile.

You get the idea. These were created by me visualizing the feelings I wanted my customers to feel when they saw one of my mugs. Then I used some creativity to express that feeling in words.

To get started, I recommend having at least 10-20 ideas. It’s okay if they don’t work out. This can be a numbers game. It’s important to use your creativity to generate ideas.

What to do if you get stuck

come up with a slogan for a product

You won’t be a genius at creativity unless you are a good writer.

These are some tips to help when you don’t know how to create the perfect slogan.

Look at other examples

Artists are good at copywriting. To get new ideas, look at the taglines of other businesses if you feel stuck.

As you look at them, consider why the tagline is so important. Consider the emotion they are trying to communicate, their product, and why it may make sense. This reverse-engineering process will allow you to create your own tagline.

Try a few power words

If you are having trouble finding the right words to describe your brand, it is likely that you are stuck.

In that case, consider browsing a list of power words that convey emotion to see if anything catches your eye.

power words for tagline

Do not try to be perfect

It can be almost as difficult to come up with a tagline as it is to create a logo or business name. The great thing about taglines? If they don’t work, it’s much easier to change them!

Nearly all major brands have changed their tagline at some point, either to reflect a new vision, new trends or because the old one was no longer working.

Take a break

If all else fails, just walk away!

Blocks are a part of creativity. Sometimes, it is better to do something different. Take a walk, eat with friends, or talk to someone. Anything that will get you away from your tagline.

Your subconscious will do the hard work. You can take a look at it later, or even tomorrow.

Final words

You can choose to concentrate on your products, values, or audience. But, your tagline, brand name and logo are all integral parts of your brand’s identity.

When brainstorming tagline ideas for your brand, think of a phrase that can be used across generations and that you would be proud to use with it in the future.

Examples of logos with a computer from Turbologo

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