4 Tips For Creating Compelling Taglines

Create a great tagline for your business – and for your clients’ brands – with the help of these practical strategies.

Consider What Differentiates You/Your Client: A good tagline communicates to target audiences why a brand stands out from the competition – why it is a superior choice. To come up with such a tagline, ask and answer questions like, “What sets us apart? What do we do better than our competitors? How are we uniquely positioned to serve our desired customers?” If you’re stumped, consider asking a few clients you are close with for feedback on why they like working with you. Your clients can do the same with their customers.

Demonstrate Value: An excellent tagline conveys a brand’s unique value proposition. It suggests how prospects lives will be improved by buying from/working with the brand. Walmart, for instance, has a tagline that achieves this. “Save Money. Live better.” This tagline relates Walmart’s main differentiator -- the powerful benefit the retailer offers customers. To craft a strong tagline for yourself or your clients, ask questions like, “How do the services and solutions we provide make clients’ lives better?”

Be Brief: A tagline is not a mission statement or an “about us” paragraph on your website. It is a concise statement, phrase or question (Wendy’s: “Where’s the beef?”) that generates interest in your brand or your client’s brand among audiences you seek to influence.

While it’s essential to keep the tagline short, refrain from pressuring yourself into coming up with a pithy slogan right out of the gates. Instead, write down possible iterations of your tagline. They can be longer at first. As you go along, challenge yourself to pare down the words until you have something punchy. To help inspire brevity, think of taglines like Nissan’s “Innovation that excites” or Home Depot’s “More Saving. More Doing.”

Choose Your Words Wisely: Quality taglines avoid clichés and jargon, which can make a brand seem boring and unoriginal. Even in a jargon-thick industry like technology, the Apple tagline -- “Think Different” -- couldn’t be simpler or more effective in conveying what the innovator is all about.

While you want to avoid jargon and clichés, don’t strain to be so clever that you become vague, which will result in you failing to communicate anything relevant. Seek to use simple words to relate the essence of a brand – something like Ram Trucks’ “Guts. Glory. Ram.” Lastly, be sensitive. Avoid using words or phrases that could be construed as offensive or discriminatory.  

5 Iconic Taglines

  • Nike: Just Do It.
  • BMW: The Ultimate Driving Machine.
  • M&Ms: Melts in your mouth, not in your hand.
  • U.S. Marines: The Few. The Proud. The Marines.
  • Mastercard: There are some things money can’t buy. For everything else, there’s Mastercard.