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How the Best Taglines Make a Splash

tagline and branding brainstorm illustration

You’ve heard it from us before, but we’re here to say it again. Every business needs a brand. And, in addition to the visual identity — we’re talking logos, color palettes, typography and textures — a tagline is an essential element of your business’ brand. It works in tandem with your visual identity and your stylistic voice to set the tone for your messaging. It will be woven into your copy and incorporated into designed materials, so it’s important for it to accurately reflect your business’ personality. So, what makes a good tagline? And, how does it make the proverbial splash?

We’re so glad you asked. Let’s take a closer look at how a tagline makes an impact and how to make that impact count.

What is a Tagline?

A tagline, also sometimes referred to as a slogan, is a brief phrase that captures an essential idea, message or value proposition tied to a business’ brand. It’s used in marketing materials from the website, print and digital ads, commercials, sales collateral and even business cards. Some brands opt to use their tagline in conjunction with their logo as a graphic element, while others primarily focus on incorporating the tagline into copy. Ideally, a tagline is catchy and easy-to-remember while also conveying a clear, succinct message about the value your company offers.

Pop Quiz: Tagline Edition

Review the list of taglines below. How many companies can you name?

  • Obey your thirst.
  • Expect More. Pay Less.
  • Because I’m Worth It
  • Everywhere You Want to Be
  • Just Do It
  • The Happiest Place on Earth
  • Where the healthy pets go

We’re willing to bet you were able to name a handful — if not all — of the companies based on their taglines alone. Talk about making a splash! These short, easy-to-remember phrases are often considered one of the most effective ways of drawing attention to your company. They can be used to highlight important aspects of your company’s offerings, services or goals. For example, Petco revised their tagline in 2011 from “Where the pets go” to “Where the healthy pets go” to reinforce their renewed focus on providing high quality products and pet care items.

So, What Do the Best Taglines Have in Common?

Unfortunately, not all taglines are created equal. There are some that stand the test of time, while others may peter out quickly or not make a lasting impression. While it may be more of an art than a science, there are a few things that the most unforgettable and — dare we say — best taglines have in common. Let’s take a look at what those things are.

Originality

When someone hears your tagline, it should stick with them — remember your customer can often be your greatest advertisement, so staying top-of-mind is key. Between commercials, emails, social media and print materials, your customers are swimming in an array of advertising. Something different or unusual can break through the noise and catch their attention.

Emotional Resonance

Your tagline should evoke imagery or emotion from your customer. When you read the words “Just Do It” what do you think of? You probably picture the iconic Nike swoosh. But it also evokes the idea of an athletic feat and feelings of being fearless, daring and bold. The Wounded Warrior Project’s tagline, “The greatest casualty is being forgotten” also evokes a powerful emotion that speaks to the heart of their mission.

Authenticity

While it may be tempting to claim that your company is the best — and while that may be true — saying so may ring false to customers. It may seem counterintuitive but saying that you’re number one can weaken your message and risks not leaving a lasting impression. Instead, think back to your company’s vision, mission and values. What drives your business forward? What is unique? How do your services or offerings help your customers?

Simplicity

When it comes to being memorable, the simpler the better. Short and sweet taglines have a higher likelihood of catching customers’ attention and being easy to remember. Bust out the red pen and cut out any extraneous words to get down to the core message.

It might be surprising how such a little bit of text can make such a big impact. But that’s the power of a well-crafted tagline. So, if you’re ready to dive into a brand refresh or have questions about how to develop the best tagline, let us know. Our team of marketing pros is on hand ready to help.