You know what’s harder than writing a 2000-word essay?
Calcifying your ideas into a pithy, short and compelling one-liner.
Yep, the craft of creating the perfect business slogan is a task fraught with many a thesaurus blast, quite commonly involving abused white boards and beaten down hope.
But all is not lost for those who need a catchy battle cry.
You don’t need to hire a boutique agency to find your quippy four-word phrase. You just need time, patience, and a good understanding of your business.
Oh, and the tips I’m about to describe next. You will definitely need those.
What does a business slogan do?
A business slogan – or a tagline, or a strap line – is a complex, emotional concept that expresses what your business does and why. Your business name and your logo aren’t usually enough to go on, so your business slogan needs to convey a number of attributes with an incredibly short economy of words, and deliver an emotional, responsive impact. A good business slogan will convey your purpose, benefit and value, and tell people exactly what you do, how you do it, why you do it, and maybe even who you do it for.
Get it right, and half of your sales pitch is already completed. Ka-ching.
Get it wrong by making it too long or too vague or too buzz wordy – and you’ll lose people at the door.
The case for a vague business slogan
Some brands get away with vague tag lines, but those brands rely on their reputation. They’re big enough to not need to tell you what they make or do, and who they do it all for. Lucky buggers.
· Nike – just do it
· L’Oreal – because you’re worth it
· Maybelline – maybe it’s Maybelline
· Reese’s peanut butter cups – two great tastes that taste great together
The case for a clear business slogan
If your brands not hotter a bath of Sriracha, then you need a perfectly pithy tag line to rep your steez.
Pursuit of perfection - Lexus
Health. Wealth. Wisdom - Further
Exploring creativity, resilience and legacy – Esmé Wang
Personal styling solutions for time starved women – Style with Cindy
How to come up with a good tag line
Hey, I know you think you have to be the next Seinfeld and come up with something that’s legit so hilarious it burns the retinas of all that read it. But seriously, you don’t need to be a shit hot wordsworth. Your tag line doesn’t even have to be clever, or funny! You don’t need to make anyone laugh, unless you own a school for clowns or a whoopy cushion factory. It just has to be clear.
To help you with your task, here’s a really simple activity I take people through when we’re brain-dumping for tag lines.
Pull out a white board or a piece of paper. Draw three columns.
Define your values
E.g. Beauty, aesthetics, organisation, entertainment, fun, playfulness, clarity, accessibility, affordable-premium.
Define your mission
E.g. To empower women to dress like the best versions of themselves, to help women feel more organised, confident and powerful.
Define your point of difference
E.g. You’re French, could be who you do it for (celebrities, or young mothers), your focus on classic style, your focus on the science of colour, virtual styling sessions, you have a potty mouth, you’re real and down-to-earth, you’re premium or high class.
Once you’ve got a list, you start experimenting with different combinations. Aaaand…that’s what I do, in very simple terms.
Send me a picture of your white board. I really, really love messy white boards.