Recently, a client tasked our team with proposing some new taglines for their company. Once we'd come up with some good examples, we tested them out with the brand's target audience to measure their response, and once our tests concluded, we then presented our recommendation of which tagline to move forward with.
The research lead me to some interesting insights that I think are important for brands to consider when selecting a tagline for their newest campaign, or even their business in general.
Here are some key tagline Do’s and Don’ts I learned from the process.
- Hold a Brainstorm - This process will be different for all companies, but in order to get any creative ideas and options on the table, you need to come together. Your initial ideas may be too close to other taglines (a DON’T that will be touched on later), so it’s important to allocate a fair amount of time for this process.
- Make what your business does or what your campaign is about crystal clear - You don’t want anyone to read a tagline and be confused about what you’re trying to sell or what your company offers.
- Tell a story - Make sure your tagline has enough emotion tied to it to enable your audience to paint a picture with your words.
- Consider how you’ll use your tagline - Will it be used as a hashtag as well? What about on in store signage? Make sure your tagline can be applicable no matter where you plan on putting it.
- Test your tagline - Before going all in on your commitment to your chosen tagline, do a test with your target audience. Many times, your perspective will be significantly different to that of your clients or customers, so it’s important to get an understanding of how they will react to your new slogan.
- Stay away from buzz words - Your tagline should add value to your brand for your audience. Buzz words tend to be so common that your audience will gloss over your tagline and your campaign will get lost in the shuffle because of the over-use of these popular words.
- Don’t make your tagline short in fear of being “too long” - Longer taglines often have a better rhythm and syntax and can more easily embody your brand or campaign’s voice. At the same time, if you’re going to make your tagline into a hashtag, don’t make it so long that it’s inconvenient to type.
- Don’t use symbols in your tagline - If you’re looking to use it on social media, or as a hashtag, this will break apart your tagline. Numbers, however, are completely acceptable to use.
- Avoid using clichés or imitating other brands - This will make your business and/or campaign come off as unoriginal and not meaningful. Strive to be unique. Showcase what's special about your company.
- Be inconsistent - You don’t want to change your campaign tagline midway throughout the campaign or change your business tagline more than once a decade. You want to give your tagline time to build up in your audience’s mind and be remembered.
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