In addition to your business name, you may want to create a tag line. A tag line is a catchphrase for your business that is used as an additional marketing tool. Some sources claim a tag line and slogan are the same thing, which is essentially true. However, a tag line is usually a permanent catchphrase while a slogan is used for a particular marketing campaign.

Great memorable tag lines build positive brand image and remind potential customers of the brand every time they hear or read the phrase. Big ones that come to mind are “Just do It,” “Melts in Your Mouth, Not in Your Hand,” and “A Diamond is Forever.” Do you recognize these three? Do they motivate you in the way you believe the brands want you to be motivated? Sort of makes me want to go on a run, eat some chocolate, and remind my husband how much I love diamonds.

Right now you might be thinking: “these are big companies so why is this important to me?” While most large businesses have a tag line, it is especially important for small businesses. Because you’ll have zero to little brand awareness and provide such an array of services, a tag line can help potential clients understand what exactly you do. A strong business name and tag line combination that explains your business quickly and effectively can be an excellent marketing tool.

 

An Excellent Tag Line Is:

Memorable – The more it sticks in the brain, the better. Ways to help it stick are with rhymes (e.g. Electrolux: “Nothing sucks like an Electrolux”), alliteration (e.g. Jaquar: “Don’t dream it. Drive it”), puns (e.g. Moss Security: “Alarmed? You should be), and made-up words (e.g. Burton Menswear: “Everywear”).

Unmistakable – If people cannot immediately understand what your tag line means, it is not successful. A great recommendation from copyblogger is to “be clear, not clever.” While I think you can be both, being clear is the priority.

Short –  A shorter phrase is often more memorable and the rule of thumb is to keep to 10 syllables or less. However, don’t let this force you into doing something that doesn’t work. Long phrases can also be successful, like Geico’s “15 minutes can save you 15 percent or more on car insurance.” It may be a mouthful, but it does an excellent job of laying out what Geico does and how they are different from the competition.

 

Your Tag Line Should:

Convey benefits – A potential client will read your tag line while unconciously thinking “what’s in it for me?” You want to spell out at least one benefit you provide. (e.g. my business was “The Luxury of Time”).

Differentiate your business – It could also show how you are different from your competition. Mine probably didn’t differentiate me that well as most personal concierge companies are providing time. Try to spell out something the makes you unique. Perhaps it is more about your business personality than difference in service. For instance, Harley Davidson’s “American by Birth. Rebel by Choice.” is less about their bikes than the biker mentality they want to promote.

Adds to your business name – You don’t want to repeat a concept your business name already gets across. For instance, it wouldn’t be helpful and likely detrimental if your business is Luxury Time and your slogan is “The Luxury of Time.” It is both repetitive and off-putting. For a good concierge example, I like Residential Concierge: “Second Home Solutions.” It’s simple, straightforward and the tag line actually tells me more about the company cleanly and effectively.

You don’t need to meet all of these points, but should meet at least three if you want your tag line to be successful.

 

Next Steps:

Make sure it is not in use – Google it with quotation marks around it to see if any one else is using it. If you plan to run your business out of state, you may also want to trademark it.

Test it – Run it by clients or the same group that helped you pick your business name.

Commit to it – Like your business name, you’ll want to stand behind your tag line to help it build traction when you first introduce it.

It is not easy to craft one so please don’t just throw something together. It may be that you don’t have one for the first few years or you may want to have it from the beginning so you can incorporate it into your logo, business cards, letterhead, and website.

Also, your business name may be clear enough that you don’t need a tag line. If you have a great business name, adding a subpar tag line can actually damage your name.  So please be sure to test your tag line before putting it out there.

For some brainstorming support, here is a list of famous business tag lines for reference. And with that, I hope you come up with something excellent.

Leave a Reply