5 TIPS for Successful Brand Taglines | Part One

5 TIPS for Successful Brand Taglines | Part One

If you’ve ever dealt with matters of brand identity, you’ve probably wrestled with the tagline questions: Do we need one at all?  How do we get to the right one?  What should a tagline be, say and do?

There’s a lot of advice out there regarding taglines, and some of it is crap.  (Example: “It needs to be short and memorable.” Wow, it sounds so easy when a professional explains it.)  In this post and the next, my goal is to give you a set of considerations – some contrary to “conventional wisdom” – that will help you decide how to best proceed with the development of your brand’s tagline.

The first two tips deal with the “before” phase – what to consider before you move ahead with the development of a tagline:

TIP No#1.  You might not need a tagline.

Professional copywriters, before you inundate me with hate mail, hear me out.  Many of the world’s top brands don’t have a tagline.  It’s a situational choice, and we’ll discuss those situational considerations next. But brand leaders, don’t buy the line that “having a tagline can’t hurt.” Sure it can.  If it’s the wrong tagline, it undermines the overall brand. And developing the right tagline has attendant costs: The time to generate, evaluate and approve them; the money to hire a professional copywriter, which I absolutely recommend; and the attention to manage the process well. While you are deploying those resources, the market is not waiting to buy.

Your mindset should be, “We need a tagline only if we are very confident that it will strengthen our brand and outweigh its costs.”  Actually, that should be your mindset for all kinds of brand decisions.

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