How To Craft The Ideal Tagline For Your Brand
Updated: Jan 17
Do you believe that the language a brand uses and its level of success are mere coincidences? If so, do you also believe that it’s just a coincidence that some of the biggest brands in the world also have some of the best taglines out there? I don’t know about you, but I believe that the words that a brand conveys to the public play a huge role in determining whether a brand will be successful or not (and as a marketer, it’s kind of my job to prove that theory).
Taglines (also known as slogans) are short messages or catchphrases that articulate a brand’s primary message. In other words, it’s the message that the brand’s managers want consumers to think of whenever they think of their brand. I like to describe taglines as being sort of like concise verbal movie trailers that articulate a brand's benefits, beliefs, or a call to action for an audience.
Taglines are so important, that they alone can lead to a brand becoming a household name. But don’t take my word for it, close your eyes and think of some of the biggest brands in the world. Then think of their taglines…still think it’s just a coincidence?
A good tagline can lead to a consumer making a purchase. While a great tagline can lead to a brand remaining top-of-mind to consumers in its respective category—which is the advertising equivalent of hitting a grand slam.
Now that we’re on the same page on the importance of taglines. Here’s four approaches that you can take that will surely help you craft the ideal tagline for your brand.
The product-as-hero approach
Some of the biggest and most memorable taglines were crafted with the intent to position the product as the hero. The product-as-hero approach to advertising emphasizes a key benefit claim as the product being the thing that will deliver the audience a desired feeling.
Or, that the product will be what alleviates a particular problem that the audience is having.
Examples of brands that utilized the product-as-hero approach with their taglines are:
“The breakfast of champions.” – Wheaties
"The happiest place on earth." – Disney
“We bring good things to life.” – General Electric
“Red Bull gives you wings.” – Red Bull
If the message that you want to convey to your audience is that your product alone is going to be the thing that gets them whatever it is that they desire, then you should take the product-as-hero approach.
You can do that by thinking of at least five things that your product does that are key benefits to why consumers would purchase it. Then, narrow it down to the most important benefit or a benefit that your competitors are not emphasizing.
So, let’s say that your product is dental floss picks. The product-as-hero approach would highlight your dental floss as the alleviator of what the user wants it to do for them—which is to remove plaque from in-between their teeth. A tagline using this approach could be, “The pick that puts plaque in your past.”
This tagline would articulate to your audience the fact that your dental floss picks are the product to solve their issue. If this approach isn’t the one for you, don't worry— there’s three more approaches to choose from that I’m sure you’ll find ideal for your brand.
The call-to-action approach
A call-to-action is great in every facet of product marketing. But they’re especially great as it pertains to crafting taglines. That’s because it makes it easier to articulate what it is that you want your audience to do. A call-to-action approach to crafting a tagline consists of creating a tagline that tells your audience a desired action that you would like for them to take.
A few examples of popular slogans that contain the call-to-action approach are:
“Just do it.” – Nike
“Obey your thirst.” – Sprite
“Eat fresh.” – Subway
“Taste the rainbow.” – Skittles
As marketers, we love call-to-action taglines because they make our job easier by directing the consumer to take a desired action every time they’re displayed to an audience (which should be a lot). Here’s how you can utilize a call-to-action to create the ideal message that you want to convey to your audience:
Let’s say that you also have a brand that had cough syrup as its featured product. A call-to-action tagline could be, “Take a swallow and you won’t be coughing tomorrow.” This would tell your audience exactly what it is that you want them to do and what’s in it for them if they take the action that you want them to take. That’s a pretty clear message, right?
But maybe the ideal message that you want to convey to your audience in a tagline isn’t something that's obvious. In that case, let’s explore another approach that you should consider.
The abstract approach
The abstract approach to crafting a tagline is the most difficult of all of the approaches because it relies on the consumer making the connection between the tagline and what the brand has to offer as a benefit. And while the abstract approach is the most difficult, the consumers that do understand the tagline and connect it to your brand are more likely to gravitate towards it because it comes off as clever and hip.
Some examples of abstract taglines are:
“What can brown do for you?” – UPS
“Because you’re worth it.” – L’Oreal
“I’m lovin’ it.” – McDonald’s
“Can you hear me now?" – Verizon
Abstract taglines are open-ended statements or questions that allows an audience to link potential benefits that a brand may provide on their own volition. If you wanted to craft a tagline for a brand that makes mountain bikes, it could be a slogan that simply posed: “Can you ride any faster?”
This tagline would work because it leads the audience to come to their own conclusion on whether there’s a mountain bike out there that’s any faster or not. And 9 times out of 10 they’ll connect the fastest mountain bike to the brand that produced this tagline whenever they heard it.
The proclamation approach
The last and quite frankly—easiest approach to crafting a tagline is through proclamation. The reason the proclamation approach is so easy is because it’s simply a tagline that makes a claim to the consumer—which every brand should be doing already either verbally or nonverbally.
Some of your favorite slogans are probably proclamations. Not sure? Maybe a few of these might ring a bell:
“Finger lickin’ good.” – KFC
“The best part of waking up, is Folgers in your cup.” – Folgers
“The ultimate driving machine.” – BMW
“M’m! M’m! Good!” – Campbell Soup Company
Taking the proclamation approach to crafting a tagline simply consists of making a not-so-humble brag about your brand in your slogan. And if you’re proud of your brand, a little bit of bragging is a good thing.
Here's how to do it:
Let's say you have a brand that produced ear buds and you wanted to make a proclamation about quality in your tagline. A proclamation tagline for your brand could be, “The optimum audio experience.” Which would proclaim to your audience that the quality of your ear buds are the best of the best.
A brand’s tagline is often one of the first things that a consumer thinks of whenever they think of a brand. That’s why it is so important to craft the best message that you want to articulate to your audience.
As you can see in the examples above, all of the approaches have worked for some of the biggest brands on the planet and they certainly can work for you to help you craft the ideal tagline for your brand. All you have to do is decide which approach works best for you.
However, keep in mind that you don’t have to choose just one approach. You can also combine them if it fits better with what you'd like to convey to your audience.
One last thing to remember when you’re crafting your tagline. The main objective for a tagline should be to be memorable in the minds of those that see or hear it. And the best way to be memorable is to evoke a positive emotion. If you can do that, and take the right approach—you’ll craft the ideal tagline for your brand.