This article is part of our â€śBusiness Startup Guideâ€ť â€“Â a curated list of our articles that will get you up and running in no time!
Along with effectively creating a branding campaign for the industry and lifestyle of the target audience, companies and organizations oftentimes choose to add a tagline, or motto to describe or create a feeling surrounding their product.
Almost anyone can come up with several of these off the top of their head. From â€śIâ€™m lovinâ€™ itâ€ť to â€śJust do itâ€ť we are constantly hearing and seeing complimentary catch phrases to further a companyâ€™s brand.
Letâ€™s take a look at some keys to creating a great tagline:
1. Taglines should be simple and concise
A tag canâ€™t be too long or complicated. If they become too long or complex they run the risk of overshadowing the actual visual identity of your brand, or becoming white noise and thus lost space in the design.
Generally a tagline should be less than 5 short words, however, 3 is even better.
â€śArmy of One,â€ť â€śJust Do Itâ€ť and â€śIâ€™m Lovinâ€™ Itâ€ť all exist as statements. There is enough mass and sentence structure to push an idea. Each one provides a noun, verb and direct object but is concise enough to engage the audience and simple enough for them to remember.
2. Taglines must be descriptive
A misnomer regarding a tagline is that it should in some way describe the product itself. The truth, however, is that a tagline is most effective when it describes the target audienceâ€™s interaction with the product or organization it represents.
In marketing, the simple matter of it is that itâ€™s not enough to get people to like your product, you want them to buy it. By using descriptive words regarding the product, you have the opportunity to move the target audience into a position of interaction with the product, and you frame that interaction. â€śIâ€™m lovinâ€™ itâ€ť is a perfect example of this.
At Palo Alto Software, the company I work for, weâ€™ve played with two taglines. First, â€śThe Planning People.â€ť While good, this doesnâ€™t exactly talk about how we interact with our customers and the value we bring to them. More recently, weâ€™ve focused our tagline on what weâ€™re passionate about: â€śHelping you succeed in business.â€ť We want to be interact with our customer and are passion aligns with your goals.
3. Taglines should point back to the company identity
Taglines should not only point back to the company identity, but they should only be used if they reinforce it. Nikeâ€™s â€śJust Do Itâ€ť campaign is a perfect example of this. The tagline calls and the company identity answers. That is, the tagline suggests an â€śitâ€ť and the company identity, which is less name and more Swoosh, affirms that Nike is â€śitâ€ť, or is the portal into which the consumer attains â€śit.â€ť In this manner, Nikeâ€™s â€śJust do itâ€ť mixes user experience, product purchase and Nikeâ€™s products ability to enable the athletic consumer to â€śDo.â€ť
4. The tagline must also be evocative and in tune with Social Psychology
A company tagline invites the target audience into participation with the company identification. â€śArmy of Oneâ€ť invites the post-modern young adult into what they are most interested in: a community of individuals. This brings up another very important point regarding taglines: they must take into account the demographic they are intending to reach. The US Army marketing team understands the young adultâ€™s (their target audience, no doubt) cultural mindset and plays on their social psychology to engage them. Many older adults do not understand the â€śArmy of Oneâ€ť campaign, because it does not speak to their cultural mindset. However, the Army speaks directly to the generation they are most interested in reaching, using language that resonates with them and in so refines their marketing energies.
There are many other important aspects when deciding on a tagline, but these four are essential.