Coming up with a tagline for your business can be a little difficult—but it isn’t as hard as you might think. A good tagline can influence customer behavior and give them an understanding of what your product, service or brand is about. Here are a couple ones you might recognize:
- Just Do It.
- Think Different.
- The Ultimate Driving Machine.
- Like No Other Place On Earth.
- We Bring Good Things To Life.
Taglines influence consumers’ behavior by evoking an emotional response. A tagline is a short phrase that captures a company’s brand essence, personality, and positioning, and distinguishes the company from its competitors. (Source: Defining Brand Identity)
In this post, we are going to write a tagline for a fictitious pen company called Penly. We’ll go through 6 steps using Penly as an example that you can then use to craft your own tagline.
1. What makes your product or service unique?
To start, you first need to understand what makes your product or service unique. Does it contain some kind of unique material? Does it have some kind of competitive advantage? Is it shaped differently? Does it take a different approach than your competitors? Write down 1-3 things that makes your product or service unique.
For our pen company, it is 1. design, 2. ink color and, 3. balance. Our pen is slightly heavier in the middle so that it is perfectly balanced. Our pen slows the writer down that helps them to write better and clearer. Studies have shown penmanship is affected because people write too fast. Yet, it’s not too heavy to cramp the users’ wrist after long periods of note taking.
2. Write down 1-3 value propositions
A value proposition is a promise of value you intend to deliver or provide to your customer. It is the value or benefit they will receive from using your product or service.
For our pen, our value propositions are: 1. smoother writing, 2. classy design and, 3. darker more prestige looking inks.
3. Position your product or service
Positioning is a brand’s attempt to occupy a market niche, idea or a distinct impression in your customer’s mind. Positioning is one the most critical elements in the brand strategy development process.
It starts by understanding points 1 and 2 and your competitor’s positioning—because two competitors cannot occupy the same position. In our pen example, there are three main competitors in the category. Go Pen positions themselves as an everyday “get-the-job-done” kinda pen. They’ve been in the pen making business since the 1940s and hold most of the market share. Our second competitor, Big Pen positions their pens as the “industrial pen”—and is pitched towards the working man. It’s got a thicker grip and is used with metal casing to show its ruggedness. The third pen company—Lil’Pen positions their pens as a cheap, buy-in-bulk pen. Nothing fancy about Lil’Pen —a pen is a pen.
As a marketer or business owner you want to try to figure out where the “whitespace” is within your market and how to provide a better product to an audience who has a need. What niche or space are you going occupy? What makes your product different and viable? Typically, you’ll want to conduct some customer research, look at industry trends, conduct some test marketing and other activities to determine where the logical place is to position your pen.
After conducting our own research, we’ve found that there is a segment of the pen market that is vastly underserved. That segment is the professional segment: ages 35-50, male or female, typically college grads, holds an executive position or has a professional degree like an C.P.A., M.B.A., M.D., J.D. etc. and who tend to write a lot. For the most part it seems this segment may benefit from our pen’s unique characteristics.
We will define our positioning statement next, but first we need to take a look at our buyer persona and what makes our pen the “only”.
4. Define your buyer persona
Next, you must understand your customer—or buyer persona. You must know how to best talk to your customers and where best to reach them. You must seek to address their pain points and solve their problems. You must find a way to appeal to their aspirations, character qualities and understand what motivates them. For our pen, it’s about giving them a fine writing tool that makes them more productive, take better notes and feel a bit smarter when they are holding our pen. It may even lend them some status when they lay their pen down at the meeting table.
5. Define your only.
According to Marty Neumeier, the author of Zag, an onliness statement is something that no one else can say about you. Using our pen as an example, our onliness statement looks like this:
Penly is the only pen company that helps professionals take better notes, be more productive and write smarter.
Notice our onliness statement contains who our customer is, what the product is and how it is different in the marketplace. You can replace the words that are highlighted and add in your own company name, customer and value propositions.
6. Distill your tagline from your onliness statement
Now, we must cut the onliness statement down to its bare essence. Using some of the words above, try to distill the overarching theme into a few words. Play around and try to come up with something that is smooth, a bit clever and catchy. So for example:
- Penly, The Professionals Pen
- Penly, Better Notes
- Penly, Write Smarter
- Penly, Write Better
- Penly, Now You’re Writing
Attach your tagline with your name to see it and hear how it sounds.
Those are a few off the cuff…but for this example, I think we’ll go with Write Smarter. It captures the essence of our pen, tells something about what our pen does and how it helps our buyer persona and how we want them to feel when they use our pen.
So you see, coming up with a tagline isn’t all that difficult—right? You just need to take the necessary steps to think through it by boiling down your product or service to its essence. By identifying what makes your product or service unique, what value it delivers to your customers, what position it holds in their mind, who your buyer persona is, what your only is, you can distill your message down to a simple mantra that connects your product to your customer succinctly and clearly that creates value.
By Josh Claflin, Brand Development, Inbound Marketing & Creative Strategy
Josh helps brands who are struggling to develop their brand; grow, stabilize or increase profits through their websites; increase revenue through online channels and enter the digital era of marketing.