In business ownership, it’s common to struggle to come up with the perfect tagline or slogan for your company. Contrary to popular belief, it’s not all about being clever with your words. It’s about being clear. You want to communicate what you’re doing, who you’re doing it for and why you’re doing it.

When people visit your website, see your store, or engage with your business in any way, you have a split second in which to either convince them to stay, or let them go. This is where your tagline comes in. After all, you never get a second chance to make a first impression, right?

What to include in your tagline

When creating your tagline, you’ll need to be clear on three things: your mission, your promise and your brand. Identify what you are offering and why — this will be your foundation. You’ll then build on this by adding an element of your branding, your inner values and what you stand for to make you stand out. The idea is to capture the essence of the value you provide in just a few words, or one short sentence.

Short or long?

Brevity lends itself to recall. Great examples of short, punchy taglines are things like Subway’s ‘Eat Fresh’. When Subway launched, they were selling the idea of healthy fast food. Simply saying ‘Eat Fresh’ told people exactly what they stand for — in just two words.

It doesn’t mean long taglines can’t be awesome, too. Twitter’s tagline “Find out what’s happening, right now, with the people and organizations you care about” tells the consumer exactly what they do that’s different. It might be slightly longer and less catchy, but it worked — and these concepts are especially important when launching a new concept.

What not to include

Be honest, don’t oversell. Hyperbolic phrases like ‘Melbourne’s number one recruitment agency’ are not only untrue, they’re extremely generic and unattractive. While popular, Gilette’s aspirational tagline ‘The Best a Man Can Get’ is actually riddled with ambiguity and presumption. While the intent to create a desirable end outcome — i.e. being the best you can be — the tagline has come under fire with some marketers for promising something that’s simply not possible. The key is to be authentic, not boastful.

It’s also important to be careful not to leave your tagline open to ridicule. BP’s use of the ‘B’ and the ‘P’ to create ‘Beyond Petroleum’ became critic fodder worldwide following the 2010 oil spill, with many replacing the P to create spoofs like ‘Beyond Pathetic’.

Slogan or tagline?

Generally, there’s a difference between a slogan and tagline, but wide disparity between which is which. In our opinion, a tagline is something more permanent. Something that sticks with your brand for the foreseeable future, whereas a slogan is married with a specific campaign. This gives you the freedom to be more playful and specific with the exact campaign you’re running. An example of a campaign-specific slogan would be ‘How Very UnMcDonald’s’, from the Create Your Taste campaign. Meanwhile, the tagline that McDonald’s uses is ‘I’m Lovin’ It’.

Do you struggle to condense your brand value into just a few words for a tagline? All of our affordable copywriting packages come with three bespoke homepage slogans to hook in your site visitors and encourage them to stay. Check them out and benefit from specialised small business copywriting today.