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How To Create A Great Tagline For Your Business (w/ Examples)


Neville


When talking about a "Tagline" for a business, you'll commonly hear some popular names cited such as:
Tagline examples of big companies
The taglines examples you'll see are typically that of ginormous brands.
But that's the problem with these examples...

 

They're all HUGE PUBLIC COMPANIES!


Billion dollar tagline brands
Every single one of these examples has been around for decades and is worth billions of dollars (here's a list of all the company slogans on the S&P 500), yet somehow people think their much smaller businesses should have equally vague brand taglines.
Well before we build our billion dollar brands, we might wanna start a little smaller:

 

 

 

 

The Evolution of a Tagline:


Let's you and I start a little side business together.  Let's see how our tagline may change as our company grows in size.
Notice how the tagline grows from a "descriptive tagline" into a more "aspirational tagline" here:
Evolution of a tagline
At that very beginning stage when we're at $0/year, having a vague tagline such as "Tell the world" will be relatively useless to us.
However once we start closing gigantic deals, have that fancy office on 5th Avenue in New York, and handle marketing for Fortune 500 brands.....then maybe "Tell the world" is a more appropriate tagline!
 
So yes, when you're at the level of a large business, your tagline will often be something short and clever and "aspirational."
However, if you're not there juuusst yet, here's a quick formula to follow:

 

 


 

 

Here's the 3-step process for creating a tagline:


Step 1.) Dump out your entire business in a few sentences.
Step 2.) Trim it down.
Step 3.) Trim it down to one short sentence.

 

 



The #1 best way to create a tagline for your business is to describe what you do in the shortest space possible.
This process is like trying to cram a large thought into a single Tweet.
Let's jump into some examples of how we would do this:

 

 

 
Sumo-Logo-300x55.png

Sumo Tagline Example: 


Step 1.) Dump out your entire business in a few sentences:
"We create tools that go onto any webpage that help promote and share your website to get more traffic through several tools: Share buttons, Welcome Mats, Pop Up email collects, and more.  We make these tools really easy to use."
Step 2.) Trim it down:
"Tools that go onto your webpage to help promote and share your website to get more traffic."
Step 3.) Trim it down to one short sentence:
"Tools to Grow Your Website’s Traffic."

 

 

 

 

 
wpengine-logo-png

WPengine Tagline Example:


Step 1.) Dump out your entire business in a few sentences:
"It's really cheap to host a Wordpress site, but when something goes wrong, your host will be no where to be found. Also, Wordpress gets hacked if you don't upgrade it or choose poorly designed plugins." 
Step 2.) Trim it down:
"WPengine makes hosting a website on Wordpress super easy.  We're like the perfect website host."
Step 3.) Trim it down to one short sentence:
"Wordpress hosting, perfected."

 

 

 

 

 
WeWork_logo

WeWork Tagline Example:


Step 1.) Dump out your entire business in a few sentences:
"WeWork is a community space where people can co-work together or rent larger private offices.  We let you do what you love by providing fast internet access, bathroom facilities, coffee, beer, and meeting spaces."
Step 2.) Trim it down:
"A community space where you can focus on what you love doing, and we will handle all the hassles of running an office."
Step 3.) Trim it down to one short sentence:
"Do what you love."


Think of your tagline like a "Headline For Your Business."
Your tagline will often be placed on things like:

 

 


  • Flyers

  • Stationary

  • Outdoor signs

  • Business cards

  • Website headers



  •  
  •  


These are items that have only a quick-shot at getting someone more interested.

 

 

For this reason, the only job of your tagline is to get attention and make your customer want to read/research more!

 

 

A note to people who have spent more than 2 hours of brain-time trying to "Come up with a great tagline":


Your tagline will unlikely be a big driver of business. Like....at all.
I've NEVER gone to McDonald's because "they had a cool tagline."
It's cause I want food stuffed into my face immediately.
I've never done business with a web designer because his tagline was clever like "Design for life."
I've never bought a car because the tagline was "Zoom Zoom."
Just remember....
no-one-buying-tagline
You should be focusing waaayy more of your time on:

  • The quality of your product.

  • Getting referrals from other people.

  • Getting feedback from customers.



  •  
  •  

THOSE are all things that will increase your business.
If you have spent more than two hours trying to come up with a tagline for your business, you are definitely focusing on the wrong thing.
Use the 3-Step Tagline Formula shown above, knock your tagline out, make sure it's not "too clever", and then focus on improving your business in REAL ways!


With all that said, I do respect some taglines floating around out there.
For example, here's my all time favorite tagline:
geico-tagline-example
Geico has gone through all sorts of cutesy characters as their "spokesman", but their tagline has remained the same:

 

 


"15 minutes could save you 15% or more on car insurance."


This tagline kicks butt because it's jam-packed with important stuff....and only in about 10 words!
geico-tagline-example
Dang.....that Gecko knows what he's doing!
Let's just compare this brilliant Geico tagline to a few of their top competitors in the insurance space....Statefarm and Allstate:
Insurance Tagline Examples
I mean, without having previous experience knowing what these companies do…..would you have ANY clue what they sell based off their tag lines?? No.
Bravo Geico. Your tagline could be used for a $100/year insurance business or a $50Billion/year insurance business.
So remember, use the 3-Step Tagline Formula from above to create a quick tagline and description for your own business:
The 3-Step Tagline Formula
Step 1.) Dump out your entire business in a few sentences.
Step 2.) Trim it down.
Step 3.) Trim it down to one short sentence.

 

 

 


Watch this video guide on How To Create A Great Tagline:

 
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P.S. See every slogan from the S&P 500 here (all the slogans from the top 500 companies).
P.P.S. Try running your own business through the 3-step process for creating a tagline:
Step 1.) Dump out your entire business in a few sentences.
Step 2.) Trim it down.
Step 3.) Trim it down to one short sentence.

 

 

 

 

 

P.S. Leave a comment below with your own tagline!

 


User Feedback

Recommended Comments



Guest Rachael

Posted

Thank you Neville, I will be applying this to my own side biz immediately!
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Hey Nev,

Awesome post.

Quick question: WPEngine, SumoMe, and WeWork are all pretty techy, and have very unique value propositions.

Thus, it might be a *bit* easier to find a unique slogan.

What's your top 3 suggestions for a real estate agent looking for a great slogan?

IMHO: Real estate value props are A LOT harder to make unique.

Excited to see your reply,

Tyler

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Guest Neville

Posted

You're very welcome Rachael, hope this little trick helps!
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Guest Neville

Posted

Hey Tyler, great question.

I would just follow the same 3 step formula as above: (I'm just using Austin as an example.

Step 1.) I search for properties in Austin and let investors know which one's are the absolute best value and will get them the highest return on investment.

Step 2.) I get people looking to invest in Austin real estate the best deals.

Step 3.) The Investors Choice.

 

.....so I just followed the same process as above and got a cool tagline: "The Investors Choice."

Also I think for a real estate agent that their tagline is going to be relatively unimportant as say a large network of people.

Hope this helps!

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Hey Neville, cool article. Just a caveat for people who aren't copywriting geniuses (yet, keep reading Neville's blog!).

You don't want to use your tagline as a headline on your website, especially if you're a new business no one knows.

I can't count how many startups I've seen try to use "aspirational" taglines (read: meaningless bs) as headlines on their landing pages.

Don't. Do. It. You're not Nike. You're not Apple.

People don't know you.

People have no fucking idea what you mean when you write shit like "Make your ideas a reality" or whatever. Until people know what you do and why they should care, stick to a clear headline that describes your main benefits.

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1.) Determine exactly what my customer avatar is impressed by the most, what they need the most.

2.) See what my competitors are doing

3.) Speak to my customers desires, not about my product.

4.) short catchy and maybe even rhyme.

So for example if I was Kleenex it would be something like "Sneeze at ease"

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Guest Marcel Kouame

Posted

What I've seen here are tag lines for companies with either virtual or physical products. It's easier to have a tag line when you have an actual product.

My company is in the services industry (IT Consulting & Cyber Security). Currently our tag line is: "Think outside of the box." Which points to a couple of things: taking a different approach to information security and also hiring us to implement products sold by our partner companies such as IBM and Core IT. Essentially, our clients are hiring us out right out of the box.

It took me a while to make such a cliche tag line work but I have to say that our clients love it.

In order to get here, I just asked myself one question: What does the person who should hire us want? And that's where we realized that anyone who uses our services wants to have the experts at bay whenever they purchase a new product or software. On the IS side they want nonconventional approaches to securing their infrastructure.

Tag lines can be truly tricky if you're offering a service that isnt unique.

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Hi,

appreciate the process suggestion and will try it right away for my business flying.fred

Step 1) We make films and showcase you & your beliefs in a way, you haven't thought about it yourself. We'll show the world how we perceive you. You deserve to show the world fully who you are and what makes you click. We'll capture all that for you in 30 sek & package it in a beautiful video.

Step 2.) We make films, and showcase you from our own perspective to get valuable insights about you from the outside.

Step 3.) We make films & show the world who you are really.

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Guest Arnaud

Posted

How I'd create a tagline for my job (software engineer):

1. I create software systems that go into cars to help them brake gently. Thanks to these invisible systems, you enjoy a comfortable and safe drive.

2. I make driving a car super easy and relaxing.

3. Drive with peace of mind.

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Guest Steve Wimmer

Posted

1) We make eye catching men's accessories in limited edition runs using vintage materials. Everything is handmade in the USA.

2) limited edition men's accessories, handmade in the USA from vintage fabric

3) handmade menswear from vintage fabrics

I feel like 2 is better than 3??

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Guest Matteo

Posted

Hi Neville! First of all, thank you so much for this new "gem post", it's very useful and interesting.

You know, the italian language is less marketing oriented than english so finding the right and short tagline can be very challenging.

In fact, the Apple tagline here in Italy is NOT translated but it's kept original and the same goes with other big brands like Mercedes and McDonald's.

This my personal method:

1) I start with the product name and I try to name it in a way that is super easy to understand and to remember. For example, I've created a program called "Easy Clients" which is for entrepreneurs and freelancers. To goal is to teach them how to use the educational marketing strategies in order to get "Easy Clients", I mean clients that have been informed, educated and so they are ready to buy.

2) for the tagline, I usually start with "How".

For example: "EASY CLIENTS: how to get a constant flow of contacts and clients through the Internet". (I hope my translation is not too bad :))

3) or I use the formula "How to..." + "without...".

For example: "EASY CLIENTS: how to get a constant flow of contacts and clients through the Internet without spending a fortune in ads"... or

"without being sale sly"

The are many variations of this formula: you can add things like "while ... (building a great relationship with your list)...", or indicate a period of time "within xx days..."

Ok, I'll try your tagline method and let you know the results.

Thank you so much Neville! You are a true inspiration to me.

Matteo

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Guest michael

Posted

You're a word genius. If only i had even one fourth of your brain....

thanks for sharing your expertise!

your new fan here.

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Guest Elaine

Posted

Stuck in no traffic? Don't grin and bear it, Solar Bear it.

(Alternative suggestions welcome)

I set up a company to help drive traffic to smaller companies. (It's under construction. *generic "hold" music*. Don't judge.)

Give me free stuff and I'll tell all my friends about you. *mild blackmail*.

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1) We provide proven email marketing growth tactics, sent out twice a week in byte-sized lessons via email. Using these tactics, our customers learn how to use email marketing in a way that's ethical, yet extremely profitable...

2) Newsletter with ethical, yet extremely profitable email marketing growth tactics.

3) Profitable email marketing growth tactics.

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Hey Neville,

Great post. I appreciate all your tips so far in my inbox, auto responder and not.

We came up with a simple one for our skateboard training product: "Learn tricks fast"

Cheers

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Guest Aki Merced

Posted

Hi Nev,

I've had to explain this to clients a lot. They just like having that tingling feeling a smooth-talkin' line gives them. I found the easiest way to tell them straight is to let them find out themselves.

1. Pretend you haven't heard of Company A before.

2. Open the website.

3. "Only the best from Company A"

4. What does Company A do?

5. *Crickets*

Works most of the time.

Although, some of them are still convinced that if it works for Apple, it should work for them. I need to do a better job explaining.

Great post!

-Aki

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Guest Matteo

Posted

Hi, Jole!

How about this one:

"Grow your profits with proven email marketing tactics"

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Good morning ! I've only been following you for 5 days as a suggestion from a marketing consultant. It was basically love at first site. So here's my company and tag line: Tres Doux® Love Your Skin
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Actually, have two taglines:

The #1 Advocate for Self-Help Marketers

(I) Pump Fresh Health Into Your Advertising, Website...And Budget

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Guest Marinatz

Posted

So small, yet so powerful.

By simply changing the tagline on my freelance profile, I raised a number of job invitations I get from 2-3 per month to several per day, even when I raised my hourly rate for 150%.

My bio and portfolio stayed just the same as they were before.

It is kind of a headline in my case, because my freelance profile is my landing page.

People don't know you, that's true. But they don't really care who you are.

It is important that your tagline expresses the solution to their problem (whether in direct or subtle way).

In that case a tagline can be a great headline.

But that also depends on the niche, and/or writer's skill.

However, I do agree that there is a lot of bs and people who have no idea what they do (and I was in their shoes, too), but failures are part of learning/growing process.

Thanks for helping during the way, Neville!

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Yes!

Sick of employers asking for little "three word clips" that they can brand themselves with, when they aren't recognized for anything yet. (Not that everything you want to be conveyed can't fit into three words, but most of the time... Not yet)

Biggest thing for me with "tag lines" or "slogans" or whatever, for me in the past, has just been sticking out. Zigging when everyone else is zagging. If everyone else is putting out ads and marketing that stressed "extra strength", let's talk about how ours is made from a better process. If they're all talking about how natural it's made, let's stress how strong it is. Watched a video from a copywriting convention (forget the speaker right now), but it said that 87% of advertising isn't even SEEN. So the post you made about ugly ads sometimes doing better kind of ties in here big for me. It's all about sticking out like a sore thumb and letting em know that if they do business with you, things will be different then if you went with Tom, Dick, and Harry

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Hi Nev,

Love this post on taglines. I did your process and like where it ended. Is #3 still too long for a tagline?

1) We offer custom built, professional-grade medical kit systems and vital emergency services to handle unexpected medical emergencies at home or during travel.

2) Custom built emergency medical kit systems and services for your peace of mind.

3) Anticipate the worst so you can enjoy the best.

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