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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



One thing I keep in mind is I think good tagline's express the thought or idea "what are you NOT".

Apple says "think different". Implying what? We're NOT conformists. That others are conformists, and that YOU...you're the "crazy ones" and here's to you...the Rebels etc. etc.

BMW says "the ultimate driving machine". Message received.

Burger King "have it your way". implies everyone else is forcing you to deal with whatever they give you.

Chevy "like a rock". Other trucks aren't built soundly.

Club Med "the antidote for civilization". We're NOT your everyday life.

Cialis "Will you be ready?". So Viagra leaves you not ready?...Sorry - I had to.

CNN "the most trusted name in news". We're NOT a news source people distrust.

Disneyland "the happiest place on earth".

Energizer "it keeps going, and going, and going..."

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Guest Trevor

Posted

The idea of upgrading your copy with your business is an awesome way to look at it. Like Apples marketing would never work for a child's lemonade stand but when I start a new project that's what I think about. Now Its just knowing what I do and boiling it down to the point where its concise with a huge impact no matter the stage!
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Great article, just shared it via entrepreneurdestiny.com
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Guest Rose J.

Posted

HI Neville, I just found your blog--it's great. Keep those tips coming.

I do Leadership Development, helping companies develop leaders at all levels through training, coaching, or developmental assignments. More importantly, successful leadership development depends on leaders having the right mindset about being a leader; i.e., you really have to wanna be a leader. So my tagline would be:

"Leadership works, when you DECIDE it does." I think that would work for the actual leaders, and for the people who are actually paying for my development services.

Thanks,

Rose

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Guest Kyle Reed

Posted

Great resource as always Neville. Thank you.

Mine: Digital Marketing Agency

Step 1: We resource you with relevant marketing campaigns that speak to a targeted audience to produce transactions through desired actions from customers.

Step 2: Marketing campaigns for your target market that bring about desired actions.

Step 3: Marketing that leads to action

____

I think as I was doing this my only concern was it was too "insider language" focused. Would love your thoughts on this concern?

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Guest Jonathan

Posted

Do you have any advice for figuring out your exact ideal customer? I'm trying to build a copywriting biz (AND WRITE A TAGLINE) but don't know how to target customers. So I'll just say, "Words and Ads that Sell for Online Businesses"
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apologies to anyone on this blog named "Tom, Dick, or Harry" - im sure your businesses are just dandy
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Guest Neville

Posted

I like "You're home now!"

However it seems a little generic. if the real estate agent has a specialty (like focusing on investors), they should convey that too. But good one!

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Guest Neville

Posted

Yup, exactly! That's what I was trying to convey in the article! I've seen too many people confuse everyone by trying to have a Nike-like tagline.
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Guest Neville

Posted

Awesome Marinatz! NevBox-worthy post about why a tagline can be super useful if you DON'T make it so "aspirational" and more functional.

Congrats on your success :)

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Guest Neville

Posted

Hmmm, are you guys a HUGE company Marcel?

Not that a tagline itself will drastically change your business, but I would've gone with something like:

"Security in a box."

"Security right out of the box."

"You do business, we'll make it secure"

But if your customers like it, that's the ultimate proof!

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Guest Neville

Posted

Cool Peter!

I would suggest that if you're small or just getting started, you leave the tagline a bit longer (like Step #2 you wrote).

The REALLY SHORT taglines are better for larger companies with established reputations.

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Guest Neville

Posted

I would say, "We program cars not to smash into things." :-P
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Guest Neville

Posted

Hey Steve, you can even go with something like:

--------------------------------------

Always vintage.

Always awesome.

Always made in the USA.

--------------------------------------

I would also suggest on your website you have images of your products. Fashion is a VERY visual medium, and the images are far more important than the text.

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Step 1: I help people improve their bass playing skills by teaching various exercises, techniques, and the badass bass mindset. I specialize in heavy metal and hard rock.

Step 2: I teach heavy metal bass guitar techniques, exercises, and the badass bass mindset.

Step 3: Putting the bass in badass!

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Guest Neville

Posted

That's cool Scheck.

However if the biz is still small, maybe consider making it longer and more specific!

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Guest Frank Magnotti

Posted

1) I help employees kick ass at their jobs using systems and automation to help them work less so that they can have less stress and spend more time with friends and family.

2) Help employees automate work, work less, and regain their time.

3) Work less automatically. Reclaim your life.

I'm writing this from my phone, but I think I just found my new website subheading!

I'll give it time to soak in and see if I can play with this concept some more.

Thanks, Neville!

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Guest Rajeev

Posted

1. We help professionals manage all aspects of their continuing professional development (CPD), from sourcing educational material to completing the activities, logging it all and reporting it to the regulatory body.

2. We'll help you to manage your CPD quickly and easily, with nothing left to chance.

3. Your CPD, Hassle-Free

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It's still fuzzy for me what the difference between Tagline and headline is.. but here's my take on this exercise:

step1)

I help you implement strategies on you how you can rapidly grow your instagram page by using other people's networks. While raking in targeted fans to visit your website without any SEO.

step2)

Strategies to grow your instagram fame without chasing after everybody

step3)

Strategies to gain exposure without spamming everybody

Took me like 30 mins haha. I'll prolly change my mind a few hours later! lol!

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Guest newbietothegame

Posted

So i'm working promoting a Orgasm 101 classes for women.

How about... I facilitate workshops that make orgasms happen for you.

No more lies. No more faking. Just relaxation.

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