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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



Hi Neville,

I'm a new comer in the copywriting world though it has been my dream job since college. Currently, I'm hired as a freelance and requested to come up with a catch phrase for a motorcycle product that is targeted for younger customers (18-25 years old) who have desire to "break their limits". I've come up with almost 50 options but only 2 that are (almost) approved. My superiors said that those two options weren't expressive enough. What should I do?

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Guest Nicholas Johnson

Posted

Just updated mine from:

"Writing scalable Ruby, JavaScript & NodeJS for fun and profit."

to:

"I create web applications using modern webstack technologies, then I build courses and teach my skills to others."

I'll be interested to see what happens to the number of enquiries I get.

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Lol did you even read the post? "Love your skin" is something Dove would say.
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Guest Cindy Dunn

Posted

I'm a little late to the "Create a Tagline" discussion (just found your site). I loved reading all the comments/examples--a great exercise. Here's what I came up with for my own website:

1. The Foreign Language Library Online is a dual-language website for beginning language learners that helps them increase their knowledge of the target language.

2. The FLLO--an educational website where you can read short articles in both English and another language, without having to look up words in a dictionary.

3. Learn a second language online by reading for fun—no need for a dictionary!

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Guest Edward Byrne

Posted

Online copy hand crafted for your needs

Online copy crafted for your success

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Guest Edward Byrne

Posted

Your CPD streamlined for you.

We streamline your CPD so you don't have to.

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Guest Dawn DuVal

Posted

I am an Independent Demonstrator with Stampin' Up! I teach individuals and groups how to make greeting cards using paper, ink and stamps. In addition they also learn other papercrafting techniques such as making 3D items with the use of embossing folders and other materials to help die cut paper. For the most part I focus on the greeting cards and the materials used to make them which I sell from my online store. Most everyone I come in contact with say they are not creative and cannot do what I do. My first tag line was Unleashing Your Creativity. Now I am using, Finding your inner artist..Unleashing your creativity.

Any suggestions?

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Guest Dino Tartaglia

Posted

Hi Neville

Great post - like...really great. Came at the perfect time for me :)

I'm trying to use your formula not so much to deliver a snappy tagline but to actually focus a client on who they are and what value they bring. They've been SO wrapped up in 'features' and credibility that they have missed what they have actually been selling for the past 20 years(!)

Right now, they use a 'clever' line: "We turn cost into profit"

It's a small outfit with some serious nous and track record. After researching their target market, I got that they should only approach FDs and CFOs. The obvious differentiator is hopefully captured in the summary statement below (best I could come up with):

“We help FDs gain greater and more intelligent visibility and understanding of non-core costs, keeping the focus on reducing their major strategic cost challenges [/headaches]. Our entire function is to help reduce those non-core costs with minimal impact on the day-to-day operation of each business for enhanced benefit, zero risk and maximum savings. We do this more effectively [/successfully] and more intelligently than anyone else you will have seen."

Three elements to this:

better business intelligence (which the FDs usually think they have)

moving the business' focus back to core rather than non-core costs (eg people, if you're a legal firm, vs stationery)

the idea that their people usually aren't doing the greatest job (for the best of reasons)

Trimming this down is hurting my brain. To be fair, that ain't hard to do :)

Any ideas where I should look?

Cheers,

Dino

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Guest Emily Record

Posted

Hey, I just started following your blog, and so far it's been great! So I tried this out - here's what I came up with. I'm a fitness/strength coach.

1. We provide in person or online customized programming and coaching for anyone. We will meet you where you are on your journey to help you meet your goals. If you are a remote client you will have monthly phone calls, and unlimited e-mail support. We will use smart testing for our program design. We take your life into consideration, and work with you and your specific life situations to keep you on track and constantly improving.

2. We provide coaching for anyone, meeting you on your journey. Working around your life we keep you on track and help you reach your goals.

3. Customized coaching for anyone. Meeting you on your journey and helping you reach your goals.

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Guest Tradedog

Posted

Your Strength and Fitness Personal Assistant

Your Strength and Fitness PA

Can we be Your Strength and Fitness PA?

Your Strength and Fitness Program Micromanaged

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Guest Marc Spencer

Posted

I don't think there's an issue with making your tagline just a little longer like this:

We think outside the box, to protect what's inside it.

 

or

We think outside the box, so you don't have to.

Thanks,

KCSpence

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Guest Stacy Saman

Posted

Here's a question, and one that has been plaguing me for a long time (many more hours than two):

My "brand" is VERY diverse. Imagine this: professionally carved faux pumpkins, clothing, bags, handmade soap, downloadables, greeting cards, gifts, jewellery, DIY's, napkins, tablecloths, costumes and fascinators, pinback buttons, silk floral arrangements, jewellery boxes made out of wooden coffins...just for a start...I literally do just about everything...and I like it that way (keeps me interested, and it's a hobby...not my main source of income).

Now add crazy diverse styles, from 'Goth', to 'Halloween-oriented', to 'Audrey Hepburn meets Martha Stewart'. High end to geek. Goth to gifts for Grandma.

I have wondered about splitting up my stuff into two brands...but I don't want to lose out on the 5 years of marketing, referrals, web seo, etc, that has come with the brand name I started with, when I was only playing around, carving custom pumpkins for people. 'Gothic Gourds' is an awesome name. People remember it. Are curious about it. But 'grandma' is probably not going to look twice and think, 'I bet they carry really nice sets of Thanksgiving napkins, hand-sewn and embroidered, that would look perfect with my classic decor.'

I am not saying 'grandma' won't think about checking out my site for a gothy/geeky type gift for their grandkids... (no offence to Goth grandmas...I will be one, someday...I am totally generalizing for the sake of target audience description).

I am also verbose. It's great when writing posts, but for copywriting, taglines, etc, it's HELL.

So, two different brands? A hobby that becomes crazy? Change the name? How does one write a tagline for this crazy mess of my crafty brain? It really reflects ME, a goth who owns real Vuitton, is happy wearing classic pearls as well as leather cuffs, who likes Laura Ashley, Doctor Who, Jane Austen, GOT, neutral colour crystal jewellery and neon purple skulls.

Help! Please!

Thanks for reading my really long Komment...

Stacy (aka Gothic Gourd Girl)

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Guest Arthur Charles Van Wyk

Posted

Hey Neville

A few years ago Sprite did IMAGE IS NOTHING. THIRST IS EVERYTHING.

I was a kid when they did that, but after I launched a digital agency in 2011 that Sprite commercial came back to me and now I use a tagline for the agency that goes: INFLUENCE IS EVERYTHING. The agency is named Fluence so sometimes I also say IN FLUENCE IS EVERYTHING meaning we're a full service digital marketing agency.

The thought that keeps gnawing at the back of my head is whether I am assuming people will get it since we're mostly B2B and people working in business should be smart enough.

Would you say I'm overcomplicating it by trying to go that simple?

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Need to come up with a tagline for the 60th Anniversary for a cleaning company so I'm back here for a refresher:

1) "Cleaning Company" has provided commercial cleaning and facility supply services for 60 years. We are a family owned business. Our services help businesses of all types to have clean, healthy, facilities that don’t require you to worry about your janitorial services. We handle all of things about taking care of a facility that suck like cleaning toilets, taking care of carpets, emptying trash, and finding / managing good employees so you can focus on doing what you’re actually in your office to do.

2) "Cleaning Company's" janitorial services and great employees have made it easy to have clean and healthy spaces without any hassles for over 60 years.

3) Making cleaning easy for 60 years.

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