Apple says “Think Different,” McDonald’s says “I’m lovin’ it,” and Nike says “Just do it.” Consumers around the world recognize these slogans or taglines, which are an integral part of each of their brands.
As important as it might be to have company mission statements and documented business plans for legal purposes, when it comes to communicating with customers, one short sentence or phrase does the trick. Coming up with a tagline for a new business might not be an easy process, but getting it right is well worth the effort of building brand recognition.
Even large corporations start off with a blank page before finally settling on the right tagline.
Points to Ponder When Writing a Slogan
- The Purpose of a Tagline.Taglines are catchy phrases or sentences that are easy to remember and can be used alongside the business’s logo. They function as part of the business brand, as well as the advertising and marketing campaigns.
- Know the Focus of the Slogan.Large corporations generally focus their tagline or slogan on the company as a whole. Smaller businesses may choose to focus the slogan on one product or service. New business owners should choose the focus that will suit them best.
- Logo First, Slogan Second.The logo is the visual part of this dynamic duo that helps build brand recognition. Logos are typically developed first, so a company that doesn’t have a logo should start there.
KFC’s logo is the cartoon-version of Colonel Saunders. No matter how often the slogan gets changed — a frequent occurrence when companies want to update their image — the logo generally stays the same.
- Don’t Rush.It’s best to avoid rushing into a decision about the tagline. An idea that sounds great should be pondered for a while to ensure it still sounds great the following day or week. Business owners who are working with a professional to develop the slogan will need to allow time for discussion, research, and development.
If there really isn’t any time, tagline development might be better left in the hands of a writer or marketing person.
- Keep it Simple.Taglines should never be longer than one sentence and should be written as concisely as possible. Long, odd-sounding words are best left for other creative projects. For instance, Pringles’s slogan is “Once you pop, you can’t stop,” which flows and sounds much better than “Once you eat one, you have to keep eating them.”
Take enough time to create a slogan that will serve its purpose well.
Coming Up with a Company Motto
Some of the famous company slogans out there, such as LG’s “Life’s good,” can leave new business owners believing that developing a slogan is a piece of cake. In all likelihood, a group of people sat around, paced the room, and pitched in and shot down ideas until someone finally got it right. If the creative juices aren’t flowing right away, there’s no reason for worry. The development of a company slogan takes time and repeated effort.
Once the slogan has been written, the business owner should try it out for a week or two before committing to it. He or she can discuss it with family members, others in the business, or even loyal customers. Although the opinions of these people don’t have to change anything, they might provide some noteworthy points the business owner didn’t previously think of.
In the end, it’s important to choose a tagline that will stick for as long as it’s needed and help build recognition for the business.
Mary Ylisela is a veteran author and motivational coach who writes and teaches about branding, social media marketing, and business executives such as Gary Crittenden.