How to create a sales-driven tagline

This post by Brenda Do,

Posted in Advertising, Communications, Customer Relations, Marketing, Uncategorized


Do you have a tagline or a slogan?

What’s the difference you ask? Here’s my non-marketing-speak definition:

Slogans are rather generic and can apply to different industries. And taglines show a unique and specific benefit of the product and can’t apply easily to other products or industries.

A slogan example is Nike’s “Just do it.”

It’s a slogan because it’s rather flexible and generic. Imagine:
•    5-Minute Loans: Just do it.
•    Friendly Family Counseling: Just do it.
•    Ferrari Club: Just do it.

A slogan this generic makes it rather fluffy and less effective, doesn’t it?

A good tagline shows a specific product benefit such as M&M’s, “Melts in your mouth, not in your hands.”

See the difference?

Unfortunately, most corporate “taglines” are little more than fluff and clichés. Such as McDonald’s “I’m lovin’ it™.”

We can substitute quite a bit here:

•    Veggie World: I’m lovin’ it.
•    Zippy Cars: I’m lovin it.
•    Friendly Family Counseling: I’m lovin’ it.

Or Ford’s old one,“Built Ford tough™.” We can insert any car in here: Built Dodge tough. Built Toyota tough…

Stand out from the crowd
See how those “taglines” don’t make the company look unique? An effective tagline should reflect – or better, incorporate – your unique selling proposition (USP).

Think of your USP as the pithy little statement that quickly tells your prospects why they should buy from you.

You get extra bonus points if you evoke emotion too. That gets the mind and body fired up to support you.

Hallmark greeting cards has a good tagline that incorporates their USP and tugs at your emotions: “When you care enough to send the very best.”

That tagline claims product quality and challenges your psyche. It’s saying if you really care, if you want to express yourself in the most thoughtful way possible, you send a Hallmark card.

What if Hallmark said “I’m lovin’ it”?

It probably doesn’t tug on your emotions enough to convince you to spend more on a Hallmark card verses other card, does it?

Another good one is, “What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas.” It promises the adventure you may crave and the magical absolution you may need.

Slogan types to avoid
What doesn’t work well are the slogans that focus on the company. Ford’s latest one is simply, “Drive one.”

Hmm…they gave me a command. Do you like being told what to do? I sure don’t. I bet the marketing group who figured that one out thought they were being cool.

Problem here is this slogan turns all of the attention on the company, not the customer.

Such as how Toshiba’s slogan is, “Leading innovation.” It brags about them and doesn’t tell how they benefit me, the person shelling out the dough for their innovation.

For an effective tagline or slogan, do not:
•    Insult the reader
•    Brag about yourself
•    Sound like everyone else
•    Turn the focus on yourself instead of the customer

To create a sales-driven tagline or slogan, be sure it does at least one of these:
1.    Show a benefit
2.    Incorporate your USP
3.    Focus on what the prospect wants
4.    Evoke emotion

If you’re blending in with your competition, analyze your unique selling proposition again for today’s market. Then check it against your tagline or slogan.

A great tagline or slogan is just one way to stand out from your competition. When sending out any sales and marketing material, be sure they contain authority elements too.


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