The following material comes from the forthcoming eBook, Marketing Essentials for Growing Businesses. To get this eBook for free when it comes out, register by clicking here.

So far in this book, we’ve talked about branding in general. Now let’s talk about slogans and taglines.

When the murderer Gary Gilmore, likely intoxicated and definitely terrified, lined up in front of a firing squad in the cold winter of 1977, few would imagine his last words would become the words of an advertising giant: “Let’s do it.”

Ten years later, advertising mogul Dan Wieden, inspired by Gilmore, would pitch the idea to Nike executives with a small twist: “Just Do It”. The rest is history.

Although some would consider “Just Do It” as Nike’s slogan, in reality, it’s been their tagline for the past 30 years. The difference between the two is simple. A tagline describes the company in a creative but official “copy”, usually placed below a company’s logo. A slogan describes a product or service that the company is specifically pushing. Consider the following taglines.

“Taste the Rainbow”

“Eat Fresh”

“The Happiest Place on Earth”

Because of their creativity and longevity, we instantaneously know the brand of these companies. But taken out of context, we might ask ourselves: Just do what? You want me to taste what? These companies taglines work because of the uniqueness of their products.

How to Create Your Tagline and Slogan

For both start-up and growing companies alike, including your basic service in your tagline works to let potential customers know what you are about. For any size of company, great taglines and slogans share a set of guidelines.

Craft something new—don’t rehash your mission statement.

First, your slogans and tagline are not your mission statement. This happens frequently—business owners double dip, rehashing something from their foundations instead of creating something new. The problem is that your company’s foundations are primarily internal orienting statements, whereas your slogans and tagline are recognizable calls to action.

Be original—what makes you stand out?

When Buddy, the overly-friendly man-elf from the movie Elf, walks by a coffee shop that claims to have “The World’s Best Cup of Coffee”, he enters and shouts congratulations to the employees for literally brewing the world’s best cup of coffee. What Buddy doesn’t understand is that the sign is generic and hyperbolic. It lacks originality.

In contrast, a company like Skittles doesn’t claim to have the best candy in the world. Instead, they highlight what makes them unique (their colorful candy) while giving their audience a call to action: “Taste the Rainbow”.

At Palladium, our tagline let’s our clients and communities know exactly what we do: “Providing signs rare in quality and value”. Then, on the other hand, our slogans include, “A business with no sign is a sign of no business, so let’s do business” and “Designs for everything.”

Whether it’s a tagline or slogan, following these guidelines allowed us at Palladium to find phrases that matched our intent and values, and following these guidelines can do the same for your company.

With intentionally crafted slogans and taglines, your company needs to start thinking about an image to match the message. Next, let’s talk about logo, so stay tuned on our blog for more!

As always, we’re glad to help you brainstorm you as you consider your company’s branding and think about how to put that brand out there. Give us a call! The number is (615) 462-5383.

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