How to Create a Tag Line That Lands

Tag lines can be incredibly helpful to your business. They give you the opportunity to sum up what makes your organization different in one simple turn phrase. We all know the Energizer battery, right? I don’t know that I’ll ever forget that bunny thumping its base drum through fields, mountains, cities, basketball games and all sorts of other situations. But what pops to mind when I think back to it is that voice on the commercial “They keep going and going and going and going and going…” Well you remember. Now when I think of long lasting batteries, Energizer is the one that comes to mind.

So how do you create a tag line that lands? Everyone has their own process but here’s what I’ve found that works pretty well for our clients:

Put Together a Creative Team

When it comes to anything creative, you never want to make decisions in a vacuum. That said, you don’t want to pull to many cooks into the kitchen either. During the planning phase of the creative process, you want to be sure that you’re devoting the right resources to this process. Preferably, you should have a few different stakeholders involved in the process – clients, employees, management and any other partners. Again, be careful not to overload your team – too many people involved in the process could become unmanageable. You know your capabilities better than anyone but I’d say a good rule of thumb would be no more than five people involved in the process to make the team easier to manage.

Brainstorming Session

When you have your creative team together, it’s time to put together your first brainstorming session. A few key things to remember when it comes to brainstorming:

  • Get in a room. This is a process that needs to be done behind closed doors. One of the key rules for a brainstorming session is that there’s no such thing as a bad idea, which requires a feeling of safety and privacy. No one wants a bad idea overheard by the wrong pair of ears.
  • Find a whiteboard. The more space you have to write the better. A good brainstorming session will have plenty of ideas to write down so you’ll want space for them. Get all of the ideas down on a whiteboard and don’t start erasing until the ideas are all talked out.
  • Use Post-It Notes. You’ll probably end up with ideas that stem from other ideas. That’s great, let them flow. Use Post-It Notes to explore any of the tangents that ideas create.
  • Go analog. Remove all devices from the room. Cell phones, computers and tablets have no place in brainstorming sessions. They only serve as distractions from the process.

Test, Measure, Refine

This is probably the most important part of the process. When you get to a point where you have two or three good ideas that you feel really represent your organization and succinctly defines your unique value, test them out on as many different people as you can. Go outside of your circle and find out which ones land. Use a ranking system if you have to but make sure that you get the answers to these questions (add some of your own to make sure you get the right information):

  • Does this tagline indicate to you that we’re different than our competitors?
  • Does this tagline highlight our strengths?
  • Does this tagline help you understand what we do?

Be sure to put a limit on the amount of time you spend testing your taglines. Analysis paralysis is dangerous and easy to slip into when you’re in this phase and get yourself to a point where you’ll never actually decide on your tagline and all of that creative work will be for nothing.

Obviously there’s a lot more that goes into the process but these are the big steps. There’s a lot more that goes into each one of these steps that we don’t have space for in this article so stay tuned for future blogs and if you’d like to talk a bit about how we can help you click here and fill out our contact form.

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Posted in Communication, Ian's Library, Nonprofits, Startups.

One Comment

  1. Creating good tag lines can be a challenging task, luckily I have a blogging method that helps me practice this quite often. The more posts I have, the more taglines I have to create. Additionally, these can be used to hopefully capture reader interest. Although not quite the same thing, I hope this helps.

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