Taglines, stinkin’ taglines, how do you write one?

glowing skelton out of focus : morguefile.com: file0001204248801.jpgWhy do taglines freak people out?

You can pay marketing people lots of money to make one for you. But if you don’t have lots of money, don’t despair (well.. at least over your tag line!)

You can still have a business. You can have a great business without one.

Fear of the tagline comes under the heading of a “should.”

You think your tag line should be perfect. Or else:

  • no one will buy from you
  • no one will find you on the internet
  • no one will want to have children (er) do business with you.

Totally, sucks to be you!
This is all B.S.!

If, as Naomi Dunford over at ittybiz.com says,

Your tagline exists in order to give your Most Likely Buyers a reason to stay.

…then, it’s about clarifying your business purpose.

If your business name is the same as your name, you need a tagline.

If it’s pretty clear what you do like say if your business name is “We Fix Broken Websites” then maybe you don’t need one.

Cute is not required.

Your idea of cute and your ideal customer’s ideas may not match. So you lose them before you ever start. Same goes for catchy… maybe it doesn’t catch them.

It’s all about clarity of purpose.

Consider these taglines from ChomchomAdvertising

Chiffon Margarine:
It’s not nice to fool Mother Nature

The name of the product is pretty darn clear. No fooling around.

But add that tag line and the implied quality jumps out.
If you were standing in the butter aisle in the grocery aisle, would you mistake chiffon margarine for butter?  Nope.

Same goes for:

Allstate Insurance:
You’re in good hands with Allstate.

If you’re looking for insurance in the phone book (I know, does anybody do that any more?  But conceptually speaking…), you’d find Allstate with the rest of the insurance companies.
Their tagline implies that they’ll take care of you.

But what about:

CNET:
The source for computing and technology.

You might not know about CNET.  So if someone handed you a business card that just said they worked there, you could be forgiven for not knowing what they do. Their tag line gives you a pretty good idea about what the company does. Not cute. Just clear.

Check out the rest of Naomi’s article on how to write taglines

And remember:

It’s … more useful to be clear than anything else.

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