What Makes a Good Tagline?

In Building a Brand by Distility2846 Comments

It’s no secret that a good tagline or slogan can be a cornerstone of an enduring brand. At Distility, we believe that a concise, elegantly-crafted tagline can drive home the value of a brand. But coming up with the perfect one-liner is no walk in the park. There’s lots to consider.

For an in-depth look into the world of the tagline, we highly recommend the podcast entitled “Slogans” of one of our favourite CBC radio shows, The Age of Persuasion.

A Slogan is not just a Jingle

A tagline, or slogan, is the essence of a brand distilled into one brief phrase or sentence. It is simultaneously an outward message to a brand’s audience and an internal rallying call for the individuals who make up a company. An effective tagline works to communicate what you can do for customers and also inspires your team.

Taglines exist to achieve specific goals. A tagline benefits from being carefully crafted, with every unnecessary word deleted. Sometimes they work to separate a product from others in a category. Other times, they tell you how to use a product, reinforce imagery that speaks for the brand, or associate positive feelings with a brand or product. Often, they present a call to action. The Age of Persuasion Slogans episode includes the example of Frito Lay’s “betcha can’t eat just one”; this tagline acts as an enticement to the consumer to eat more Frito Lay chips.

The simplest taglines are often the best, provided the tagline is associated with the right image. Consequently, the actual tagline phrase does not need be genius to be an ingenious and effective tagline. Think of the highly effective Obama slogan “yes, we can” or the Nike tagline “just do it”.

Brand Strategy Rooted Taglines

At Distility, we believe that ingenious and effective taglines are based on one or more elements of our clients’ brand strategy. As a result, the first step to creating taglines is for a brand to have committed to its brand strategy, and we do this with Distility 1day1brand to ensure client-team collaboration and commitment to their brand promise, position and personality. With commitment on brand strategy, Distility creates taglines. Two recent examples are: (i) Sim IP Practise: “Sim.plify” and (ii) Combined Wisdom: “Cross Border. Made to Order”.

Slogan Trivia

Funnily enough, according to the CBC Radio Age of Persuasion podcast on Slogans, the term “slogan” stems from the Gaelic “Slaugh Gairn”, meaning “cry of the host”. The origin of the word underscores the idea of taglines and slogans as a rallying cry for a brand.