We received lots of positive feedback on our new brand since launching the new site a couple of weeks ago. A handful of people in our community have complimented: “We love your new tagline: Create a brand people love!”
Compliment taken. Thank you. And, the truth of the matter is this is NOT our tagline per se. Rather it’s one of our key messages. It’s a message that’s imbued in our approach to our work.
That said, this prompted me to address the topic of taglines. Hopefully this post will inspire you to think differently about taglines for your brand.
In general, I’m not a big fan of taglines for entrepreneurs and small-to-midsize businesses.
Allow me to explain because this might be contradictory to what you already know about branding or what other branding and marketing professionals advise.
01. Taglines generally tend to have a short shelf-life.
Taglines typically last a year or two. For small businesses, the shelf life might even be shorter. I believe the reason is because a small business frequently changes as the market continues to also frequently change — and their taglines that are relevant today are no longer relevant tomorrow. Furthermore, I believe taglines are an outdated tool and they’re usually come across as forced or trying too hard. I was glad to find a relatively recent Forbes article that agrees with my point of view.
02. Don’t put all the responsibility of your brand on your tagline.
Similar to your logo, you don’t want to place a lot of pressure and responsibility of your brand in one area, such as your tagline. A lot of business owners try to describe everything about their brand in one tagline. Sometimes these taglines become too long and other times they become too broad and limiting. Either way, when a tagline is too long or too limiting, it creates overwhelm or confusion for a potential client or customer. Or the tagline is limiting and doesn’t allow the prospect to fully understand the depth and breadth of what your company offers — so they end up pigeonholing you in one area. And worse, some small businesses feel the need to add a tagline in their logo, which creates unnecessary clutter in the integrity of your logo design.
03. A tagline may not be needed in context of your brand name.
Think about your tagline in context of everything else. Particularly your company brand name. This comment is useful for those who are die-hard tagline advocates. For example, our company is called ‘Branding For The People.’ Our name type is called a ‘descriptive name’. That is, it describes what our company does. In our case, do we really need a tagline to support our name? I’d argue not.
However, if you have a company brand name that is abstract or suggestive in nature, you might benefit from having a tagline to describe what your company does. But, I still argue that a tagline may not be necessary. You might benefit more from having a high-level description of your offerings, whether it’s a service or product. Consider the following examples:
ABSTRACT NAME HERE
Accounting | Bookkeeping | Tax Planning
ABSTRACT NAME HERE
Fitness | Health | Nutrition
ABSTRACT NAME HERE
A Digital Marketing Agency
If you’re still desiring a tagline after reading this post, I encourage you to consider the pros and cons and the utility of your tagline. If it helps you attract leads into your business, then leverage it. But if you’re doing it because you were told you needed one, I’d think twice.
If you’re sold on the idea of not having a tagline for your brand, you might be wondering, what should you do in place of a tagline?
It’s called ‘messaging’. Consider that you have several messages that you need and want to convey to your prospects and customers. Having a palette of messages is far more beneficial than forcing your message into a singular tagline.
As I mentioned at the top of this post, “Create a brand people love” is definitely one of our key messages, but we have so many more messages throughout our website.
For example, our portfolio page message = “Design thinking meets Marketing Strategy”
Our blog page message = “Information is everywhere. Insights are right here.”
Note: depending on when you read this post, these messages may still be on our site or they may be different. Why? Because like your business, our business is constantly evolving. Your brand can remain the same, but your messaging can evolve with it.
So, in short, focus on creating a palette of messages and less on a tagline.