I’ve been asked this question several times, “Do you think I need a tagline for my logo?”. Like distilling a fine whiskey, it is hard to get right and takes time to create a good tagline. From a simple descriptor or an emotive tagline, a deep understanding for each business brand and how they perceive themselves is key.
What is a tagline?
A tagline is like a one-line company statement, a short description or brand promise which helps to create interest and understanding. It helps people to link your name to your brand message. They are simple in essence, but pack a punch if written correctly. Originally used in big advertising campaigns as the hook in the marketing campaign, a tagline, strapline or slogan, traditionally had much shorter lifespans than logos. It reinforced the campaign message, linking it to the product or company.
Taglines now carry a brand message with the logo and can last much longer. You remember them through consistent use and exposure through the print and online media-scape. Most of the strongest taglines tend to be be 4 words or less, and two great examples of big brands with strong taglines are: Nike’s “Just Do It” and BMW’s “The Ultimate Driving Machine.”
“So… who are you again?”
When launching a logo identity for a new start-up or existing business, if it’s not obvious you need to clearly explain what you do. Having a strong, clear tagline to describe or reinforce your identity can create emotive benefits to your identity and clarify your new brand message. It can translate your positioning or mission statement. They know and understand who you are in an instant – and that helps in keeping you in people’s hearts and minds.
Once you’ve got your lovely new logo identity and have been given a set of guidelines to follow they should show how the logo is used with or without a tagline. It doesn’t have to be part of the logo, but it’s good to show how one may work (you never know where the logo will be used in future marketing.) With the vast majority of print and online media, white space is crucial in letting your brand stand out. Spacing is also important in your logo design. Too many elements in a logo design can make that logo less memorable and the brand harder to remember and recognise. A well-refined tagline should enhance your logo and add value to your brand message rather than complicate the logo design with a flurry of words.
3 tips that can help you create your logo tagline:
- What is your Emotional Selling Point (ESP)? Rather than USP (Unique Selling Point) think emotion. Look at writing an emotive message to get to your customers hearts and minds. What makes you unique and stands out from your competitors?
- Keep it Simple and Short. As I mentioned earlier, around 4 to 5 words is perfect but is just a guideline. It’s easier to remember a short, catchy tagline and makes it easy to read if your logo design is reduced in size, but it needs to get your message across.
- Get feedback. It’s hard trying to come up with this all on your own, so get someone to read it and offer their own feedback. It can really help. Ask colleagues, friends, your family, and even some of your trusted clients.
Are you happy with your logo and tagline?
I’d love to hear any comments on your thoughts about taglines. You can send me a Tweet or email me and I’ll reply. And, if you’d like any professional help with your identity and tagline, let me know.