Tag Lines: Why You Need ‘Em And How To Create ‘Em

Small businesses need good Tag Lines as much as billion dollar brands.  Here’s a quick tutorial on how to create one for your business

What Are Tag Lines?

Tag lines, or slogans, are short, memorable statements about a company or its products or services.  Along with your name, they are designed to convey a strong message about what the product is and what it can do for your customers.  A good tag line will differentiate your product or service from the competition while planting your message firmly into the mind of your prospects.

Just about every company should have a tag line.  Large companies, like GEICO, Fosters Beer, Kentucky Fried Chicken, Raid, BMW and Rolaids have singular lines they’ve cultivated for decades. 

  • GEICO – “15 Minutes Can Save You 15% Or More On Car Insurance”
  • Fosters – “Australian For Beer”
  • Kentucky Fried Chicken – “Finger-Lickin’ Good!”
  • Raid – “Raid Kills Bugs Dead”
  • BMW – “The Ultimate Driving Machine”
  • Rolaids – “How Do You Spell Relief? R-O-L-A-I-D-S” (70+ years old)

Others like Burger King, Hertz, Miller Lite and Coca Cola go through a carousel of tag lines sometimes jettisoning a wonderfully effective and memorable line (a killer message) for a so-so message, just for the sake of change.  Often this is a mistake.  Keep using a killer message as long as it works.  Early on I was taught the folly of change for change sake with this credo, “A killer message doesn’t get stale.  Your prospects haven’t heard it enough yet and your customers believe it.”  Maybe that’s why it’s referred to as a “Killer”.

Let’s take a look at some really great lines that were left behind.  Why?  No one seems quite sure.

  • Burger King – “Have It Your Way”
  • Miller Lite – “Tastes Great, Less Filling”
  • Hertz – “It’s Hertz Or ‘Not Exactly’!”
  • Coca Cola – “The Real Thing”

Why Have A Tag Line?

Small Business Owners or Small Business Organizations – did anyone ever ask you, “What does your company do?”  Did you have a short, memorable answer on the top of your mind you could give in under five seconds?  If not, you should have.  Properly articulated tag lines can be used in a variety of ways.  Websites, letter heads, thank you cards, business cards, advertisements, uniform shirts, signage, etc., etc., etc.

It’s Different For Small Business

Small businesses are different from large corporations and national and international brands in many ways.  One of the most significant differences is that of time and money.  Owners can’t invest months or years and obscene amounts of money building a brand.   Small businesses run ad campaigns, put up websites and engage in SEO and social media to get results.  Now – not in six months.

So it’s doubly important for a small business to create a tag line that works.  Ideally, it should differentiate you from the competition, relay to the customer a meaningful benefit and do it in a memorable way.  I know that’s a tall order, but the better you do…the better you’ll do. 

ABC’s Of Creating A Tag Line

Try these three steps to create (or recreate) your own tag line:

  1. Find your Unique Message (or Unique Selling Proposition).
  2. Determine the most meaningful benefit you bring to your customers that is not also touted by the competition.
  3. Craft a simple, short and easy to remember statement that incorporates A and B when coupled with your business name.

Over the years I’ve developed dozens of tag lines for some of my small business clients.  Here is a sampling.  See if you can identify the unique message and or benefit.  (Hint:  It’s really easy!)

  • Iowa Café (AZ):

“Back-Home Good, Small Town Friendly”

  • Landscape Architect

“Landscaping So Extraordinary, So Perfect…So You!”

  • NARPRO.com Auto Repair Referral Website

“Find The Best Mechanic For Your Car”

“Love Your Mechanic”

  • HeliServices, Inc

“Arizona’s Personal Helicopter Company – Yes You Can!”

  • Castanza’s Cakery

“Put Joy In Your Mouth”

  • R&G Brenner Income Tax Service

“Not A Penny More Than You Have To – Guaranteed!”

  • Luxury Import Car Repair

“The True Dealer Alternative”

More Marketing Advice

For over 30 years I have been a professional copywriter and marketing educator advising various businesses on unique messaging, branding strategies and making your website a conversion machine.  I love sharing my marketing tips, insights and secrets.  Interested in learning more valuable stuff that could help improve your marketing life?

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