Just do it, Every little helps, Because you’re worth it, The ultimate driving machine, Love it or hate it.
Strapline copywriting or tagline copywriting can define a brand or business. The best brand straplines or product taglines are instantly recognisable and can become part of everyday language. For so few words, a tagline, strapline or slogan carries a lot of weight and responsibility. While a few ideas might leap out immediately, very few lasting straplines happen quickly. It takes time and effort to distil the perfect strapline. It’s the thinking that takes the time but without thought, words are useless. The time and effort put into strapline copywriting is worth it. Get it right and it becomes synonymous with your business or brand and strengthens almost every aspect of your marketing. This goes some way to explaining exactly why strapline copywriting can be so difficult. A strong, confident memorable strapline or tagline can become synonymous with a business or brand, and in some cases iconic.
Whether you call it a strapline, a tagline, a slogan or something else, developing a short, catchy, memorable phrase that encapsulates everything about who you are and what you stand for or what it is and why you need one rarely happens quickly and is one of the more challenging aspects of copywriting. The most effective straplines are creative, meaningful and relatable, captures what’s distinctive about your brand, evokes strong sentiments with your audience, and sends out an enduring message and positions you in your marketplace. While your business name conveys who you are, in five words or less, your strapline, tagline or slogan has to neatly represent who you are, what you do and the benefits your offer to clients or customers. To create a strong, unique and memorable strapline or tagline, you must drill down into your mission statement, vision, values and ethos.
Consider the business’ or brands’ personality, aspirations and motives – who you are, what you do, what you stand for and how your company, product or service can help your client customer. Now turn your attention to your customer or client base. Who are they? What do they value? What sort of language do they use? Understand their motivations and pain points. More often than not, this probing research will result in a page of relevant words and random thoughts. This probing research will give you a page of relevant words and random thoughts, doodles and scribbles. Move them around the page, try different combinations, build phrases and eventually a picture will start to form. You’re looking for a collection of strong meaningful words or a short confident and memorable phrase that captures the essence of your brand and tells your audience what you stand for. The writing is simple – it’s the thinking that takes time.
But be careful. Straplines can also be a brand’s downfall. A strapline or tagline that tries to say too much can soon lose meaning, while a timid strapline is instantly forgettable. A strapline or tagline that is vague could be applied to anything, while a tagline that tries to be too clever will fall flat on its face unless your brand or business is already well established in its marketplace. Instead, a strapline or tagline should balance relevance, honesty, boldness and creativity but most of all it should be memorable. It could be a powerful emotionally-led or nostalgic statement or a thought-provoking question that challenges beliefs, three individually bold words or a benefit-led phrase. Whatever you choose, you must say one thing or express one thought and do it well.
Here are a few reminders.
- Keep it short, simple and snappy (5 words maximum).
- Capture the essence and personality of your brand.
- Use words that are strong, unique and memorable.
- Focus on your target client or customer.
- Concentrate on what makes you unique.
- Emphasise the benefits of your brand.
- Be positive and bold but not arrogant.
- Use words and a tone of voice that your target audience can relate to.
- Conjure an image, an emotion or desire.
- Be careful when using a pun, play on words, cliché or rhyme.
If you’re looking for an experienced strapline copywriter to help you create a memorable tagline or slogan for your company or brand, product or service, please get in touch.