Brand taglines come in all shapes and sizes. From motivational (“Just do it.”) to evocative (“Maybe she’s born with it. Maybe it’s Maybelline.”) to unrivaled (“Choosy moms choose Jif.”), taglines provide the opportunity for a brand to immediately connect a brief message with their company’s name.
Taglines are one of my favorite elements to a brand’s identity because of their cleverness and creativity. If you’ve ever found yourself remembering a brand name because of their tagline, or have seen one referenced or spoofed in pop culture, then you’ve been exposed to a successful tagline.
Although there are many different styles of taglines, two popular categories of phrase-types are action and definition. An actionable tagline commands motion and insights a form of “doing.” These types of taglines usually start with a verb and are often used with brand names not needing too much clarification as to what the product/service is.
United Airlines: “Fly the Friendly Skies”
Olay: “Love the skin you’re in”
Sony: “make. believe”
Investment Answers: “Leave uncertainty behind.”
Definition taglines are created to describe a service, product or brand promise. These types of taglines tend to be more concrete and direct—providing an informative complement to the brand name. You’ll often see definition-inspired taglines paired with brand names that are more abstract and vague as to what the product/service is. Definition taglines give the extra support consumers need to understand the brand.
Bounty: ”The quicker picker-upper”
Disneyland: “The Happiest Place on Earth.”
Oreo: “Milk’s favorite cookie.”
Dustless Technologies: “The end of cleanup”
It’s important to know what you want your tagline to do before trying to implement one. This can be the difference between strong and weak; memorable and dull; and bold and boring.
Regardless of the type, text or tone, a tagline should serve your brand and strengthen the audience’s memory of you.