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What makes a great tagline?

Wednesday, 24 October 2012 | By Michael Halligan

I’m trying to think of a one-liner for my brand. What makes a great tagline?


This week’s Secret Soloist is answered by marketing guru Mike Halligan.


Taglines have the ability to quickly and succinctly define a brand’s meaning and position.


I was driving past Chippy's Outdoor in Ringwood a few weeks ago and their tagline caught my eye.


Proudly displayed under their logo was the motto, "Turning backyards into lifestyles". I thought that absolutely embodied everything that a tagline can do.


A good tagline will:

  • Suggest what the business offers
  • Tell a story
  • Sell the emotional benefit of doing business with the brand

The key to developing a good tagline is the emotional promise that it makes.


Dig into some of the most famous taglines, such as Nike's "Just Do It" and Apple's "Think Different", and you'll see how the tagline positions the customer to feel a certain way about the brand.


As a small business owner with limited opportunity to present your business, I would wheel out the tagline on just about every reference of your logo.


The bigger you get and the more exposure that you develop, you can more selectively place it so as to not overuse it.


A bad tagline will go unnoticed.


An average tagline will do little, but a great tagline can do wonders, so spend a little extra time on developing yours and don't be afraid to borrow the creativity of others for some extra ideas.