How to Create A Memorable Brand Tagline

In our last post, Fire Enterprises (FEI) marketing maven Marka explained why a branding document is necessary to ensure FEI’s brand is accurately and consistently represented everywhere. This week, Marka shows the rest of the FEI tribe how to create a killer tagline. Remember, fire=print.

A few minutes before FEI’s afternoon marketing meeting started, Zoot came into the conference room and offered everyone gum.

“Nyke Gum is my new favorite brand,” Zoot said, handing sticks of gum to Marka, Org, and Numo. “I love their tagline: ‘Just Chew It.’”

“That is a great tagline,” Marka agreed, tossing the gum in her mouth. “It’s clear, authentic, and compelling to customers. Coincidentally, today we’re going to talk about creating a memorable tagline to go with FEI’s new brand.”

“Our tagline, like our logo, is a crucial and highly-visible brand element,” Marka said. “If our logo is the first thing we want customers to visualize when they think ‘fire’, our tagline is the first phrase we want them to think of. Like any brand element, taglines need to connect strongly to our brand, be clear, and relate to our customers. Let me tell you more.”

Marka approached the conference room whiteboard and started scribbling:

Derive Taglines From Your Brand Attributes

“Dependable. Innovative. Superb Quality,” Marka said. “These are the three attributes we came up with that define FEI’s brand, and our tagline—like our logo and every other FEI brand element—should be based off them. The challenge is to create a tagline that connotes these qualities in a pithy way.”

Marka scribbled more on the whiteboard:

Be Clear, Not Clever
“When brainstorming taglines, we should avoid the temptation to come up with something too clever or witty,” Marka said. “The most memorable slogans are clear and often childishly simple. Think about ‘Just Chew It’ and Pyro’s ‘We Bring Good Flames to Life.’ Both simple phrases, and the longest word in either is six letters! A concise simple phrase that accurately sums up what we offer is more likely to stick in customers’ minds than one that’s sophisticated and complex.”

T.J. Tedesco is a sales growth, business strategy, marketing and PR consultant operating at the intersection of clear vision, compelling content and effective outreach practices. For nearly two decades, T.J. has been an independent consultant and sales growth team leader. Previously, he sold commercial printing, graphic arts machinery and supplies, and finishing and bindery services. T.J. helps North American companies with content development, Web and print design leadership, nurture marketing programs, sales coaching, sales team alignment and business strategy. Since 1996, T.J. has worked with more than 100 clients on retainer, 80 percent in the graphic arts industry. T.J. is author of "Win Top-of-Mind Positioning," "Playbook for Selling Success in the Graphic Arts Industry," "Fire! How Marketing Got Hot," "Direct Mail Pal" and four more books published by PIA. He can be reached at (301) 404-2244 or
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