Mar
03

What's the Value of a Tag Line?

Gwen Moran wrote this article that appeared in Entrepreneur Magazine, March 2009. Gwen is co-author of The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Business Plans. Reach her at gwen@gwenmoran.com.
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Fly the friendly skies.” “We try harder.” “Don’t leave home without it.” That little plug after your company name or logo can give your customers more clarity about your brand and a fast-pitch sell in just a few short words. And there’s no doubt a new tag line can give your brand a boost.

If you’re an established business with a tag line that’s a bit tired, there’s hope for you yet, says Allen Weiss, founder and CEO of MarketingProfs.com, an online marketing know-how resource with approximately 320,000 subscribers. Weiss and his team recently went through a tag line change of their own for the website (the new line is “Smart thinking. Pass it on”). Here are a few tips he shares from the process:

Focus on benefits. Assuming you’ve mastered the Marketing 101 edict of “know your audience,” the next step is to determine what you want to say. “You have to understand the benefits they care about most,” Weiss says. For example, if customers care about a balance between performance and price, over-emphasizing either one could be a turn-off. They may believe that an inexpensive product won’t perform well but that superior performance is too costly.

Start from scratch. Weiss says reinventing your tag line is different from re-inventing your brand. It’s not necessary to stick to themes in your former tag, especially if your business has changed. If you started selling on price, then the business changed and customers cared more about service, changing the tag is fine. “You wouldn’t just blow up the whole brand and start over,” he explains, “but with the tag line, you can.”

You wouldn’t just blow up the whole brand and start over. But with the tag line you can.

–Allen Weiss

Get help. Weiss says it’s a good idea to consult a professional writer or branding company to help craft your tag line, especially if you struggle with words. If your budget is a little too tight for that, he suggests visiting virtual watering holes where marketers congregate. MarketingProfs, for example, offers a free membership that grants access to its forums, where an entire section is devoted to tag lines. Weiss says that marketers often answer requests for help with tag lines there–gratis. Other free forums include copywriting.com and smallbusinessbrief.com.

Test it out. Before you order a three-year supply of stationery and business cards, make sure your tag line works. Weiss says it’s difficult to apply metrics to tag lines. Success lies in whether or not people get it, so ask your customers what the new tag line idea means to them and weigh the results. At the same time, don’t panic if some don’t like it. “Some people just don’t like change,” he says. “You have to ask questions about what they don’t like to find out if they’re just reacting to change or if the tag isn’t getting across.”

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This listing of The Best Website Taglines Around the Internet was posted on DailyBlogTips.com

A tagline can make or break a website (well, maybe not, but it is cool to be dramatic). Below you will find a collection of the best taglines around the Internet. Some of them are funny, some are clever; but all of them deliver the message! Hopefully it will serve as inspiration.

The Straight Dope: Fighting Ignorance since 1973 (It’s taking longer than we thought).
Maxim Philippines: The best thing that ever happened to men … after women!
The Consumerist: Shoppers bite back.
Random Acts of Reality: Trying to kill as few people as possible…
Joshuaink: Same old shit, different day.
The Superficial: Because you’re ugly.
Smashing Magazine: We smash you with information that will make your life easier. Really.
The Best Page in the Universe: This page is about me and why everything I like is great. If you disagree with anything you find on this page, you are wrong.
Scaryduck: Not scary. Not a duck.
The Art of Rhysisms: Chronologically inept since 2060.
Needcoffee.com: We are the Internet equivalent of a triple espresso with whipped cream. Mmmm…whipped cream.
Ample Sanity: Life is short. Make fun of it.
Rathergood.com: The Lair of the Crab of Ineffable Wisdom – a load of stuff by Joel Veitch that will probably crush your will to live.
The Breakfast Blog: In search of the best eggs in town.
Dooce: Not even remotely funny.
Pink is the new blog: Everybody’s business is my business.
Shoemoney: Skills to pay the bills.
Oh No They Didnt’t!: The celebrities are disposable, the content is priceless.
YouTube: Broadcast Yourself.
Waiter Rant: Do you want Pommes Frite with that?
Newshounds: We watch FOX so you don’t have to.
Sabrina Faire: All the fun of a saucy wench, none of the overpriced beer.
Defective Yeti: A maze of twisty passages, all alike.
All About George: All about George Kelly… you know, if you go in for that sort of thing.
Go Fug Yourself: Fugly is the new pretty.
kottke.org: Home of fine hypertext products.
Slashdot: News for nerds. Stuff that matters.
Gawker: Daily Manhattan media news and gossip. Reporting live from the center of the universe.
Get Rich Slowly: Personal finance that makes cents.
hi5: Who’s in?
Fotolog: Share your world with the world.
Jezebel: Celebrity, Sex, Fashion for Women, Without Aribrushing.
Autoblog: We obssessibely cover the auto industry.
Boing Boing: A directory of wonderful things.
Perez Hilton: Celebrity Juice. Not from concentrate.
DumbLittleMan: So what do we do here? Well, it’s simple. 15 to 20 times per week we provide tips that will save you money, increase your productivity, or simply keep you sane.
Lifehacker: Don’t live to geek, geek to live!
Gizmodo: The gadget guide. So much in love with shiny new toys, it’s unnatural.
John Cow Dot Com: Make Moooney Online with John Cow Dot Com
WebWorkerDaily: Rebooting the workforce.
The Simple Dollar: Financial talk for the rest of us.
TrafficBunnies: Making your hits multiply like rabbits.
Mighty Girl: Famous among dozens.
The Sneeze: Half zine. Half blog. Half not good with fractions.
Buzz Marketing: Because everyone is entitled to my opinion.
Your favorite tagline is not here? Just post a comment and I will update the list.

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