Would you start a story by giving it a misleading headline?

Or, why your tagline needs to nail your company’s promise

If your company name doesn’t indicate what you do, then the tagline, sometimes known as a slogan, is especially important.

It needs to be distinctive and different; and that’s what makes it valuable.

That’s because it is the start of your conversation with your customer.

It also usually forms the opening line for you or a company representative, whether at a formal or casual function (like a BBQ). It provides the basis for the rest of your story.

As the headline – if someone reads nothing else – it lets people know what you’re about.

It is therefore surprising the number of websites that, after the company name, DON’T have a tagline.

It needs to be the first words someone sees on your homepage, and on every other page – also seen on the printed out version of the site.

And just as Secret SAUCE (with its acronym Simple, Appealing, Unexpected, Credible and Emotional) can be used as a diagnostic tool and recipe for any persuasive message, so can its metric be applied to a tagline.

Freelance copywriter Kimberley Freeman, writing in the advertising section of About.com considers a tagline to be the most important ad you’ll ever create.

Her guest blog shows what makes some taglines more effective than others, and includes:


  • What makes them tick and what makes them stick
  • Taglines as brand builders
  • It’s never too late to improve


She gives a (at least) a couple of great pieces of advice when it comes to taglines.

If you left your business card somewhere, could someone glance at it and know exactly what your company does?

She’s also especially anti an exclamation point (one of these !) after a tagline.

To quote her:

“This is the mark that tells consumers to RUN AWAY! You might as well put on a bad suit and sell cars if you’re going to paste an exclam on the end of a company slogan.”

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