Brief 

Taglines should be short, speak to your market and mesh with your value proposition, writes David Baker, who offers 15 tips while warning that taglines can’t fix a bad market position. “Once you have the core statement together, put it up on a board, digital or otherwise, and try to eliminate every possible word that doesn’t carry its weight,” Baker writes.

 

Insight

Some of you are getting stuck on the slogan or tagline stage of things. We’ve only actually been using them for about three centuries, and the word itself traces back to a war cry from marching troops, who would say the same thing, over and over. It bound them together and articulated a purpose for the fighting they were about to engage in.

It was simple, clever, and memorable. “Pull the entrails out of those heathens, and I say again….” Or something like that.(I should clarify that this is not relevant to writing a tagline for your clients. Most of them are not in the B2B professional services space, and almost none of this would apply to your client work.

The most memorable taglines, too, are memorable because someone spent hundreds of millions of dollars searing them into our consciousness, and that kind of investment is not at your disposal.). If you aren’t sure what I mean by the sorry state of taglines in this field, take a look at the 700 or so examples of remarkably uninspiring taglines in this collection for a LinkedIn article.

Let me start with a critical note, though: don’t worry about perfecting a tagline on top of a lousy positioning. It’s just not going to do you any good. In other words, the really hard part is capturing the actual essence of your positioning, long before you do the fun work of writing the tagline.

I love writing taglines, but only if the positioning is strong. If you aren’t sure about yours, there’s lots of information here on the site, and it’s also a primary subject of my most recent book, The Business of Expertise. And a colleague recently wrote a really thorough treatise on positioning: “The Positioning Manual for Indie Consultants“.

 

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