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When and How to Use A Tagline Effectively

business tagline If you’re looking to start a small or medium-scale business, you would need to pick a name for your business.

Usually, experts would advise that you pick a name that can stand you out from the competition, appeal to your customers, and bring forward your offering.

But what if the name you pick does not bring forward your offering? What if the name doesn’t tell customers really well about your products/services?

Is there anything you can do about it?

Emphatically yes! And it’s that you can use a tagline.

But hey, why use a tagline?

This post will answer that question in a moment but first, let’s get to know what a tagline really is.

What is a Tagline?

In simple terms, a tagline is a small group of words that accompany your brand name to quickly give more details about your business and enhance your brand identity.

It can be used in marketing & advertising (as in the case of McDonald’s with their “I’m lovin’ it” tagline), and in branding (as in the case of Nike with their “Just Do It” tagline which always accompanies their logo). In this post, our focus will be on the latter – branding.

Next, let’s look at what makes taglines important and why you should use them to enhance your brand identity as a small and medium-scale business.

Importance of a Tagline to a Small Business

First off, a great tagline can be your best brand communication tool; it can be just what you need to pull your other branding tools—website, business name, logo etc— together.

What’s more, a great tagline does the following:

  • Gives more details about your business name, brand and offerings
  • Leaves a lasting impact on both existing and potential customers
  • Helps consumers link your name to your business brand and position
  • Makes your brand more memorable; and
  • Gives your business the chance to differentiate itself from the competition.

When a Small Business Can Use a Tagline

As a small or medium-scale business, you can use a tagline to engender the above listed benefits to yourself. But when exactly should you use a tagline?

For one, you can use a tagline when your business name doesn’t clearly bring to the fore the products/services you offer.

For instance, a perfumery with the name HigherLife can use “Smell good all day” as its tagline to let customers know that smelling good all day is the higher life.

You can also use a tagline when you want to accentuate your expertise or specialty and when you want to herald your uniqueness in a competitive marketplace or in your industry, especially when you are new to the market.

How to Use a Tagline

1. Apply the KISS principle.

There’s no need to go over and above with a tagline. All the tagline needs to do is to fulfill your objectives for using it which may be to give more details about your products/services.

So, just keep it short and simple. Short taglines are more memorable and are easy to add to marketing materials like business cards.

You don’t have to use a complete sentence; you don’t even have to use industry jargons either. It should be a kind of catchphrase that people can easily identify with when thinking of your business.

A good example of this is when Apple used just two words “Think Different” as their tagline to propel their brand identity.

2. Don’t stray from your brand.

You should keep your tagline together with the other elements of your brand including your business name, logo, products/services etc. This will help you build a more memorable brand.

3. Create an image.

For your tagline to be effective, it should create a positive picture in the minds of your customers when they say it or think about it.

4. Don’t be generic.

A tagline should be an innermost statement; a phrase that expresses the core benefit of your business and the true value of your offering. It should add value to your brand.

So, if it’s a generic group of words that doesn’t connect and if it has nothing to do with who you are, what you offer, what makes you special, and what your audience needs… then don’t use it.

5. Be descriptive.

A tagline should be descriptive. It should encapsulate the main benefits of the offering, capture what makes it different and why the world should care. This will tell customers why they should buy from you versus buying from your competitors.

Taglines Aren’t Written in Stone

In order to highlight their priority and grow their businesses some more, many business owners usually change their taglines every 2-3 years.

As a small business owner, you can also use this strategy to grow your business. All you have to do is change your tagline to make your customers aware of new products or services.

Even more, you can change your tagline to reflect a change in positioning, define a new direction, highlight a new key benefit, launch a marketing or brand awareness campaign, or forge a relationship with a new set of audiences.


If you’ve been waving away the idea of using a tagline, perhaps it’s time to reconsider your strategy.

The perfect tagline can enhance your business name, distinguish your business from the competition, connect with your audience and make your business core values known to the world.

Just follow this post to know when and how to use it effectively.