Snazzy Taglines Don’t Work!

taglines don't work. Message strategies do.

Two things that come to mind when you hear the word Nike are the swoosh and the more-than-famous tagline “Just Do It.” And for a company that’s been in business for more than 58 years, these have reflected its success. But catchy taglines and great logos do not create a successful business.

I’ve seen many businesses try to emulate what Nike has done – using flashy marketing tactics and spending thousands of dollars on a copywriter to help them develop clever taglines that they think will increase their business popularity. But these companies need to understand that successful marketing isn’t just about a catchy tagline or logo – it’s about creating a brand that provides valuable, relevant information to your customers and builds trust with them over time.

Today we’ll talk about taglines, why they don’t work, and what your business needs to do instead.

What are taglines?

Taglines are short slogans or phrases that companies use to market themselves and get the attention of potential customers. They’re intended to be memorable, catchy, or funny. But they often become vague, confusing, or irrelevant to what a company offers.

Why don’t taglines work?

There are several reasons why taglines are not effective at increasing business popularity. For one, they often focus on a company’s brand or products rather than what the customer wants or needs. They also tend to be overly simplistic and fail to address complex issues or problems that customers may have.

Go back to Nike’s tagline. Nowhere does it mention what the product is all about. Instead, it focuses on the customer – what they want and need, not what the company wants to sell them. This is why it’s so effective – because it speaks to the customer on their terms.

But here’s the catch, Nike has been in business for so long that they don’t need to tell you what they offer–you already know.

Taglines tend to get cheesy

And often need help connecting with customers on a meaningful level. Instead of developing the perfect tagline for your business, it’s better to focus on building trust and providing valuable content that your customers will find useful. This can include 

  • blog posts
  •  helpful guides
  •  or actionable tips that help your customers solve problems or meet their needs

Worst of all, most people never even see the tagline

And this is especially true for small businesses, solopreneurs, creatives, and startups, who often don’t have the marketing budget or resources to invest in flashy marketing tactics.

So what should you do instead?

Focus on establishing a message strategy for your business that communicates what you offer and why customers should choose your products or services. This should include

  • creating a brand voice guide
  • a meaningful mission statement that will excite people to support you,
  • an elevator pitch that explains what you do in a way that’s easy for customers to understand
  • Website copy that communicates who you are and what you offer

And most importantly, start building relationships with your audience – not just trying to sell them something.

By providing value and communicating in a way that resonates with your ideal person, you can build trust, loyalty, and long-term success for your business.

Remember, people seek connection, not just products. And it starts with a message strategy.

taglines, message strategy, copywriter

In conclusion, taglines might seem like an easy shortcut to boosting business popularity, but they’re ineffective at increasing brand awareness.

Now I’m not saying don’t have a tagline–just don’t invest in this first. 😉


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