So by now on this branding journey you should have a good idea of what your niche is, or at least one you’re going to try out, but if not, the exercise of trying to brainstorm a tagline can also be a helpful part of the whole thought process. Figuring out how to brainstorm a tagline can be a little daunting.
Why should you have a tagline?
At first glance, you might think it’s a little weird to have a tagline for your blog. But here are some reasons you ought to consider it:
- A (good) tagline captures the essence of what your brand is about.
- A (good) tagline helps people quickly understand why they want to connect with you or what benefit you offer them.
- A (good) tagline makes a great benchmark for you to refer back to, to make sure you’re not straying from your brand.
- A (good) tagline can help you make decisions about things you do with your blog/personal brand.
- A (good) tagline aids in cementing your brand into people’s minds so that they remember you.
So how do you brainstorm a tagline?
Here are some steps you can go through:
- Think about your target audience.
- What do you want them to feel when they read/hear your tagline? (The two basic routes you can go are – who your brand is, and subsequently how they can relate to/connect with you/your mission – or you can punch straight to what benefit you offer them. Many would argue that the latter is usually the best choice.)
- Look through some examples of great taglines and think about what makes them work – what type of tagline do you like best? (There are eons of tagline lists out there, here are a few: The Best Website Taglines Around the Internet, Strategic Name Development, Most Famous Business Taglines Ever)
- Start writing down any words that pop into your head. I recommend that at first you make several lists rather than trying to pop out phrases right away – verbs, adverbs, adjectives, and nouns. Don’t edit yourself here, just let it flow.
- Take your list and start plugging words into the thesaurus to see if anything better comes up.
- Narrow down your list a bit, taking out stuff you know you don’t like.
- Let it sit awhile, think about your words as you go bout your day. (Do this at any point you start to feel stuck. Don’t let yourself try to rush the process, even though it feels like the last couple weeks of pregnancy when you just want the baby to hurry up and come out so you can meet him.)
- Come back with a fresh mind and start putting words together into phrases. At this point you shouldn’t be concerned about trying to find the perfect phrase. In fact, even putting several sentences together is fine – this process can help you develop your mission statement if you don’t have one.
- Begin to narrow down your best phrases, and think about how you can make them as short as possible while still getting the point across.
- Are any starting to stand out as favorites? Sit on them awhile. Maybe bring back our trusty old friend Thesaurus. Eventually you will hit on something that feels right.
- Does it effectively communicate? Try it out on some people.
- Is it succinct? Under 7 words is a good rule of thumb.*
- Does it sound good, is it easy to say?
- Does it convey your brand personality? Boring is, well, boring.
- Is it clear, or just clever? (hint: clear AND clever is awesome, but when in doubt, choose clear)
- Is it too general? If you could slap it on any old business than it’s not going to benefit you too much.
Let me keep it real a sec:
To be honest, whenever I read one of these types of posts it always annoys me when people lay out a set of “rules” and make it sound all doom and gloom if you don’t follow them. I immediately think about famous brands who do NOT follow the “rules” and still seem to do just fine. Like whaaat?
Here’s the thing. By and large, brands that are famous are that way because of a little thing we call m.o.n.e.y. Advertising, people.
The truth is, you can sell a bag of poo with the right kind of advertising. Advertising messes with yo HEAD.
I’m going to take a giant guess that you don’t got that kind o’ money. *That is not to say that you can’t break the rules. Just know that it will likely be a little extra work to make your brand stick.
I don’t know about you, but I’m ok with that. I like to test out the theories for myself. You’re welcome to do the same. I think it makes us a little more interesting 😉
A word of caution, though: It can be very easy to get attached to a pet business name, idea, tagline, design, whatever, that just really, really doesn’t do what you want it to do. I’ve done it… more than I care to admit. That’s why input from others is important.