Tagline, Tagline . . . You Got a Tagline?

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I was talking with someone about creating a tagline for her business.  I asked her to show me what she’d come up with as possibilities.  She did.  Then I did the ‘Logo Test’ on her possible taglines.

John Jantsch, Founder of Duct Tape Marketing long ago came up with a great way to ‘test’ a core message or tagline for your business.

“Slap any competitor’s logo over your tagline. If it works, then you’re not more distinctive than any competitor . . . as your prospect sees things. You’re also no more likely to be memorable to your prospect, either!”

There’s an expression, “Saying something that appeals to everyone in general is appealing to no one in particular”.

Focusing on a ‘valuable benefit’ of interest to your target market is what you want to be doing.  But if that’s all you do, then you aren’t focusing on any unique selling proposition that can help you to be:

  1. valuable,
  2. distinctive, and (therefore)
  3. memorable

And isn’t that what a tagline is supposed to be?  Yes!  It’s a way to say something valuable, distinctive and valuable to your prospects, clients and centers-of-influence.

I understand you have a legitimate profit motive (and you must be in business for a profit or you’ll be working for someone else!).

That’s why I respectfully urge you to honor what is both:

  1. important to you / your passion and,
  2. attractive to a certain kind of prospect

who, all things considered, may consider your business to be THE ‘preferred provider’ in your category because they remember that you offer a good experience (like all your competitors claim, right?) AND ALSO a business that stands out for something that’s unique to you and meaningful to them.

“Me-Too” marketing — saying something any other competitor can say as your tagline — isn’t terribly difficult. You see it being done everywhere, everyday. It’s easy.  Too easy.


It’s just not distinctive AND valuable. Therefore, it’s not that distinctive and memorable.  And that’s not helpful to you, either.

I hope you weigh this advice to incorporate BOTH your passion in how you do business AND your unique selling proposition to your target market.

It will help you generate revenues AND profits and make it possible for more and more like-minded people in the future to see you as THE preferred provider in your category.


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