Taglines and Descriptors
“In a world where you can be anything, be yourself.”
~ Etta Turner
Taglines are a memorable way to describe the emotional and functional benefits of a product or brand.
In your case, your client’s results are the product, and you and your work are the brand. Taglines are not a necessary thing when just getting started, but rather something to think about as we go through this process.
A tagline gives your client’s an idea of what they can expect and the outcome they may receive.
So, what makes a tagline really great?
- It’s memorable: a clever turn of phrase has sticking power, and in most cases, the shorter, the better (e.g. Mmm Mm Good)
- It sounds good and flows well: A great tagline can sound like poetry (e.g. Takes a licking and keeps on ticking)
- It sparks the imagination: Imagination can easily be brought to bear on short clever taglines where the customer “fills in the blanks” (e.g. Like a Good Neighbour…)
Taglines are not forever; times change, you change, your practice will change, and over time your tagline will change too.
Tips for coming up with a tagline:
Consider a tagline that merges a description of the work you do in session with the benefits your client may receive after working with you.
- Is there any way to concisely phrase those two elements into one sentence? For example: Trauma Counselling That Eases The Soul
- Are there phrases that you find yourself repeating to your ideal clients? For example: Because your Past doesn’t have to be your Future
- Consider something very succinct. Your core business values may be an ideal source. It’s a tagline and a descriptor in one. For example: Reach. Connect. Grow.
Try to keep any tagline short, simple and easy to say. It doesn’t have to be clever or fancy. It just has to speak to your client.
Here are some examples of different styles of taglines for your reference:
- Descriptive BMW’s “The Ultimate Driving Experience” is one that simply describes the customer’s experience in an ideal way.
- Metaphorical Chevrolet’s “Like a Rock,” communicates the solidness and durability of Chevrolet vehicles.
- Aspirational Nike’s “Just Do It” appeals to a customer’s sense of motivation or desire for self-improvement. Hewlett Packard’s simple tagline, “Invent,” is also aspirational.
- Comparative A comparative tagline positions the brand against others. Bounty’s “The Quicker Picker Upper” defines it as more absorbent and faster acting than their competition.
Remember, there is an entire industry devoted to branding. A tagline is just one aspect of a brand. If you can’t think of one, that’s ok. Keep moving and it will often come to you.
A Descriptor actually describes what you do in a literal sense – for example “Trauma Counselling for Men”
Until you are really clear on the demographic(s) you will target, and the way you serve this demographic, creating a tagline is often quite difficult.
I will repeat again – Do not get hung up on a tagline.
It is, however, important to be able to describe what you do concisely. Often taglines emerge over time. Start with a simple descriptor and you can evolve it in the future.
So for example, if your descriptor was ”Relationship Counselling for Women”, your tagline might eventually be “Supporting a Woman’s Journey towards Wholeness” or “Helping Women Love Themselves”.
Again there are no rules. A descriptor just needs to be clear, concise and descriptive of the work you do.
Your tagline and/or descriptor may be used on your website, your business cards or anywhere you have your marketing materials. See what feels right for you.
If you already have a tagline and/or a descriptor, share it with the group.
If you don’t, try to brainstorm five options for tag lines and/or descriptors and post them in the group for feedback.
See which ones resonate with people. If you’re struggling to come up with something, ask for help in the group. Often others can see our business clearer than we can.