Want a great tagline?
Know your purpose.

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“Just give me some taglines” asked no smart marketer ever.

Correction. This is exactly how many of them – be it client or creative – ask for one of the most vital pieces of their communications puzzle. Makes me wonder if they named their kids by pulling names out of a hat:

“Mary? That’ll do! Let’s move on.”

Your company tagline is nothing more than a memorable way to express your company’s purpose.

Indeed, the tagline can often be the purpose statement or will fall right out of the exercise that determines it. You’ll know it’s the real thing because it smacks you on the side of the head with a Eureka moment that will have you ordering a big batch of T-shirts and hats in celebration. Promise. We’ve seen that happen in our sessions.

But creating your tagline should never be like a search for the single most meaningful piece of confetti.  That’s a waste of time and delivers taglines that will last as long as it came to spit them out. And you see this all in the process of “Just give me some taglines.” They get written, printed, or sent; ten, twenty, thirty; presented to the client or head of the agency, and are just as quickly rejected with a resounding ‘Nah!” Names in a hat. The baby shall remain anonymous.

"Ork kills with rock!"

Recently, let’s say the past ten years, if that counts as recent anymore, a lot of marketers were denigrating taglines, throwing them on the trash heap of ancient communications practice, replaced by that workhorse of data collection: The URL.

That pretty much flies in the face of 50,000 years of evolution. The first cavemen knew this, when they described Ork, the finest hunter in all the land, as “Ork! Kills with rock!” This was how Ork got famous.

Look it up.

Taglines are a memory aid, they conjure an emotion, rally the unrallied, and dramatize a company’s purpose.

They are organic to the purpose. They are the poetry to the purpose’s simplicity. But, they MUST express the company’s purpose and position, so that when you begin to embellish the tagline with explanation and execution, the reason why you exist and why anybody should care emerges whole.

Stop sending your troops on a mission without a map.

The Fundamental Group works with companies to discover their purpose, position, mission, vision, and values. More often than not, the inclusive nature of our approach – C-Suite and ELT’s are involved – results in a very succinct purpose statement that functions beautifully as a tagline. Or we go back and unpack and expand the purpose statement into different words that glorify it. The experience is a shared one. The client has engaged, not enslaved, their troops. Buy-in is a snap. Life is better.

Now, if we only had one of our own.

Just give us some taglines, OK?


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Are you stuck in the cycle of messaging mediocrity?