5 Steps for Developing a Tag Line for Your Product, Business 
or Website 
by Bobette Kyle

A tag line is the one or two line descriptor that often comes 
after a product logo or company name. It is one of those things 
that looks simple but isn't. Large companies pay advertising 
agencies a lot of money to develop tag lines for their companies 
and brands.

Many companies, however, do not have a large enough budget to 
hire an advertising agency. If you belong to one of these small 
budget businesses, do not despair. With some creativity and 
persistence, you can develop your own tag line.

** First, decide what you want to communicate with your tag line

* If you have a positioning statement and/or unique selling
proposition, write them down. Your tag line should reinforce

* Ask yourself these questions:

- Who are your customers?
- What benefits do you give your customers?
- What feelings do you want to evoke in your customers?
- What action are you trying to generate from your customers?
- How are you different from your competition?

Try to get one or more of these across in your tag.

** Second, prepare to brainstorm

* Gather tag lines from other companies and brands. Look in
other categories besides your own and try to find tag lines
from both large and small companies.

As you find tag lines, write them on index cards or individual 
slips of paper. You will be mixing and matching them and pairing 
them with unrelated items as you brainstorm.

Pay attention to the words used, how they are put together, and 
which of the above questions they address. By doing this, you 
are more likely to come up with a unique angle for your own tag 

NOTE: You are looking at others' tag lines only to spark ideas. 
Do not plagiarize. You must come up with your own, original tag 

To find tag lines, look around. You may find them anywhere there 
are advertisements, packaging, or logos. Look in cupboards, 
around desks, in magazines, on TV/radio commercials, in print 
advertisements, and on Web sites.

To get you started, here are some tag lines I found in only a 
few minutes:

- hp - "invent"
- Craftsman - "Makes anything possible."
- Kenmore - "Solid as Sears."
- Hersheys.com - "The sweetest site on the Web"
- WebSiteMarketingPlan.com - "Integrating traditional and
  online marketing strategy."
- Marketing Best Practices - "The Web's leading small
  business marketing newsletter."
- Nike - "Just do it."
- TLC - "Life Unscripted."
- Surprise by Design TV show - "We're not just changing
  rooms. We're changing lives."
- Schnucks (Midwest Grocer)  - "We make it easy."
- Berry Burst Cheerios - "Naturally sweetened whole grain
  oat cereal with real berries."
- Altoids - "Curiously strong peppermints."
- The Name Stormers - "Company and Brand Name Development."

* Find your competitors' tag lines - look at them and strive
to be better and different.

* Gather together books to help you come up with different ways 
to phrase similar ideas. My favorite is "Word Menu". Others 
likely to be of help are "The Describer's Dictionary" and 
"Twenty-First Century Synonym and Antonym Finder". You can find 
these books and others down the left margin at:

** Third, brainstorm

This works best if you can get a small group together, but can 
also be done solo. Set up a place with a lot of writing space 
- use dry erase boards, easels with big paper pads, note cards, 

Go through your props. Look up words or concepts in the books. 
Rearrange your various props so you can look at them in different 
ways. Write down *everything* that comes to mind and all the new 
ideas each phrase sparks. They do not have to make sense. You 
want a large number of ideas.

There are additional brainstorming resources down the left 
margin at the URL listed above.

** Fourth, consolidate your list

After brainstorming, go through all of your ideas. Pull out
those few you think have the best potential. Try to reduce
longer ones to fewer words.

** Fifth, choose the one best tag line

You should be left with a short list of possibilities. To pick 
the single best tag line, get others' opinions. If you have some 
funds budgeted, work with a market research firm to test the tag 
lines with your customers.

You can also conduct informal research. Set up a free survey at 
SurveyMonkey.com (http://www.surveymonkey.com) and encourage 
people to take the survey. If you have direct contact with 
customers, ask them what they think. Give them an incentive to 
help you, such as a discount or small freebie.

When you are done, you will have a tag line that will help your 
business thrive.

Bobette Kyle has more than a decade of experience in Corporate 
Marketing; Brand and Product Marketing; Field Marketing and 
Sales; and Management. She is author of the Marketing Plan Guide 
"How Much For Just the Spider? Strategic Web Site Marketing for 
Small Budget Businesses", named one of the top 15 books of 2002 
by NonFictionReviews.com. Read more about the guide here: