5 Types of Taglines & How to Decide Which Is Right for You

Nov 16, 2021 | Branding

Is it time for you to write a new tagline for your brand? Whether you’re a new business or an established brand that needs an update, creating a tagline can feel like a big undertaking. With so many taglines in the marketplace today being synonymous with their brands, like Nike’s “Just do it” or Allstate’s “You’re in Good Hands,” many marketers feel pressure to deliver something memorable. If the process of summing up your brand in just a few words has you feeling overwhelmed—don’t worry, we’re here to help.

It’s easy to fall into a trap of thinking that your tagline has to do all the talking for your brand, but that’s not the case. We’ve identified five common types of taglines successfully being used today, and guess what? They all take slightly different approaches. Sure, some tell you exactly what the company does or what to expect from a product, but others are visionary and focus on why the company exists or paints a picture of the future for the brand and its customers. Remember, there’s no right or wrong answer here! Just different styles depending on your brand voice and your goals.

5 Common Types of Taglines

1. The Workhorse Tagline

Like the name suggests, a workhorse tagline does a lot of heavy lifting for your brand. These lines are often succinct and say what the business offers—literally or figuratively. These lines are smartly employed for companies that have abstract brand names and want to add clarity or for brands that want to set expectations or make a promise with their tagline. You’ll see in these examples how a promise of what’s to come is well-utilized to make you feel excited to eat/drink/visit these products and places.

Examples:

  • Melts in your mouth, not in your hands. – M&M’s
  • Cold as the Rockies. – Coors Light
  • Finger Lickin’ Good – KFC
  • The Happiest Place on Earth – Disneyland

2. The Visionary Tagline

Do you want to inspire your potential customers? Tell them that they can be a part of something bigger than themselves with your brand. Help them see themselves as early adopters and innovators. You can do all this with a visionary tagline.

A well-crafted visionary tagline encompasses your current brand promise, while also giving a sense of what’s up ahead as you grow. Of course, if you choose to write a visionary tagline for your brand, make sure it ties into your business plan—you don’t want to promise a direction that won’t happen.

Examples:

  • The Relentless Pursuit of Perfection – Lexus
  • Sheer Driving Pleasure – BMW
  • Imagination at Work – General Electric
  • Think Different – Apple

3. The Status Quo Tagline

If you are writing a new tagline for a well-established brand and you’re happy with your position in the market, reinforce it with a status quo tagline. Tell your loyal customers that you’re still the best quality, the best value, or tried and tested. The reassurance of these type of taglines inspires emotional responses and reminds customers of their values and the good experiences they’ve had with your product or brand in the past.

Examples:

  • Quality never goes out of style – Levi’s
  • We Deliver for You – United States Postal Service
  • Always Coca-Cola – Coca-Cola
  • A Diamond is Forever – DeBeers

4. The Belief Tagline

Tell customers what your brand believes in. These inspirational lines could be about how you think business should be done, a belief about how the world works, or telling your customers what you believe about them. An effective use of a belief tagline is to share an aspirational identity for your customers. For example, Wheaties is “the breakfast of champions,” so if you feel like you are or want to be a champion, you’ll be drawn to Wheaties as your breakfast, too.

Examples:

  • Be All You Can Be – US Army
  • The Breakfast of Champions – Wheaties
  • belong anywhere – Airbnb
  • Because you’re worth it – L’Oreal

5. The Descriptive Tagline

Describe what your product does or how it might feel like to use it with a hard-working descriptive tagline. Like a workhorse tag, this is a good choice for businesses who need their taglines to do a little extra heavy lifting.

Sometimes what you describe is literal—telling customers what you do. But sometimes you describe a feeling instead. Allstate Insurance Company’s tagline reassures you that “you’re in good hands” which evokes the warm and relaxed feeling you want from an insurance company.

Examples:

  • When you care enough to send the very best. – Hallmark
  • Good to the last drop – Maxwell House
  • You’re in Good Hands with Allstate – Allstate
  • We power transactions that drive commerce – Pitney Bowes

Which Tagline Is Right for You?

So, we’ve seen all these tagline examples, but how do you decide which type is right for your business? Start by thinking critically about the role you’d like your tagline to play in your brand strategy. Do you want a tagline that inspires or informs? Inspirational tags like visionary or belief taglines help potential customers see a version of themselves they’d like to be or help them feel like they’re a part of a movement.

Informational taglines like the workhorse or descriptive types can be useful to reinforce what your company does or to give customers a preview of what they can expect from you. This can be helpful if you have a brand or company name that is more abstract. You can use a descriptive tagline to make it really clear what your business does to avoid confusion.

Also think about the other branding elements that will be used to support the tagline. Will it stand on its own? If it’s always accompanied by other branding assets you might have an opportunity to get a little more creative with the tag.

Really, at the end of the day, it’s all about weighing which direction makes the best sense for your brand and the information or feeling you’re trying to convey. So, try not to stress!

Found your direction but need help pulling it all together? Let us take your tagline across the finish line and help you better communicate your brand’s unique story.