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Is the Strapline Dead?

written by: •edited by: Carly Stockwell•updated: 2/1/2016

Once upon a time, the strapline (or tagline) was seen as a vital part of your branding. But has it served it's purpose? Learn why you may want to consider a tagline for your business and how to come up with a good one.

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    The strapline, or tagline, was once a succinct way of letting the world know what your business was and what it stood for.

    The question is: has it had its day?

    If you look at some of today’s major players, such as Apple, Amazon, Google and eBay, the answer would appear to be yes. None of them use straplines, relying instead on the value of their logo. That alone seems to be enough to reflect their values.

    Granted, they are huge businesses with bottomless marketing budgets, which raises another question - could you achieve the same effect?

    Before I attempt to answer that one, let’s take a look at the value in straplines.

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    The Power of the Strapline

    A strapline on its own won’t sell. To do that you have to get into the heads of your consumers and convince them how much better their life will be when they use your product or service.

    The point of the strapline is to provide a hook that attaches your brand to their mind, so they associate you with certain things.

    To illustrate that, here are some famous examples:

    • Just do it – Nike
    • Every little helps – Tesco
    • It gives you wings – Red Bull
    • 8 out of 10 cats prefer it – Whiskas

    You probably knew all of those. In just a few words, those straplines sum up the company and what it stands for.

    How do you go about achieving the same effect?

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    Create a Winning Strapline

    It might take a few attempts to find the perfect one for you, but here are a few things to think about when trying to find your perfect strapline.

    • What values are important to you and your customers?
    • How do you want your customers to feel when using your product or service?
    • How do you want your company to be perceived?

    Then make sure you use simple language (no jargon) to create something memorable and that has a long shelf life.

    Going back to the question I posed earlier – can you achieve great things without a strapline? I think the answer is yes.

    I started out with the strapline: Powerful. Persuasive. Creative. However, after a recent rebrand I dropped it.

    Has it done any harm?


    My advice would be to give it a try. If you can’t find a good strapline don't lose sleep over it. Go to market without one and see what happens.

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    About the Author: Sally Ormond is a copywriter based in the UK. Through her business, Briar Copywriting Ltd, she works with a broad range of clients around the world, from SMEs to blue chip companies, creating eye-catching, compelling copy, which boosts their sales and market visibility.

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