Two words about taglines and small businesses

By | January 23, 2012

Feeling anxious about not having the right tagline? I have two words for you: “Stop it”.

In this hilarious skit from Bob Newhart he gives his advice straight up. I sometimes feel like doing the same when I talk to small businesses and they bring up the topic of taglines. In the scheme of marketing a small business I would put taglines development pretty low on the list.

Having the “right” tagline will not affect the success or failure of a small business. In fact, putting emphasis on a tagline often contributes to a big waste of time and resources, both of which are valuable commodities for a small business.

Here are three things to remember as you consider a tagline for your small business:

  1. Being cute or fun is not the goal. A key function of a tagline for big businesses is trying to make an emotional connection between a large faceless organization and a consumer. As a small business, you have a lot going for you – your business has a real face behind it and probably a story that will engage consumers.
  2. There is no such thing as a memorable tagline. Big businesses spend millions of dollars drilling their tagline into the consumer’s head. So the fact that you remember a tagline has little to do with its memorability, but a whole lot more to do with the psychology of repetition.
  3. It is about what you do. Think about a tagline as explaining what you do in as few words as possible. Yea, it can be that simple!

As you can see, big businesses need taglines because the brand lacks humanness, and they have the financial means to drill them into our heads through mind-numbing repetition.


Jeffery James
Jeffery James
Jeffery is the Creative Director and Principal of Spire2. He brings marketing expertise from a variety of industries. He excels at understanding clients' corporate objectives, translating them into brand positioning and executing marketing materials that exceed expectations.