6 Tips to Create a Tagline That Really Works

You may not realize it, but your tagline is essentially the first and most important advertisement you’ll ever place. A great tagline will help convey a company’s personality and benefits in one tidy little phrase. Most importantly, a great tagline will help customers connect to your business at an emotional level, which is more than what your logo can do alone.

Taglines have been called many things through the years – slogans, catchphrases, trademark – whatever you call it, the idea behind it is the same. A tagline is a short phrase that tells the customer what you offer.

So what makes a tagline great? What makes something like “Just Do It” one of the most memorable marketing slogans in the world while a million other phrases are instantly forgotten? Here are six things to keep in mind as you create a tagline for your business:

1. What’s your mission?

When you start the process of crafting a tagline, you may be tempted to go for something that you think is clever or cool or funny. While that may seem like a good idea initially, it’s probably an area that you’re going to want to stay away from. Start out by defining who you are as a business and what your purpose is.

People don’t have time to try and figure out who you are and what you do – don’t be clever, be clear with your tagline. Wal-Mart’s “Save Money. Live Better.” is a great example of a tagline that tells you exactly what you can expect from the business it represents. Take a page out of Wal-Mart’s playbook and tell your customers what you do.

2. What’s the benefit?

Speaking of Wal-Mart’s tagline, not only does it tell you what their mission is, but it tells you what the benefit is in just 4 little words. When I read “Save Money. Live Better.”, it tells me that by spending my money with Wal-Mart, I’m going to be able to keep just a little bit extra in my pocket for the things that really will make life better.

The city of Las Vegas highlights the benefit in their tagline as well: “What happens here, stays here.” lets every potential visitor know that if they want to go a little crazy, Las Vegas is the place to do it. When creating a tagline for your business, really think about what the most important thing people get from your product or brand is and start there.

3. Tie it to your brand

If you want your tagline to really resonate, it needs to reflect your brand. What are the core values and beliefs of your business? What is your company’s personality? What do you want people to remember about your business or product? Your tagline is going to be much more effective if it relates to your overall brand messaging.

Disneyland’s slogan “The happiest place on earth” is a perfect example of a tagline that really encapsulates the brand. Disney is all about bringing magic and happiness to people, so why wouldn’t their theme park be the happiest place on earth?

4. Keep it simple

Above almost anything, you want your tagline to be memorable, and that’s hard to do if you’ve crafted a paragraph to describe your business. The best taglines are short and sweet and are easy to digest. Whether your customers are reading your tagline in a magazine ad, on a billboard or on your storefront or whether they are hearing it in a commercial or from a salesperson, you want that tagline to be simple enough for people to remember.

With that in mind, there is no hard a fast rule about the length your tagline should be, but try to keep it under 7 words for the best opportunity for recall.

Note that Geico’s “15 minutes could save you 15% or more on car insurance” is a very famous example of a very long tagline. Unless you have a marketing budget the size of Geico’s, it’s probably best to stay away from taglines that are this wordy.

5. Make it sticky

When I say “make it sticky”, I don’t mean that you should pour honey all over your tagline (although I suppose that is an option if you like to take things literally.) What I mean is that you need to make your tagline memorable. Keeping it short is the first step in creating a memorable tagline, but there are other things you can do to help your slogan stick in people’s brains:

  • Make it command (Just do it or Eat fresh.)
  • Be repetitive (There’s strong, then there’s Army strong.)
  • Play with pneumonic devices (Every kiss begins with K)
  • Ask a question (What’s in your wallet? Or Can you hear me now?)

Whatever you choose to go with, just make sure it sticks in your head first and then introduce it to others.

6. Test, test and re-test

Which brings me to my last point – as any good marketer or scientist knows, the best way to be sure about something is to test it out. Once you’ve settled on one (or a handful) of great taglines, try them out on a few people to see what they think. If you have the time and resources, put together a research panel to get some real-time feedback about your tagline options.

Just know that there is a limit to the amount of research and opinions that will be helpful. Don’t let yourself get wrapped into analysis paralysis where you are so tied to the data that you can’t make a decision. To create a really great tagline, you need to trust your research, but more importantly, trust your gut.

Need some tagline inspiration? Here are 25 of the most influential taglines ever:

  • “Got milk?” – California Milk Processor Board
  • “Just do it” – Nike
  • “A diamond is forever.” – DeBeers
  • “There are some things money can’t buy. For everything else, there’s MasterCard.” – MasterCard
  • “That was easy.” – Staples
  • “The few, the proud, the Marines.” – The United States Marines
  • “They’re g-r-r-r-eat!” – Frosted Flakes
  • “Have it your way.” – Burger King
  • “Think outside the bun.” – Taco Bell
  • “Pork. The other white meat.” – National Pork Board
  • “Like a rock.” – Chevy Trucks
  • “The fabric of our lives.” – Cotton Incorporated
  • “It keeps going, and going, and going…” – Duracell
  • “Are you in good hands?” – AllState
  • “It gives you wings.” – Red Bull
  • “Snap, Crackle, Pop.” – Rice Krispies
  • “Melts in your mouth. Not in your hands.” – M&M’s
  • “Good to the last drop.” – Maxwell House
  • “Only you can prevent forest fires.” – S. Forest Service
  • “Think small.” – Volkswagen
  • “The king of beers.” – Budweiser
  • “Because I’m worth it.” – Loreal
  • “I’m lovin’ it.” – McDonald’s
  • “Think different.” – Apple
  • “Where’s the beef?” – Wendy’s

Circular Text

Rotating the entire selected text around a pivot point, from -360 to 0 degrees for text that dips below the pivot point, or from 0 to 360 degrees for text that curves above the pivot point.

In Logo Design Studio, circular text can be used to wrap an object, create a text-based object effect or any other eye-catching visual representation your imagination can come up with:

Export

Sending a file from the current application to another application in an image format, including JPEG, TIFF, BMP, GIF, Transparent GIF, PNG, Transparent PNG and PDF.

In Logo Design Studio, you can export your logo in the following formats:

Web use – JPEG, PNG, Transparent PNG, GIF, Transparent GIF.

Print use – JPEG, BMP, TIFF, PNG, Transparent PNG, PDF (standard format for most print shops).

Document use – JPEG, EMF, WMF, BMP, PDF, ICO (a desktop icon format).

Hue, Saturation, and Lightness

Adjusts all colors in an object/image and changes their strength and lightness.

Hue – shifts all pixels in an image around the color wheel to a different point. For example, if you change the red pixels to green, the green pixels turn to blue and the yellow pixels turn to cyan.

Saturation – adjusts the amount of grey in a color. The level of grey increases as the saturation decreases.

Lightness – adjusts the color’s brightness.

In Logo Design Studio, the best way to change the color of an included graphic object is to use the Hue, Saturation & Lightness sliders:

Opacity

Changing a selected object or text from a default of 100 percent (fully opaque) down to 0 percent (fully transparent) on the logo canvas. When a layer is partially transparent, layers below it show through.

In Logo Design Studio, you can use opacity to create a reflective or mirrored effect, show off the depth of your logo, make layers beneath objects or text visible, or simply make objects or text more subtle:

Outline Text

Creating a default outline effect around the edges of a selected object or text. The outline is drawn “over” the selected object or text (i.e., the outline is always on top, and doesn’t influence the position or size of the object or text).

Using a text outline in Logo Design Studio makes text more noticeable and visually creates a framework when placing an image inside text:

Save

A function that allows you to save your logo project in a file format (.lds) that can be opened and changed at a later time within Logo Design Studio.

When you save your logo in Logo Design Studio, the program saves it in two formats:

1) A file with a .lds ending (this is your logo project that you can change or modify at a later time)

2) A file with a .png ending (this is a thumbnail picture of your logo that is generated so you can view your logo projects in a preview browser window inside the program).

Service Mark

A word, name, symbol or device that is to indicate the source of the services and to distinguish them from the services of others. A service mark is the same as a trademark except that it identifies and distinguishes the source of a service rather than a product. The terms “trademark” and “mark” are often used to refer to both trademarks and service marks.

In Logo Design Studio, the service mark symbol is located under the Objects subcategory called Signs & Symbols:

Slogan and Tagline

Text that communicates a message.

Tagline – expresses the essence of a product, service, business or brand name. Taglines should rarely be changed or altered in order to maintain a familiar message.

Slogan – usually associated with promotional campaigns, and is meant to express the core message of the campaign. A slogan can either change, or disappear entirely, as soon as the campaign ends.

Logo Design Studio includes a resource library of general slogans and taglines that you can use as a framework to form your own unique message:

Trademark

Protects words, names, symbols, sounds, or colors that distinguish goods and services from those manufactured or sold by others and to indicate the source of the goods.

The Registered Trademark (®) designation is reserved to indicate that the mark is federally registered. This symbol should not be used under any circumstances until a federal registration has issued on the mark

In Logo Design Studio, the trademark and registered trademark symbols are located under the Objects subcategory called Signs & Symbols:

Vector vs Raster

Vector Design
Using a vector drawing or illustration software application when designing a logo or graphic design allows you to easily use your design for any online or print project. Vector designs are not limited to a specific size because they are made up of connected lines and curves, rather than a collection of pixels that make up raster designs. Vector is essentially a mathematical “connect the dots” approach to design, where the dots are adjustable “nodes” that allow you to easily edit how your vector design looks. Since vector designs are defined by math rather than pixels, they can be scaled smaller than a postage stamp to larger than a billboard, without losing any quality. Vector formats generally include EPS, AI, WMF, EMF, SVG and even PDF (if the PDF supports vector).

Raster Design
Raster based designs are made up of a collection of pixels, square dots that are assigned a color value. These collections of pixels all come together in a grid-like pattern to make up an image. Digital pictures are the most common raster based images. The resolution of a raster image is given in terms of “dots per inch” (dpi). Most office printer support up to 300 or 600 dpi, and professional printers can support over 2,500 dpi. Raster image designs are great for online or small print projects, but are limited to how big they can be printed since they are based on square pixels rather than lines and curves. If you try to increase the size of the raster image to the size of a billboard, for example, the design will become fuzzy and out-of-focus. Raster formats generally include BMP, JPEG, PNG, TIFF, GIF, PDF and PSD.

Bézier

In vector based software applications, Bézier curves are an important tool used to create smooth curves that can be scaled to any size, big or small. When creating shapes and complex lines, multiple Bézier curves make up “paths”. Paths are not bound by the limits of rasterized images and are easy to edit by adjusting the nodes that make up the paths.

Logo Design Dictionary - Bézier Curve

The Complete Evolution of NFL Logos

Are you ready for some football?  I know we are!  Some of the most iconic and recognizable logos in the world have come from the National Football league.  From the big blue and white star of the Dallas Cowboys to the teal and orange dolphin of the Miami Dolphins, NFL logos are as diverse as the teams they represent and whether you’re a football fan or not, you can’t dismiss the fact that the logos of the NFL are everywhere.

To help celebrate this rich and diverse logo history, we’ve put together a slideshow where you can see the visual evolution of every NFL team’s logo.  Some NFL logos have changed quite a bit, while other team logos have remained consistent for decades.  Discover how your favorite NFL team’s logo has changed over the years and learn some fun facts about NFL logos in the process in our latest slideshow.

View the Evolution of NFL Logos

5 Ways to Make Sure Your Small Business Name Rocks

When you are starting a new business, one of the most nerve-wracking tasks is actually settling on a name. Naming your business is such a stressful process in part because it feels so permanent. While it’s true that some companies survive rebranding initiatives, it’s very difficult (and expensive) to change a company’s name and retain any semblance of a customer base after you make the change. In other words, when you choose your business name, you’re pretty much stuck with it.

In a small business, it’s highly unlikely that you’ll have the budget or resources for a full marketing push to help establish the brand, which is why it’s even more important that a small business gets the name right. You want to create a business name that customers are going to love, and more importantly, remember. To that end, here are our 5 most important tips for creating an awesome name for your small business:

1. Spell It Out

You may not think it’s incredibly clever to spell out exactly what you do in your business name, but being obvious can save you a lot of marketing dollars. There’s no question about what kind of business the Rock Rapids Bakery is and there is nothing wrong with saving your customers some time and legwork by telling them exactly what you do. This is especially helpful if you are a local business, which will rely in some part on foot traffic. When people see your logo – don’t make them wonder what you do, just tell them!

2. Short and Sweet

Iconic companies have something in common – they all have names that are short and easy to remember. Nike, Honda, Coca-Cola, Google – all these names are simple, short and roll off the tongue with ease. When naming your small business, you always want to err on the side of simplicity, because if it’s possible for a customer to confuse or misunderstand your company name, they will. Try to stick to company names that are 1-2 words long and are easy to remember and you’ll have an easy leg up on the competition.

3. Sticky Factor

Great company names, like great songs, just have a way of finding a way into your brain and sticking there. They are interesting and memorable and there is something intangible that just draws you in. While it may be difficult to put your finger on what makes a small business name sticky, you can get a feel for how memorable it is by running your idea past friends, family and collegues. Ask enough people and you’ll probably find that there is one name that is remembered a little more consistently than your other options.

4. Tell Your Story

Great brands make it a point to be great storytellers and tying your small business name into a personal story helps foster an immediate connection with the consumer. I think about Raising Cane’s, a fast food chicken fingers joint; the restaurant chain is named after the founder’s dog, Cane, and there are pictures of that dog plastered all over the place. Just knowing that little bit about the company gives me a personal connection and when I crave chicken fingers, it’s usually the first place I go.

Think about the people, connections and shared stories in your life and how they could form the basis for your company name. The personal touch may take a little longer to explain to potential customers, but it’ll help build a loyal customer base, which is a rare commodity in this day and age.

5. Make It up

If you’ve exhausted all your options and nothing in Webster’s Dictionary is really striking your fancy, why not be bold and just make up a new word? There’s no reason why you can’t – Google did it, Mozilla did it – you can make up a new word for your small business name too. It’s a bold option to invent something completely new, but often times, boldness leads to a lot of respect in the marketplace.

Just note that creating your own made-up name for a company can be a little dangerous as well – particularly for small businesses without large marketing budgets. You’ll have to spend a little extra time educating the customer about what your company does. When in doubt, combine two well known words to help get your point across.

The Best Fantasy Football Logos

As any good fantasy football team owner knows – winning takes a combination of solid strategy, perseverance and a whole lot of luck.  Walking away with a league championship trophy at the end of a challenging season is the pinnacle of sport for many individuals. Well the season is upon us again and a slew of armchair quarterbacks and living room Lombardi’s are ready to do battle in the epic arena that is Fantasy Football.  Here at Summitsoft, we not only support those who risk it all for fantasy football glory, but we want to do our part to help your team succeed.

You may not realize it, but the one of the first steps a good Fantasy Football team owner takes on the road to success starts not with draft strategy, but with a team name and logo.  Your Fantasy Football logo and team name are the embodiment of your team and to that end, you want to have your team represented well.  Fantasy Football logos are not an area where you want to be shy – the key to a good Fantasy Football logo is fully embracing your team’s personality and showing it off.  Be Bold!  Embrace strong colors and images for a logo that will really stand out.

To help give you a little inspiration, we’ve scoured the web for some of the best Fantasy Football logos out there and we’re happy to say that we were not disappointed.  Check out some of these rock star logos to help get you off on the right foot:

b2ap3_thumbnail_DirtyDozen-Fantasy-Football-Logo.jpg

What we like: We love the way the Dirty Dozen incorporated the Broncos colors.  Tying in your favorite team’s mascot or colors helps personalize your logo.  The treatment of the D with the snorting bronco inside is an especially nice touch.  A great logo sure to intimidate.

b2ap3_thumbnail_Griffindors-Fantasy-Football-Logo.jpg

What we like: Similar to the Dirty Dozen logo, The Griffindors have done a nice job tying in the Carolina Panther colors and the mascot.  The shield is a great choice for a Fantasy Football logo, symbolizing strength and fortitude – qualities every good Fantasy Football team should have on hand.

b2ap3_thumbnail_Fighting-Squirrels-Fantasy-Football-Logo.png

What we like: While we’re not sure about the history behind this team name, we love the overall design of the Fighting Squirrels logo.  Great font choices paired with a strangely intimidating squirrel head make for a really solid Fantasy Football logo.

b2ap3_thumbnail_FightinNuns-Fantasy-Football-Logo.jpg

What we like: The Fightin’ Nuns logo is maybe a little less polished than some of the other logos on this list, but that doesn’t diminish our respect for a quality team name and logo.  The utter fierceness of the nun caricature should be enough to send most teams running for the hills.

b2ap3_thumbnail_Elephino-Fantasy-Football-Logo.jpg

What we like: What’s not to like about this sweet logo?  The clever mashing of the elephant and rhino heads is incredibly interesting and is a perfect tie-in with the Elephino team name.  Now if someone could just tell us how to pronounce that name, we’ll be set.

b2ap3_thumbnail_SoaringSwine-Fantasy-Football-Logo.jpg

What we like: This pig looks like he is out for blood!  He strikes just the right note of intensity to be a good Fantasy Football logo.  We like the combo of yellow and green colors and the wing design on this soaring swine is a nice touch.  The only criticism here is that the font is a little hard to read, but other than that – a solid effort.

b2ap3_thumbnail_Cockroaches-Fantasy-Football-Logo.jpg

What we like: Everyone knows that you can’t kill a cockroach and unfortunately the same can be said for a lot of Fantasy Football teams.  This logo is just solid all around.  Great colors, great imagery and great font choice.  It’s one that any fantasy football team owner would be proud to display.

b2ap3_thumbnail_Steel-City-Gunslingers-Fantasy-Football-Logo.jpg

What we like: Oof – this is one tough logo.  This Fantasy Football logo for the Steel City Gunslingers just makes you feel like your team is going to get battered and bruised, even if the matchups are pure fantasy.  The detailed drawing of the guns and skull might seem overdone in other logo designs, but rendered in black and white, this logo is a winner.

b2ap3_thumbnail_FreakinPosers-Fantasy-Football-Logo.jpg

What we like: We can appreciate a team who really owns who they are and accepts the fact that they are just Fantasy Football posers in the end.  While this logo has quite a lot going on, we like the use of the shield and the color choices.

b2ap3_thumbnail_Timid-Yaks-Fantasy-Football-Logo.jpg

What we like: This is another team that really knows it’s place.  It’s not out to intimidate anyone and that message is conveyed strongly through the cartoony design of the Yak to the subdued color choices.  While most Fantasy Football logos tend to be on the bold and brazen side, it’s refreshing to see a clever logo with solid design.

b2ap3_thumbnail_Dawg_Pound-Fantasy-Football-Logo.jpg

What we like:  This bulldog is ready to play!  With a nice nod to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (which we assume is a favorite of this team owner), this swashbuckling bulldog strikes the right note of intensity and intimidation.  A great caricature that showcases the personality of this team well.

b2ap3_thumbnail_One-Man-Fantasy-Football-Logo.jpg

What we like: Really, the better question is what don’t we like about the One Man Wolf Pack logo.  Pop culture references are very common in Fantasy Football, but it’s uncommon to see a logo designed as well as this one.  Great colors, clean lines and cleverness abound in this one-man show of awesomeness.

b2ap3_thumbnail_Eastside-Beasts-Fantasy-Football-Logo.jpg

What we like: There are very few Fantasy Football logos that look so good that they only need one color.  The East Side Beasts is one of those logos.  This giant red gorilla looks intimidating and if we’re going to be frank, a little empty behind the eyes – he will crush your team…and your soul.

b2ap3_thumbnail_Sharkeys-Fantasy-Football-Logo.jpg

What we like: There’s no way around it – sharks rule.  This Fantasy Football team owner has cleverly replaced the A in Sharky, with a shark image and that really helps this logo stand out.  We also love the treatment of the shark fin at the top with the addition of the football laces.  All in all, great integration of football elements with the team personality.

b2ap3_thumbnail_Mullet-Fantasy-Football-Logo.jpg

What we like: Bring back the mullet!  We would love to know if there is a story behind this team name, but even if there isn’t, this classic Fantasy Football logo had us jumping up and screaming “Merica!”  How can you not love that glorious blond mullet?

Do you play Fantasy Football?  How’s your logo look?  We’d love to see how you represent your team in the comments!