Context is the one indispensable ingredient you need to make any branding effort work. You can create flashy marketing assets. You can use charming words. You can collect mountains of data about consumers.
None of it will win people over until you present information in a way that matters to your customers. Why is this relevant in logo design? Because your brand has to spark a connection, and sometimes, it takes more than a logomark and a business name to get your message across.
It’s not easy to design a logo that is unique enough to stand out while having a visual narrative that sells your brand. A strong business tagline can add context to your logo design and show people what you do.
On the other hand, using a logo and tagline separately allows for flexible placement on different media. Cramming in extra words could create clutter and weaken the whole design. If you’re on the fence about using a tagline, these practical tips can help you choose the best option for your brand.
What Is a Tagline?
A tagline is a signature phrase that differentiates your brand. At its best, a tagline clarifies what you do, summarizes your value proposition, or defines your business ethos.
Not only are they memorable, but the most effective taglines are pleasant to hear and repeat. Many are just as famous as a brand’s name or logo.
Catchy phrases are ingrained in pop culture, and they have an uncanny ability to burrow deep into our minds.
You hear the three simple words, “just do it,” and instantly think of Nike. Gillette razors are forever “the best a man can get.”
Burger King is where you go to “have it your way.” No one would associate “the thicker, quicker picker-upper” with any paper towel brand but Bounty.
If done right, taglines offer a glimpse of your brand perspective. In other words, they add context, so people know how to interpret your marketing messages.
A generic tagline is forgettable, and therefore, does nothing to further your brand.
5 Examples When It’s Beneficial to Use a Tagline
Your Business Is New/Micro
When your business is young, you haven’t had much time to build up brand equity. You’re still finding your audience, and many of your customers have lingering loyalty to your competitors.
Including a value statement in your logo can help you break through to new customers. Most people know little or nothing about your business during the initial growth phase. If potential customers start seeing your tagline in ads or on merchandise, they will become curious about your business.
A tagline is also useful if you run a tiny solo operation and want to turn it into a legitimate business. An attention-grabbing brand image makes you stand out as a professional who is serious about building relationships with new customers. As your business grows, you can always decide to drop the tagline from your logo.
Your Business Growth Is Inconsistent
Spotty growth is often a sign that you lack a consistent brand strategy that keeps people coming back to your business. In this instance, a logo tagline could boost recognition as you develop a stronger brand.
Locals may know who you are, but not well enough to try your services. Maybe, they pass your business every day and haven’t found a good reason to stop in. Change their minds by highlighting your brand promise at all your major marketing touchpoints.
Your Business Concept Is Unique
In some cases, your business idea might be so new that the average person doesn’t understand why it matters. By explaining your value proposition in the simplest way possible, you can get people excited about your product solution.
Youtube once used its play-button logo with the business tagline “broadcast yourself.” Back then, few people recognized the far-reaching potential of this user-driven video site. The tagline is short, simple, and explanatory — providing just enough context to promote the unique platform.
Your Local Market Is Uber-Competitive
It’s a neverending battle to differentiate yourself when there are top-rate competitors everywhere you look. A logo that includes a bold selling point is a constant reminder of why customers should try your product.
Think of all the root beer brands in the soft drink market. Chances are, you recognize the tagline, “Barq’s has bite.” The phrase emphasizes the sharper, spicier flavor of Barq’s, compared to sweeter or creamier varieties.
Right away, people who prefer a spicier root beer know which brand to choose.
Your Logo Is Bland/Abstract
To be honest, the smart choice is to redo a bland logo from scratch. But if you prefer to stick it out with a dull design, combine a logo and tagline to add personality.
The same technique can work for logo symbols that are abstract while lacking a strong connection to your brand identity. For example, the Invisalign logo features a generic blue flower icon.
However, the brand frequently includes the tagline, “the clear alternative to braces,” to make sure you understand the selling point.
What to Consider When Designing a Logo
Adding a tagline to your logo does come with limitations. For example, using text at small sizes will make it harder to scale down your logo for certain applications. Even with a scalable vector image, your tagline may lose readability.
And if your logo design is already too busy, packing in more elements will make it look less professional. A good logo should be easy to remember.
Excessive detail muddies the design, and few people will developing the lasting visual recognition you’re hoping for.
Never add a tagline to your logo simply for the sake of having one. If you can’t come up with a phrase that’s distinct enough to attract your target audience, you’re better off without one.
As mentioned earlier, you can also create a tagline as a standalone element and add it to your logo when it makes sense. Bring a flexible mindset to logo design, so you can switch out symbols and text at will.
If you create multiple layouts of your logo and tagline, you’ll always a range of options for customizing other marketing assets.
Ready to create a new logo? Visit FreeLogoServices.com to get started on your new logo. Don’t worry, we will not make you add a tagline (unless you want to).