Focus on what your business essentially stands for, what staff must deliver, and why customers should care.

The purpose of a great tag line is to tap into what marketers call TOMA or “Top of the Mind Awareness.” This is the mental real estate that all great marketers are looking to own. With TOMA, customers think of you first.

It’s not easy. Your ideal customer is being bombarded every day by marketing messages about everything by everyone. They can’t listen to radio, watch TV, read a newspaper, go to the movies or sort their mail without receiving various offers.

One way to stand out in this tidal wave of marketing overload is to have a memorable tag line. It’s got to be something that will click in their minds. The best tag lines can even serve as the foundation of a catchy jingle should you choose to advertise on TV or radio.

To The Point: A tag line tells homeowners in a nutshell what you’re all about and why they’d benefit to think of you first. Or why they’d be nuts to think of anyone else but you. Its second purpose is to tell your staff what you’re all about and what they must do to deliver on your promise.

In our industry, I’ve seen a lot of tag lines that go from barely acceptable to instantly forgettable. Where do great tag lines come from?

One of the best ways I know to create a great tag line is to take it from a great mission statement. To be a great mission statement, your mission statement must capture the attention of those who read it or hear it in 25 words or less - and preferably a lot less. Another reason it needs to be 25 words or less is that it must be repeatable by any staff member, new or old.

Want to test how great your mission statement really is? Picture yourself in an elevator with a potential new customer. Your goal is to say something that lets them know what you’re all about, what’s special about you and your company and why they need you - and do so all in the time it takes to reach your floor before that elevator door opens. Not easy to do, is it?

However, a well-written and well-rehearsed mission statement that’s short enough to remember and deliver with passion is essential.

A great tag line must be even more concise. Typically, a great tag line is five words or less. That’s because a tag line is what you’d put on your truck that’s moving down the road at 40 mph or on your direct-mail piece. They barely get a moment’s glance unless they spark interest.

Making a tag line short and powerful will force you in a positive way to focus intently on what you essentially stand for, what you deliver and why customers should care.

Your tag line should have a great tie in to your company name, but only if your company name is truly great. Does the company name tell them what they can expect from you and what you do? Have you committed either of the two sins in company names? One is to name your business after the family or a person and the second is to name it after a location. Usually, a tag line that plays off a weak company name will come off as extremely dated, limiting or corny.

To me, a great tag line stresses the biggest benefit to selecting your company. Is it the speed of your response that makes you special? Are you an expert at what you do? Are you able to deliver excellent customer service consistently? Will you do whatever it takes to make me happy? Will you make me comfortable in my home? Tell me this with your tag line.

Make your company name, mission statement and tag line uniquely yours, and let them build on one another. Then, repeat it in all of your marketing and anywhere you can think of.

Another way to get attention with your tag line is to ask a question. My tag line is, “Ready for Less Stress and More Success?” The great thing about a great question is that it demands an answer.

Here are some good reminders to help you build a great tag line:

  • Be five words or less. The shorter the better.
  • Mean something to the customer.
  • Tell the staff what we promise and what they must deliver.
Here are some additional rules to follow:
    Rule 1: Keep it clean.
    Rule 2: Keep it nonreligious and nonpolitical.
    Rule 3: Tie in the company name, but only if it’s not too forced.
    Rule 4: Highlight the benefit the customer will get by contacting you.
    Rule 5: Don’t be overly modest. Say, “World’s Greatest Hamburger” rather than “We Serve Good Food.”
Follow my lead when it comes to creating a great tag line and you’re sure to get your phone line ringing.