Debating a Tagline? Just Do It.

How many times have you watched a Nike State Farm commercial and chimed in with their taglines?

Just Do It
Like a good neighbor, State farm is there.

Or maybe I’ve watched too much television the past few months, but I do know that almost every single time I hear the start of a State Farm or Nike commercial, my brain chimes in with each company’s tagline.

So, why does every business create a tagline and why is it important?

A tagline is “a catchphrase or slogan, especially as used in advertising, or the punchline of a joke”. They create familiarity with customers and represent a company’s values and identity, telling the world exactly who they are in merely a few words. Taglines last a lifetime and continue to highlight the same intent when created, such as Disney’s tagline The Happiest Place on Earth.

Before we dive deeper into the details of how to create a tagline, we need to establish the difference between a tagline and a slogan. Although very similar, they also each play two large very separate roles. A tagline represents your whole business and reinforces your company’s brand, where as a slogan references just one product or campaign within your company.

Understanding the difference between the two allows you to step back and look at the story you want your tagline to tell.

Learn how BAERING helped Surface 678 develop a new tagline below:

When beginning the process of creating a tagline, you have to ensure that your identity, mission and core values as an overall company are defined. Knowing these important details shape not only the characteristics and personality of your business, they also contribute to creating your tagline.

To start, we asked several key questions to highlight key principles and determine the lens in which the landscape architecture company wanted to be seen through. You can ask yourself the same questions below to begin the process:

Who is Surface 678?
Where do you see yourself in five years? In ten years?
What sets Surface 678 apart from competitors?
What is Surface 678’s mission statement?
What is Surface’s brand voice and tone? 

Working with Surface 678 to answer these questions, while also developing the company’s mission statement and examining other relevant information, we were able to find important messages, common themes and words embedded in the company’s history and culture. For instance, their name is a embodies who they are, the surface becomes the expression of the landscape’s beauty, while 678 is a reference to their commitment to a region of similar culture, soils, climate and vegetation across the southeastern United States.

The simple acts of asking questions and exploring a company’s personality provides clarity, which is critical to designing a tagline. The next step is asking, how do you want people to feel when they think about your business? Bold? Determined? Curious? For every company you, want your tagline to spark a reaction that connects to directly to only your business.

Surface 678 is a premiere landscape architecture firm and their tagline is going to evoke a different reaction than a finance tagline. Several of Surface 678’s keywords were creative, dynamic, innovative, design, excellence, premiere, culture, landscape, and cultivate.

You’ve identified your core values, your company’s future, and found common themes and words – now put it all together to tell your story through a tagline.

After presenting Surface 678 with four taglines combining all of the above, their new tagline was born.

Cultivated in Design Excellence

They chose Cultivated in Design Excellence for a few reasons. First, cultivated has two definitions that both apply directly to Surface’s industry:

  1. prepare and use (land) for crops or gardening.
  2. try to acquire or develop (a quality, sentiment, or skill).

Second, design excellence is a standard they hold themselves to. It’s a common theme throughout all their written collateral, and it clearly states what they are going to provide to their clients.

Surface 678’s new tagline is memorable, reflective of the company’s values and future, as well as distinctively distinguishing themselves from their competitors.

What’s your tagline going to be?