Mmm..Mmm...Good Taglines

Smart Answers columnist Karen E. Klein recently spoke with Eric Swartz about the survey results and how small companies can craft taglines every bit as effective as those of the big guys. Edited excerpts of their conversation are available here, including this highlight:

"Q: How would an entrepreneur go about developing a tagline?
A: We first recommend that you sit down and ask yourself some core questions about your company: Who are you? What are your values? Your vision? Your corporate culture? What nouns and adjectives would you use to convey your brand's promise and its solution? What words might your customers use to describe your company? Are there any misconceptions about your company that need to be cleared up?

Also, you'll want to analyze what your competitors are doing. For instance, there may be about five positions that toothpaste companies can stake out: tastes good, fights cavities, whitens teeth, freshens breath, etc. When Tom's of Maine entered the market very late, they had to pitch something different -- the environmental benefits of their brand. Otherwise, they would have just encroached on what their competitors were doing and diluted their entry into the marketplace.

Q: So you determine what makes your company different and valuable, and then list words that convey those concepts?
A: Yes, and then what I do for clients is develop a brief that summarizes all that information and use it as a platform for developing 75 or 100 potential taglines that the clients scrutinize and evaluate and eventually narrow down to the one they want."