Next to naming your store…
advertising it is just about the hardest thing to do.
So don’t underestimate the incredible power of taglines. A tagline, also called an advertising slogan, is a valuable marketing tool for your retail shop. What is a tagline? It’s a 5-6 word statement encapsulating what your shop is about. It should be succinct and every word should count. You can use a tagline on your business card, letterhead, your signage, internet marketing, your email signature… anywhere people might encounter your business for the first time.
There’s a natural cynicism that often arises when talking about taglines. Like ‘mission statements’ and other marketing concepts, they can often be empty rhetoric. But a strong, genuine sense of mission can be helpful to pair individual choices with the broader ultimate goal of your business.
Things a tagline can do:
- Measure new ideas against your central mission
- Succinctly communicate to customers what you do
- Focus and motivate your team
What goes into a good tagline? A good tagline is simple, obvious, and practical. It reflects not only your goal, but also the ‘tone’ or ‘feel’ of your business.
Daffy’s, one of the original clothing discounters, had the slogan: ‘Clothing Bargains for Millionaires.’
A local Greek gyro place here, Mikey’s, has the tagline, ‘Where Smart People Masticate.’
|Ubiquity and Depth||Value||Emphasis on Style|
|Harrods: Everything for Everybody Everywhere||Target: Expect More. Pay Less.||Clarks: Shoes to Live In
|Staples: Yeah, We've Got That||Walmart: Always Low Prices. Always.||Levi: A Style for Every Story
|JC Penney: It's All Inside||Fred Meyer: Save Time, Money, and Gas.||Dillard's: The Style of Your Life
Like naming your store, coming up with a tagline is a helpful exercise in focus and branding. But unlike your name, it’s easy to evolve your tagline as your business changes. Our initial tagline for The Storm Cellar was “Independent Consignment & Local Goods.” When we started, we wanted to emphasize that we were a local business, because we live in a town with a strong sense of local pride and an emphasis on supporting local ventures. We also wanted to sell a variety of locally handmade items to add some interest. As we went on, we realized the local items were harder both to manage and sell, and that the diversity of the clothes we carried provided more than enough interest to the store. After a year we got rid of the locally-made portion of our inventory, and since our identity was strongly established in town we were able to drop our tagline without having to do anything as traumatic as change our name.
One day I plan to come up with another tagline for our business, but for now we have a number of slogans to draw from that we used in our first marketing campaign:
- Let’s Get Ready to Jumble
- Use it Up, Wear it Out, Make it Do, or Do Without
- Peachy Green
- Idaho’s Second Most Interesting Store (a parody of a beloved local general store’s slogan, “Idaho’s Most Interesting Store”)
If you don’t have a tagline, try writing one for your business. If you do, does your tagline reflect your current focus? If not, try rewriting it.