Archive for the ‘Taglines’ Category

Case Study:

Posted by Patrice Rhoades-Baum


On New Year’s Day, I resolved that 2013 would be my LEAP Year! By teaming with small business owners for 8 years, I have “cracked the code” on micro-biz branding. My goal is to step up as the Thought Leader on branding for solopreneurs.

The first order of business?
My website needed a significant update and facelift. 

To ensure a solid foundation – or a launchpad! – I stepped through my Nail Your Brand™ system, just as I do when guiding clients to clarify their brand.

Here are my Brand Elements 

Before: Patrice Rhoades-Baum, Branding & Website Expert
After: Patrice Rhoades-Baum, Marketing Consultant & Branding Expert

Before: Let Your Expertise Shine!™
After: Shine as an Expert. Step up as a Thought Leader.™

Before & After:

Patrice Rhoades-Baum

Patrice Rhoades-Baum

The result?

Yours truly believes this new website is more strategic, on-target and dynamic, thanks to starting with a clear brand. What do you think? CLICK TO VISIT.

Before & After:




It ain’t “easy”: Beware of sweeping generalizations when crafting your tagline

Posted by Patrice Rhoades-Baum


A client and I are completely repositioning her brand. She’s a solopreneur and service provider. In a high-energy conversation, we thoroughly discussed:

  • her target market and their needs (including their end goal)
  • the value she offers (often referred to as the unique selling proposition)
  • and the key benefit/result that her clients receive (often referred to as the promise statement)

With this foundation, I brainstormed multiple taglines and gave her a list of options to review, so she could choose her favorite. (I’ll provide all branding details later, in a full case study. This branding project will be a great example for other small business owners.)

Meanwhile, a colleague gave her some advice: “You need to add the word easy in your tagline, because everybody wants stuff to be easy.”

Whoa, Nelly!

So you’re saying all business owners need to include the word easy in their tagline, because all prospective clients want stuff to be easy? Is that really everyone’s end goal? Also, easy speaks to a process, not a destination.

In her gut, my client knew this advice was not on target. She told me, “With the service I provide, my clients aren’t looking for ‘easy.’ They’re business owners who are looking for results. They’re looking for return on investment. That’s what they really want. And that’s what I need to emphasize in my tagline.”


Whenever we think about clarifying our brand, promoting our business, and planning strategic marketing campaigns to connect with our prospects and clients, we must keep in mind what they really want. When they hire you, what do they hope to achieve — in the near term and long term? What’s their end goal?


7 Tips to Create a Terrific Tagline

Posted by Patrice Rhoades-Baum

I believe your Main Benefit Tagline is key to communicating your brand, because it distills your unique expertise – the gem that is unique to you – and makes it shine. Here are 7 tips to create a hardworking, benefit-oriented tagline.

1. Your unique expertise is your brand. Your tagline must make your unique expertise shine.

The question “What is a brand?” is overly complicated. I believe that for entrepreneurs and small businesses your brand is your unique expertise. Therefore, to communicate your brand, we must simply make your unique expertise shine.

As an entrepreneur or small business owner, your expertise is absolutely unique. For example, if you are a sales consultant, career coach, or motivational keynote speaker, other experts in your field offer similar services. However, no one on Earth offers the same combination of experience, advice, philosophies, methods, or education and training as you do. Again, your expertise is absolutely unique.

This means the value you provide and (flip side of the same coin) the benefit or result your clients or audience members receive is absolutely unique.

Let’s look at an example. My imaginary customer service training company, Peak Training Services, needs to present a compelling brand that resonates throughout their website and marketing materials. We’ll begin by identifying their unique expertise and creating a tagline that makes their expertise shine.

Unfortunately, many companies don’t take time to identify their unique expertise before creating a tagline. For example, here’s a typical tagline that Peak Training Services might have used in the past. Notice that it’s generic, could suit any training company, and does not highlight Peak’s unique expertise:
We are the experts in customer service training™

My imaginary company has a proven, underlying philosophy: Help teams learn how to “put the customer back in customer service.” This approach to customer service increases customer satisfaction and loyalty, which directly improves the team’s processes and the company’s bottom line. Therefore, Peak’s tagline should reflect this unique expertise.

2. A hardworking tagline is about THEM, not about YOU.

Once we identify your unique expertise, we must “translate” this into a benefit statement for your clients and audience members, instead of making a statement about you or your company. In other words, a benefit-oriented tagline is about THEM (your clients), not about YOU.

When a tagline places the focus on you or your company, the benefit to prospective clients is indirect and vague. This forces the prospect to connect the dots and ask: “How does this help me? What, exactly, does this do for me?” That’s why Peak Training Services would not want to use this tagline:
We are the experts in customer service training™

Here is a stronger tagline, which focuses on the benefits (results) clients receive. This tagline reflects my imaginary company’s philosophy of helping teams learn how to “put the customer back in customer service.” Admittedly, this tagline is a bit long, but it presents clear benefits and results, is 100% specific to this company, and puts the focus on clients (“THEM”) not the company:
Put the customer back in Customer Service …
Improve process and profit™

Note that this type of tagline can be read in two ways:

  • Presenting the benefit to the customer: You can put the customer back in Customer Service …
  • Reflecting on the value the company offers: We help you put the customer back in Customer Service …

3. Your tagline speaks to your target audience’s needs.

Unlike catchy taglines used in widespread consumer marketing (“Coke, it’s the real thing”), taglines for entrepreneurs and small businesses should not be vague or sexy – and they don’t have to be memorable to throngs of people.

Instead, our goal is to identify your expertise and present this in terms of a benefit, so prospective clients in your target audience immediately “get” that you’re the right person to solve their problem.

4. Your tagline is not a “promise statement” … it’s better than a promise statement.

Some marketing consultants encourage clients to prominently present a promise statement on their marketing materials, including websites. A promise statement for our fictional company might be: “We understand world-class customer service, and we’ll show you how to provide this.”

The problem with promise statements is that they put the emphasis on YOU (your company), not THEM (your clients). Instead, when you present a benefit-oriented tagline, your prospective client doesn’t have to connect the dots and ask, “How does this help me? What, exactly, does this do for me?”

5. Your tagline does present a “competitive differentiator” – but let’s not worry about your competitors.

In my 25 years of corporate, high-tech marketing, I learned not to worry too much about what our competitors were up to. Of course, we kept our fingers on the pulse – we regularly reviewed their websites, marketing materials, and so forth to learn what they were saying to customers and whether they rolled out new products or technologies. However, I learned that our best efforts were spent on clearly communicating the right benefit messages about our products and services to the right target audience.

As I noted earlier, as an entrepreneur or small business owner, other experts in your field offer similar services. In some cases, you may have a handful of competitors. In some cases, hundreds or even thousands. While it’s helpful to keep your finger on the pulse –learning how these companies offer value to their customers – don’t get caught up in comparing your business to your competition. Again, your expertise is absolutely unique. Let’s make sure your expertise shines with the right message to the right target audience.

6. Ideally, the tagline communicates the end goal of what you deliver, not the promise of learning a process or making a change.

Remember, no one undertakes change for the sake of making a change. Your clients and audience members have an end goal in mind – a world in which their problem has been solved. Whenever possible, a hardworking tagline presents that end goal.

Our imaginary company, Peak Training Services, addressed their clients’ end goals in their new tagline:
Put the customer back in Customer Service …
Improve process and profit™

7. Your tagline influences your logo, and it’s the key theme that must resonate throughout your one-sheet copy and your website copy.

Many people incorrectly think a logo is a brand. A logo is like a visual signature of your brand, helping prospects and clients identify your company. Plus, the design underscores basic ideas about your company. For example, the logo for our imaginary customer service training company might incorporate flowing lines illustrating people versus angular lines illustrating computers.