Tips for tradies: How to come up with the perfect tag line

Boost your brand with a strong tag line - here's how.

Even though you might not think of yourself as a marketing savant, tradies are certainly capable of coming up with their own tag lines. You have every reason to put down that hard hat for a few hours to wear your marketing hat and come up with a new tag line.

Here are the top tips for finding one that works as hard as you do.

But first, what is a tag line?

A tag line is something that sits with your business name to further highlight exactly what you do and how you do it. Usually, it will outline a main benefit to the customer or client for using your services over someone else's.

These are a great marketing tool and can help give your brand a little more personality. You can add it to your vehicle, your business cards, your website and any other marketing materials you use.

A good tag line is part of a strong marketing plan for any tradie.A good tag line is part of a strong marketing plan for any tradie.

Explain what you do

When you hear a tag line, can you immediately name the company, or at least what they offer? This should be your main goal when picking those key words and phrases.

For example, one leading New Zealand company uses the tag line "Better Together". While these words sound great, there's nothing in there to suggest that the company behind them is actually TrustPower, one of the country's leading electrical services providers.

How about this one: "Dairy for life".

In the second example, you immediately know that the company has something to do with the dairy industry. If you guessed that this tagline is from Fonterra, you would be correct.

Essentially, ensure your clients know exactly what you do – or can at least take a good guess – from your tag line. Ideally, it will add a little about your business as well. For example, you could highlight your reliability by picking a tag line such as "Painters who always show up".

Keep it short and simple

A tag line should be short enough to fit on a postage stamp.

If in doubt, stick to the golden rule: use no more than five words. Many businesses only use two or three, and the brevity of the phrase helps keep your message punchy and memorable.

Make it memorable

A memorable tag line is one that is easy to say and simply 'sounds good'. Some quick tips to make yours catchy is to try using words that rhyme, or even words that start with the same letters. Resene's tag line follows every 'rule' so far, and uses alliteration to make it memorable: "The Paint the Professionals Use".

If in doubt, think about your other favourite companies and their tag lines. What stands out about the ones you can remember?

'The Paint the Professionals Use' is on Resene products to promote the brand.'The Paint the Professionals Use' is on Resene products to promote the brand.

Double check it's unique

Finally, even if you've come up with a tag line you absolutely love, you'll still have to make sure no one else already has it!

Try running a Google search with your tag line idea in quotation marks. This will search that exact phrase and see if it already exists elsewhere. If it does come up, first double check to see if another company is using it as a service or trade mark. If that's the case, it is a legally registered term and you won't be able to use it. In most cases however, it will be up to you to decide if you still want to go ahead with the line. For example, if a small company in Utah also has it, you're probably fine to use it in Australasia, whereas if someone has already thought it up in Wellington, you may be better off coming up with something unique.

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