When you’re explaining your business, your idea, or what your startup does, people had better understand it quickly. If they don’t, there’s a very little chance of getting them to invest. Or buy. Or even care the slightest bit. People only gravitate to what they resonate with. And in order to resonate with anything, you have to first understand it. No understanding equals no caring. It’s as binary as that.
The quickest way to get someone to understand what you’re doing is with a tagline. A tagline is similar to a slogan, except it’s much more permanent. A slogan can—and should—be changed to fit the needs of the now, while your tagline describes your core business.
If you want someone to understand your positioning in the market, work on your slogan. If you want people to get what it is you do at your core, get your tagline in order. To begin, use a tagline that explains what you do in one sentence. Something that’s simple, relatable and real. First, let’s think of taglines and slogans of the business behemoths of the world, like Apple. ‘Think differently.’
What does that even mean?
You can go on a huge rant about how it means that people that use Apple products are not part of the mainstream crowd—that was true up until the iPhone came out. That makes sense now, but when you’re just launching, it won’t fly. This is an incredibly important fact to remember when you’re trying to get people to invest in your business.
‘We think differently’ will—not—fly.
Say you’re a startup consultant—like me.
Let’s try something simple:
Helping startups grow and scale.
Ok, solid start. That’s simple. Now let’s make it relatable:
Steroids for startups.
You know that steroids make things grow really big, so that’s relatable. Seems pretty inflated though. Let’s make it more real:
“Helping startups effortlessly grow and efficiently scale.”
That’s simple and relatable. It’s also real. Tagline is done.
Another tactic is to compare your business to another that already exists and is universally understood. For example, the shave company Harry’s could be tagged as “The Netflix of Razors.” Netflix ship’s you movies on a schedule when you want it. They also have original content. Harry’s ships you razor blades on a regular schedule. They also have original blades. Simple, relatable and real.
Your prospective customers and investors have to be able to understand what you do. They need to picture it as soon as your sentence is over.
If no-one knows what you do, no-one will buy. No-one will invest.
I have actually seen businesses tank because nobody understood what they did, which is a crime. Don’t do that to yourself.
Go give your tagline some love and be understood.