The different types of strapline your organisation could use

Wordtree big ideas session

That short line of text that sits under your logo could be performing a range of different tasks for you. Not all straplines perform the same function. Here are some examples of different types of straplines and what they could be doing for your organisation and your brand:

Descriptive straplines

This is a strapline that describes what an organisation does. So imagine we set up a budget airline called ZippyFleet. It’s only just launched and no-one’s ever heard of it, so we may decide to go for a descriptive strapline like: Flights for less, or Your budget airline.

The thing with descriptive straplines is that they can have a sell-by date. A couple of years after ZippyFleet launches, air passengers may have already forgotten there was ever a time without them. At this point, a descriptive, this-is-what-we-do strapline is no longer helping customers to form a deeper understanding of the company’s story and what a relationship with it might mean. And if ZippyFleet is looking for major investment – or even to sell to a larger airline – at this point, it may have to go through a rebrand, or at least a brand refresh to come up with a strapline that does more to connect it to its customer base, and more as well to reach new customers.

These are examples of well-known descriptive straplines:

Here’s an exception to the normal limited shelf-life of a descriptive strapline:

If the plain description of what you do makes you stand out from everyone else – then use it.

Aspirational straplines

This type of strapline gives customers and potential customers a hint that what they’re buying into will make their life better. An aspirational strapline for consumer goods often hints at indulgence, or that the product is premium. When it comes to aspirational B2B straplines, the message is often about a premium customer experience. Here are some examples of aspirational straplines:

Heritage straplines

If the number one thing you want the world to know about your organisation is its heritage, then go for a strapline like these. They show that you’ve been around for a long time, that you have traditional values, that you’re solid and a safe bet. Here are some examples of heritage straplines:

Motivational straplines

These are the straplines that are made to challenge, to make your audiences think – and to show them that your brand can be a part of them making a change, being part of a movement – or making things happen in their own lives. Here are some examples of motivational straplines:

(For extra trivia points: Liz created the Parkinson’s strapline, freelancing for an agency called The Team, before she set up Wordtree.)

Promise straplines

This type of strapline lets your customers and other stakeholders know from the outset what kind of a relationship you intend to have with them. A promise strapline sets out what you’re going to do for your customer – and a really good promise strapline shows how you’ll do it too. Here are some examples of promise straplines:

Evocative straplines

With an evocative strapline, your aim is to help your audiences feel what it will be like to work with you. Evocative straplines usually have very little to do with what you do. They’re far more about how you do it, and the spirit and ethos of your work. Here are some examples of evocative straplines:..

And of course, it isn’t always clear cut with straplines. It may be that for your organisation, you choose a message for your strapline that’s both evocative and a promise. Or both descriptive and motivational.

If you ever need help deciding which type of strapline is right for you, just give us a call.

Read our post: How long does it take to create a strapline?

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