Your company’s brand identity is its public face. The visual representation of your brand — your logo —is often paired with a short marketing tagline that positions and differentiates your brand in the marketplace.

The tagline’s role in branding is straightforward: Communicate your company’s most important advantage, benefit or point of distinction in a few compelling words. But that’s harder than it looks, and many marketers fail.

But when a tagline works, it becomes a vital component of a brand. Think of GE’s longtime tagline “We Bring Good Things to Life.” Successful taglines such as this one have certain attributes in common. They are:

  • Unique to the brand. The tagline is so much a part of the product’s or company’s identity that it could apply to no other entity.
  • Essential to brand identity. Hearing or seeing the words evokes the company’s brand identity in the consumer’s mind as much as the visual logo does.
  • Ubiquitous. The tagline is integrated into the logo design and used whenever the brand logo appears — in every marketing campaign and channel.
  • Unforgettable. Once you hear a great tagline, it stays in your head.

Ready to write a winning tagline for your business? Here are seven tips:

  1. Focus. Zero in on your singular point of differentiation, the key attribute, value or benefit you deliver that makes your product or organization stand out.
  2. Make it meaningful. Convey a message that your target audience will care about and understand.
  3. Make it memorable. Use structure, rhythm, rhyming or alliteration to coin a phrase that’s distinctive and easy to remember. Consider a creative twist on a common phrase.
  4. Keep it short. Use as few words as possible, ideally five words or less.
  5. Say it out loud. Speak the words to be sure the tagline is easy to say.
  6. Integrate it into your logo design. Construct your brand’s visual identity so that the tagline is part of the logo.
  7. Make it yours. If possible, choose a tagline that can apply only to your firm or product. Consider including the name of your city or state.

If you don’t already have one, consider adding a compelling tagline to your brand identity. It can be a powerful way to help your company stand apart from the competition.

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Jean M. Gianfagna is a marketing strategy expert and the founder and president of Gianfagna Strategic Marketing which provides marketing strategy and creative services to leading business-to-business and consumer marketers. Read her blog for more marketing tips at http://www.gianfagnamarketing.com/blog.