Branding > Straplines


What is a strapline?


Also known as a tagline or slogan in the US, this line accompanies the logo and, for so few words, carries a lot of responsibility: it usually communicates the brand offer - what’s distinctive about a brand and why that should appeal to the target audience (its differentiation). 

Why is a strapline important?


  • Branding - a name can only only convey so much. Straplines allow additional brand messaging. Usually that means differentiation.

  • Positioning - a strapline can be changed to match society’s current tastes, or provide a change in direction for a brand. Coca-Cola regularly update their strapline to fine tune their offer.

  • Ownership - Longevity - not changing your strapline - is a mark of a single-minded brand determined to maintain ownership of positioning territory. BMW’s strapline has been ‘The ultimate driving machine’ since the 70s. It claims excellence performance and engineering (a claim plus evidence).

  • Advertising direction - your strapline can provide direction for your advertising and it is usually the advertising agency that creates the strapline.

Considerations for straplines


  • Limited words - anything over four to five words is usually too long, but a longer line allows for a more complex thought and emotion.

  • Understanding the market - your strapline has to resonate with present society’s tastes. This requires a finger-on-the-pulse knowledge of your target audience and what will make them act or feel.

  • Longevity - the longer a strapline lasts, the more it comes to define and establish a brand. Brands like De Beers (‘A Diamond is Forever’) or Nike (‘Just do it’) have managed to create a long-lasting strapline that defines their brand.

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Benefits of the Barnaby Benson approach to straplines

  • Sensitivity to the brand - because we work with brand consultancies at every stage of the brand development process, we write straplines that sound right for the brand as well as communicating its essence.

  • Strong, clear messaging - we have a thorough message development process, applying the same level of discipline and questioning to our straplines that go into an advertising campaign.

  • Brand agency background - we've worked for world leading brand agencies, so we understand language's contribution to brand positioning. This might be a rejuvenated tone  of voice, a brilliant idea for an advertising campaign, or that killer strapline.

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“We worked with Barnaby on a new standard for the housing sector. He quickly tuned into our thinking and provided strong, usable positioning copy that significantly improved our brand solution.”


Simon Goodall

Client Director