This quote, attributed to the great American wit Mark Twain, is a fine fit for our post on how to write a killer strapline.
Sacrilege? Not a bit of it. Twain’s quote is all about economy and distillation and taking the time to get to the point. And when you’re creating a strapline, that’s what you have to do. A line is constructed from only a few words, but it’s a marketing device that demands time and thinking – sometimes seemingly disproportionate to its length.
But it’s time well spent.
Why? Because the perfect strapline is a powerful and versatile addition to your marketing toolbox. It’s a classic of communication.And it’s effortlessly taken its place in the digital age.
Lines of legend and language
The greatest lines achieve legendary status. De Beers’ A Diamond is Forever has been around since, well, forever (1947, actually) and was of course subsequently adapted for a Bond film title.
On occasion, straplines – and slogans – can even enter the general language (like Ronseal’s Does exactly what it says on the tin) or Naughty. But nice. the 1980s cream cakes slogan whipped up by a pre-successful-novelist Salman Rushdie (he also coined That’ll do nicely for American Express).
The purpose of your strapline
Essence. All great straplines define and communicate the essence of an organisation. And in very few words. That’s why they’re so worthwhile – and so challenging – to write. Great lines can help organisations stand apart from competitors too. And they can express a compelling promise. Like Avis’ celebrated We try harder line.
To harness the power of a strapline, you don’t need to be a giant like Avis (whose line brilliantly acknowledged its #2 underdog status behind Hertz). Any organisation in any sector can, and should, benefit too.