How to create a tag line

My company is in the process of updating some of our marketing pieces which includes the website, tag line, business cards, etc. I really enjoy the processes used for creating each of these but want to focus on the tag line for this post.

Here is the process I like to use.

1. Come up with a handful of questions that can generate single word answers. Here are the question we are using.

What does (company name) do?
What do we provide?
What do our clients value most?
What are our clients trying to get rid of?
What do our clients wish for the most?
What do you do in your job?
Why do you do what you do?
What is (industry)?
What expectations do our clients have of us?
What qualities characterize our clients?
What do you believe (company name) should be known for?

2. Create small groups of diverse employees. Somewhere between 5 and 10 people per group works well. If you are just starting out or on your own, you can organize some friends over drinks and have some good success. The exercise only takes about 20 minutes.

3. One group at a time, place everyone near a wall with a post-it pad and a pen or pencil.

4. Read the first question out loud and instruct the team to write down as many one word answers as they can think of and stick them to the wall. One answer per post-it.

5. Instruct the team members to say the word out loud as they stick them to the wall. This really gets the juices of the other team members flowing. It is extremely important that they write down everything that comes to mind no mater how random it seems. The idea is to trigger a fast, reactionary type environment.

6. Allow around 1 minute for each question. Be sure to collect the post-its after each question and set them aside. Group the post-its by question so you can go back and reference them. Continue the process until you have gone through all the questions.

7. Now the fun starts. And you can do this on your own or include some of the previous participants. Start combining words. Try two, three or four at a time. Combine them in ways that make sense and ways that don’t make sense. Even add new words. You should be able to come up with a good number of options for tag lines.

From this point its just a matter of narrowing down to something you like. But remember, it needs to be unique, memorable, descriptive, short and to the point.

Your tag line is often the first impression. And you know what they say about first impression. You never get a second chance to make a first impression.