Not all businesses have taglines. As a matter of fact, quite a few of my existing clients don't actually use a tagline. In my opinion, however, it's important to have a statement about your business even if it isn't a publically facing tagline. Having your tagline, whether public or private, will inform the way you move forward with the story of your business in marketing and even in sales.
Ultimately choosing our tagline was a multi-step process that I undertook. It took me nearly a week using small periods of free (or forced) time to revisit my thought process. Also, I can't stress enough how important your mood is when doing this. I had one day that nearly sent me backward because I wasn't really up to it.
The first step I took was to build a list of words that I felt could reflect my brand and also tie my new brand name together. I spent a lot of time thinking of words that described a wapiti as well as words that described Wapiti (yes, I realize I used the same words).
Here's a list of my favorites (I had over 100 words that I narrowed down to this list:
The wapiti itself is bold and powerful. It's the largest member of the deer family - especially in the Western United States where the largest of the species is typically found. While being large and powerful, they also have grace and elegance.
For my brand, I have always wanted to exude a bit of class and elegance but also I want my clients to understand that the work we do is powerful and blood. I also take pride in our agility and ability to change to something new quickly to ensure my clients always have the best tools and best marketing at their disposal.
Next, I started putting the various descriptive words together to find a combination that may work for my brand. I spent a while on this. It also helped me find new words to add to the list above.
Combinations such as "Original. Bold. Ahead." or "Creative. Intelligent. Agile" came to mind. The issue with these multi-word descriptors was that it ended up being far too utilitarian for my taste. I really wanted to look for something that was more creative and fun.
Wapiti Digital specializes in subscription eCommerce (also known as Monthly Recurring Revenue or MRR commerce). Previous to starting Wapiti (Brand Shouter at the time), I had built a large, subscription eCommerce system for my business. Through all the learning pains and through the building process, I gained an invaluable trove of knowledge in the MRR area. Wapiti has grown on that knowledge and has a highly specialized focus on this.
The problem with all of my previous description words is that none of them touch on this speciality at all. With that in mind, I took a step back and decided to try and define Wapiti in a short paragraph. Here's what I came up with:
Wapiti digital provides growth consulting and solutions to businesses and nonprofits through the internet. Our key strength is in building commerce-oriented websites with a specialty in generating monthly recurring revenue (MRR).
Like an old-school, brick and mortar business, subscription eCommerce allows you to build relationships with your clients and earn repeat business over and over.
So Wapiti is a digital marketing company and I also consult with businesses on our varied expertise. Our key strength is in building commerce-oriented websites with a specialty in generating monthly recurring revenue. While we do a lot, our strength is really at this juncture. I could expand on this more but it would only serve to confuse. This is concise and spot-on.
Taking the paragraph I put together above, I started to work on some smaller taglines that would reflect exactly what we do:
Each one of the above lines seemed to describe us more and more until the very last one. Still, it was missing the creativity and stickiness that I desired. Nothing about those connected with my new name, Wapiti.
After taking a bit of time to do something other things and come back to the process with a fresh look, I started to think outside of the box a bit more. Inspired by other brands like M&M's "melt's in your mouth, not in your hands" tagline I decided to radically reword the bland list above.
A well-run business has a "group" of customers that support it and keep it in business. Wapiti run in groups called a "herd". That was a fun connection. Also, business owners typically want to serve their clients. For me, that's my drive behind everything Wapiti stands for.
Serve The Herd.
I fell in love. My wife fell in love. My focus group of business people and their spouses all loved it. Most importantly, it was sticky.
It's ultra important that your business has a descriptor that informs all of your marketing and business language. A tagline often services this purpose. In my steps above, not only did I gain a tagline but I gained a list of words I can use throughout my marketing as well as a small paragraph that pinpoints our specialty and exactly what we do.
It's my hope that you can learn from my experience and find that perfect description of your business to help push you forward towards success!