Have you got the perfect strapline?

Brand your website with the perfect straplineHave you noticed the number of Christmas-focussed adverts dominating our screens as we count down to the big day this month?

Among the many advertisements competing for our attention, the Marks & Spencer one featuring the strapline ‘don’t put a foot wrong this Christmas’ springs to mind.

Through its strapline, the advert sums up the direction of a traditional British brand that’s graced the high street for many years.

Understanding straplines

Cleverly done, a strapline can be a brand statement that conjures up vivid images of what your company stands for – e.g. bespoke products, high quality, low prices, speedy service.

A strapline is particularly useful for websites because it helps visitors to quickly know what a website is about – or what to expect from it.

A strapline can also help to build the visibility of your website on the internet – if it includes relevant keywords.

The keywords on your website – including the strapline – are what help search engines to find and rank your website on search results pages.

A visual reminder

For new companies and companies with unfamiliar or abstract names – or even those going through a product (re-)launch – a strapline can act as a constant visual reminder; a clear way of saying to customers: ‘here’s a quick summary of who we are’.

As shown by the Marks & Spencer advert, it can even be a temporary or fun seasonal device to launch a new campaign or revive a brand by reminding customers what’s for sale or announcing a new or wider range of product lines.

Customer angle

It’s well worth spending a little extra time and effort drawing up the right strapline, particularly before you roll it out to your offline products and/or have it worked into your logo or website design.

Why not write down a few variations of your strapline ideas and test them out on your target audience?

Try running a competition to pick the best strapline and offer a prize for the most effective one.

Alternatively, carry out an email straw poll using a few trusted contacts.

Getting input in this way will help to make sure that your message is understood by others, and in particular by visitors to your site.  The information you gather in the process will almost certainly give you some very useful insights.

Once you have chosen the winning strapline, don’t forget to check your chosen words and do a thorough edit before you publicise them.

Post written by DEBBIE THOMAS on 17 December 2010.