“Got Milk?” was a brilliant and simple tagline that worked. It worked so well that it’s one of the most parodied taglines out there, which explains why I crave milk when I drive past the laundromat. And I should mention, it’s just some dumpy old laundromat and I’m still talking about it. Honestly, I didn’t even know it was there until I saw that sign the other day.
When you’re a small business and don’t have a highly recognizable brand already established, a tagline is a great way to let people know who you are and what you’re all about. You need to do what milk did.
Let’s take a look at why “Got Milk?” might be the best tagline ever and what your small business can learn from that.
It connects to the brand
Your tagline needs to reflect the values and vision of your brand. Think about how you want customers to perceive you and create a tagline that captures those perceptions.
What does the “got milk” tagline say about milk? Of course I should have milk; it’s an easy thing to have, and I need it.
Your small business cannot afford a vague tagline. Your tagline should only work for you. If another company could grab it and use it, then it’s not unique and doesn’t accurately reflect who you are.
“Got Milk?” cannot be about any other product. It just can’t. It’s specific. Your tagline should do that same thing.
Don’t make people think; keep it simple. Got Milk? Two one-syllable words convey a message that resonates with anyone who’s ever been thirsty. It’s brilliant in its simplicity. OK, I’ll allow you to have more than two syllables, but definitely don’t think about using multiple semi-colons and definitely not a paragraph.
In two words a laundromat or beverage can make me think about the problem I have, laundry/thirst, and show me that they’re my solution.
“Got Milk?” Is all about the consumer. They don’t care if the cows are milked by hand by experts with years of experience. Your customers care that they have a problem; their mouths are filled with peanut butter and they need milk. Make your tagline about them, not you.
A tagline is only part of your brand identity, a short, clear memorable part, but still just a piece of the larger brand. It doesn’t need to do everything, but it needs to do something. Do some brainstorming and don’t be afraid to throw ideas out. A great tagline can go a long way in making your brand memorable. So ask yourself, is your tagline helping or hurting your small business?