When I followed the advice of several marketing gurus to create a tagline, I really crafted it carefully. It read:
Vyer, LLC helps its clients realize valuable business opportunities through innovative and pragmatic use of information technology.
The feedback is in, and here's what it amounts to:
Your tagline sucks.
Now, when I review taglines, pitches, or whatever, I ask the question: as opposed to what? So here are the answers as far as my soon-to-be-abandoned tagline is concerned: realized as opposed to "identified" or "imagined;" valuable as opposed to "marginal," or "incidental"; business as opposed to "technical" or "geek candy"; opportunities as opposed to "systems" (I don't build those); innovative as opposed to "obvious" and "conventional"; " pragmatic as opposed to "easy to imagine, hard to do."
Still, I agree: the tagline sucks.
This has two reasons:
First, every tagline is merely an assertion. I can assert that Vyer will increase the shareholder value of your company beyond your wildest dreams, but saying it isn't doing it. The more compelling the tagline is, the more improbable it becomes. I think the best taglines are aspirations rather than promises, but the distinction is lost on clients.
Second, every business term has become meaningless from overuse. I avoided the really bad ones, like "leverage," "strategy," "capital," "assets," etc., but I could easily see how an astute and critical reader (my favorite clients and colleagues) would feel his eyes glaze over - these have become "stop" words that you skip in order to get to the meat.
My most candid tagline would probably be:
We clean up IT messes
I like it because it uses words consultants avoid putting in writing, is plainly put, and is even a little humorous (I think). But I worry that many people will think it's just a bit too flip or too simple.
Or maybe I should avoid taglines altogether. That's my choice for now.