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Five Ways STRAPLINES can work for you

Are you running your own business and find yourself quite flummoxed by the myriad marketing options available to you?

Perhaps you’re wondering if a strapline* might be useful to run alongside your business name.  No, I'm not talking about unfortunate tan lines here, I'm talking about a word or phrase that explains, expands or reinforces the purpose of an organisation. People love a good strapline and they remain in the memory for a very long time.  I have rarely paid for an Avis hire car (or any hire car) but know that “Avis try harder” and would certainly look for their sign in an airport to feel secure in hiring.

Well, here are five ways a strapline could work for you:

  1. If you’ve a boring business name, for example “Smiths” (entirely fictional example and no offence intended), it may be useful to spell out what you do: "Smiths Laundry and Dry Cleaning", to make sure people understand you’re not the “Smiths” of the crisp fame.
  2. To explain the marketplace you most sell to: "Smiths, dry cleaners to the livery industry".  This is quite clever as the client may not have livery to dry clean. However, they could be attracted to using Smiths because livery is a high-quality product to clean, so the client may consider them good enough for their curtains.
  3. States the answer to a client’s problem:  "Smiths, dry cleaners – stubborn stains sorted". Anyone with a stain for which they are responsible, on seeing that strapline, will be alerted to take note. I added “for which they are responsible" because we want to appeal to the person deciding on the service, not necessarily the person creating the problem!​
  4. Reflects a client’s desire, or the alignment of a Value, in their own tone of voice: "Smiths, dry cleaners to the livery industry: the finest finish fast" (crikey, I like that!) With that double meaning, the dry cleaners would most probably appeal to the horseracing industry!
  5. Demonstrates a unique selling proposition in your locality or niche:  "Smiths dry cleaners since 1924".  An unarguably long-standing company, implies a successful business with a loyal clientele. Please do think through ALL the implications of a USP though, the largest machines in East Anglia may not appeal to a new generation, even if they’re not your market; they could be an influencer in the Decision Making Unit.

Straplines are very useful on all your printed marketing collateral (brochures, business cards, flier, posters) and also van signage. Repetition builds reputation, so if people see it (or hear it on the radio) in lots of places they will remember it better. Especially useful when speaking to people or pitching in a networking meeting. 


If you give it a lot of thought, your strapline can imbue all the critical information people need in a snappy phrase they can remember.  We hope they then pass it on to their friends and you gain referrals!


If you’d like to know more about marketing and uncovering your Values, do get in touch at


Jill McCulloch

Coach You, Embrace Authentic Action

(There are potentially alternative names for a strapline, but for simplicity I’m using “strapline!”).


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