“They must often change, who would be constant in happiness or wisdom.” — Confucius
I’m testing my new tag line and taking it for a test drive.
It’s Insight and Action for Getting Results.
I’ll share my story and what I’ve learned since it might help others whether you’re branding you, your blog, or your business. Keep in mind, I’m not a brand master and I don’t play one on T.V. (though Robert Redford stepped on my foot while filming The Quiz Show, but that’s another story for another day.)
Effective Tag Lines are in the Eye of the Beholder
Anyway, I’ve been revisiting my tag line since Annabel posed the question: “Lifestyle design sounds far sexier than self improvement, personal development or self help, doesn’t it?”
It’s a good question, and it’s worth exploring.
Personally, I think sexy is in the eye of the beholder. For example, if you’re on a personal development mission, then sites that use those words, become the apples of your eye.
Asking the Right Questions to Test a Tag Line
Unfortunately, when I started cycling through potential tag lines, I didn’t have a great set of tests for success. Now I do:
- What’s in the box?
- What works well on a t-shirt?
- What’s sticky in the halls?
- What can you say to another person live without feeling weird or sounding hokey?
- What can you say that promises a benefit in a nutshell?
Some tag lines passed the “pithy and precise” test, but didn’t resonate. Some passed the technically accurate, but failed the “what works well on a T-shirt?” test. For example, while I focus on personal effectiveness, that’s just a piece of the puzzle and some said it’s “cold.” “Results” has sizzle (and sell the sizzle, not the steak.)
A Simple Way to Test a Tag Line
I’m a fan of asking the right people the right questions and testing results. There are plenty of people smarter than me that are more than happy to share their know-how and expertise.
I just have to ask.
I asked people far and wide from every Joe’s to engineers to marketing maestros. However, until I had my tests for success, I couldn’t pick a winner.
It was the tests for success that helped me parse the feedback.
Breaking Some Rules
Sometimes you just have to break the rules. I’m breaking a couple of golden branding rules. For example, “results” isn’t a well-known category like “personal development.”
I’m also going against the rule that the specific is better than the general and that you win by narrowing your focus.
I agree that’s true, but for me, I’d rather go Renaissance Man and generalize over specialize — and leave getting results wide open.
One of my mentors echoed that point, saying that I help anybody do anything better, and that’s my super skill.
The Winner (for Now)
For now, I’m test-driving “Insight and Action for Getting Results.” My previous manager said that I’m all about “getting results” and that he’s never seen anybody learn and improve in a shorter time. “Insight” is a fun little word, and coupled with “action” means we’re going to use this or apply it somehow.
Getting Results is pretty sticky and I bridge work and life. I focus on mind, body, emotions, career, financial, relationships and fun, which I think are key hot spots for life.
If you flip through my past posts, you’ll find everything from lessons from Oprah, to improving decision making, to dealing with tough bosses, to skilled happiness, to using stress to be your best., to feeling good. It’s an eclectic set of patterns and practices for success in work and life.
Why do I say, “for now”? Because I’m a believer that branding is a journey of continuous learning and refinement … and sometimes it’s just a plain “do-over.”
Photo by Rene Ehrhardt.