How do you suggest I come up with a tagline or motto that embodies my brand’s identity but is also unique?

The following answers are provided by members of Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC), an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, YEC recently launched StartupCollective, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses.

1. Write a List of “50 Bad Ideas”

“Whenever I’m stuck on writing something like a tagline, I take a beat and come up with “50 Bad Ideas” for that particular task. This allows me to stop censoring myself, to break through my creativity and to do it freely. Once I’ve written the 50 bad ideas, I’ll discover that some of these are not THAT bad; they’re actually kind of good! It’s incredible what you can accomplish.”

Rob Fulton, Exponential Black

2. Explain Your Company to a 5-Year-Old

“Often we are so heavily involved with our own companies that we overthink everything. Explaining your company to a 5-year-old will force you to break down what it is you do into the simplest possible terms and cram it to fit their tiny attention span. Explain it to them, then go back the next day and ask what they remember. The response will probably be the perfect tagline.”


3. Answer the Question: “WHY Are You?”

“A powerful tagline can tell a company’s story in three seconds. Your tagline should clearly state WHY your company exists while also speaking to the true market need you are serving. Communicate your core purpose.”

Sharam Fouladgar-Mercer, AirPR

4. Speak With Your Team

“No one knows your brand better than the team that helps create and move it forward. When making brand decisions, like choosing a tagline, your team can be a valuable source of creativity. Brainstorm with your team members to gain multiple perspectives. This will help keep the team on the same page about the company’s plans, and it will open the door to new ideas beyond the C-suite.”

Doreen Bloch, Poshly Inc.

5. Start With What ISN’T Your Brand Identity

“If you’re struggling to pinpoint who you are, it’s sometimes easier to start with who you aren’t.”

Sam Saxton, Salter Spiral Stair and Mylen Stairs

6. Make a List

“Before spitting out options, make a list of 10 things that make your company unique. Use them as inspiration for a line that embodies them all. Be careful not to be too narrow with your tagline so that your business has room to evolve.”

Ashley Mady, Brandberry

7. Outsource It

“It is great to sit around with your team or on your own and attempt to come up with a great tagline that embodies all of the characteristics of your company’s identity and brand, but you need to realize that most customers will see and experience your product very differently. In many cases, you are too close to the issue. Crowdsource it — let others tell you what they think.”

Joseph DiTomaso, AllTheRooms

8. Answer the Question to the Problem You are Solving

“An effective tagline succinctly answers the question to the problem you are solving without having to explain the question.”

Dustin Cavanaugh,RenewAge

9. Canvass for Suggestions

“If you’re having trouble creating a tagline, canvass your network or community for the top three words or phrases that come to mind when thinking of your company. Then, utilize those short buzzwords to come up with a tagline or motto that is memorable and accurately reflects what others think when considering your company.”

Firas Kittaneh, Amerisleep

10. Focus on the Key Value Add

“The best taglines are simple and easy to understand. If you know your main value add, have that be your tagline. What do you do better than everyone else in your space? Trying to mention all your features in a motto is confusing to a customer. Stress the most important value add.”

Randy Rayess,VenturePact

11. Find Your Niche

“You need to understand what makes you different. Work on identifying and defining what your unique quality is: What makes you special? What makes your company the best in the world? Even a small niche could have prospects. If you are spoilt for choice, then study the numbers searching for each keyword and select the area with the most potential.”

David TomasCyberclick

12. Collaborate

“Word clouds on a giant piece of paper are one powerful way to see the words that mean a lot to your brand and how they intersect. Once you and your team have written those out, combine them until you have a dozen good options. Sleep on it and narrow it down. Then vote on the remaining options or just make the decision based on what feels right.”

Mike SeimanCPXi