There are many important things that go on a sell sheet, and many things that should not go on it. While some of those things are easy to weed out (such as long paragraphs about your product), others are a bit more difficult to decipher if you need it.
Do you really need that 6th Key Benefit? What about that 4th image? How about a tagline? Let’s step back for a minute.
How come some sell sheets have taglines while others don’t? Is it the layout of the sell sheet? The industry? What about the product itself? And an even more important question: Do we even know what it is?
A tagline is a benefit statement. It is like a one sentence benefit statement with a full 7 piece suit on. Sometimes it’s formal, sometimes it’s a goofy clown suit that makes you laugh, and sometimes it’s a traffic suit!
Though a tagline is optional, they are often naturally dug up when searching for your One Sentence Benefit Statement. Deciphering the difference between a tagline and an OSBS takes time to learn.
When you are going fishing, there are many different types of fish that connect with different types of marketing copy.
Sometimes you need a big hook (the One Sentence Benefit Statement) to catch the fish.
Other times you rely on a different kind of hook — the tagline.
Your potential licensee may read the OSBS, look at your beauty shot, your other images, your list of key benefits, and then right as they are about to exit out of your sell sheet… you leave them with a final lingering thought about your product with a good ol’ tagline!
The OSBS introduces your product, while the tagline reminds them of a taste of it as they exit out of your sell sheet.
To help us understand what a tagline truly is, let us compare it to what we are familiar with.
What is the difference between an OSBS and a tagline?
Usually a tagline assumes the reader already knows something about the product, which is why taglines often go right above your contact information, at the bottom of your sell sheet. Taglines are like the second punch of a 1-2 punch, with the first punch being the OSBS. It brings the reader home, acting as a zinger, or final punchline. It is often the last thing that is read by the licensee.
When a tagline is taken out of context, it is often less understandable, but catchier than an OSBS. While the OSBS stands alone, the tagline often does not, and needs the help of the sell sheet and the other marketing copy to understand where it’s coming from.
If you add a tagline, just like the OSBS, there is only one. Except that not all sell sheets even have one at all. But why is that?
Sometimes a tagline isn’t good enough. All marketing copy and images take up room on a sell sheet. A sell sheet’s real estate should be your most prized possession during this process. Everything on there must serve a purpose, and a purpose strong enough to drive the concept of the product idea home.
With your one sentence benefit statement, your beauty shot, any secondary pictures, your three to five key benefits, and a possible name or logo, it’s crowded enough. A tagline has to bring a lot to the table if it will be allowed to sit there.
Why should you not use a tagline?
Sometimes the layout doesn’t allow for it; there’s no space left. Sometimes the concept of your product has already come across beautifully on the sell sheet, and adding yet another piece of material on there will ruin the look and feel of it; it just isn’t needed in these scenarios.
Often, products that solve a need and not a want aren’t best suited for taglines. An example of a product that solves a need could be a medical or industrial product; products that are more critical to mankind. Sometimes a tagline is very difficult to dig up, especially one catchy enough to warrant taking up space on a sell sheet. If that happens, it’s probably best to ditch the tagline idea and move on to your other, more important, copy.
When should you include one?
Some product images are hard to understand, and adding another piece of snazzy information may just help. Sometimes you want to leave your potential licensee with a particular feeling: a tagline can do just that.
Quite frequently, the tagline makes the product more relatable by mentioning or reminding the reader of a problem they don’t want to deal with and will have to without your product. The tagline does a great job at making you feel like you need this product, because the last thing you read creates this feeling of relief that you now don’t have to deal with something frustrating, boring, painful, or any other negative emotion your product solves. If you are trying to make your product more relatable, a tagline just might make sense.
Products that solve a want (a majority of products) are usually good candidates for taglines, as they often have a much lighter and fun purpose, and a tagline can play off of that. A good tagline supplements the marketing copy in a way that makes you feel like you couldn’t live without it.
Pro Tip: If you can come up with one easily, and it benefits the understanding of the product, and there is space on your sell sheet, include it. If it’s hard to come up with one, or doesn’t act as a sidekick to the rest of the copy, don’t use one.
Here are examples of taglines I have created (notice how you need to know what the product is, to understand the meaning of the tagline):
Because cold calling is hard enough (for software that keeps track of your cold calls)
A beautiful smile brightens anyone’s day (a product for having whiter teeth)
Because waking up is a chore in itself (a product that helps you make your bed)
A brighter life for your kids (night light)
Sleep fast. Sleep Sound. Sleep Smart. (sleeping mat)
From 0 to 10 mph in 60 seconds! (first automobile)
So, now that we understand what taglines are, when to use them and when not to, and the difference between them and an OSBS, how do we come up with them?
Often, if you can put a “because” in front of it, it could make for a great tagline. Try not to think of a tagline right off the bat. It’s better to make a long list of all of the key benefits that you can think of, and then put them into the 4 categories (OSBS, Key Benefits, Name, Tagline) and see what fits where.
For example, let’s take this one here: “Because waking up is a chore in itself.”
This tagline is stating that waking up can be difficult for some people, and that this product is solving another problem that you may have, so your only problem is waking up. And what is that problem? Making your bed.
Making your bed can be time consuming, boring, and hard to make a habit. So, let this product do that for you, so the only problem that you will have to deal with is waking up. It takes the stress out of something you don’t like to do.
Problem: Not making the bed.
Product/solution: A robot that makes your bed.
OSBS: Let your bed make itself!
Gets you to your coffee faster.
Press the button and walk away!
Come back to a bed well made.
Sleep comfortably with no tangled covers.
Tagline: Because waking up is a chore in itself.
So, now that you know anything and everything that has to do with a tagline, not only will you be seeing them everywhere, but you will become a tagline expert in no time!
Why? Because reading is never overrated.
Bio: Courtney is an award-winning entrepreneur and successful inventor who has licensed four product ideas to a company at the age of 22. She started her first business as a teenager while attending college, and she is also an experienced educator who has taught for nearly a decade on topics including robotics, animation, and design to youth. She believes that teaching students how to be life-long learners and creative thinkers at a young age is pivotal. She has been recognized for her achievements, including being the inaugural youth division winner of the Nexties Awards for Entrepreneurship, as well as the Bay Area winner for the National Center for Women & Information Technology.
Before she knew its official name, Courtney was sold on the concept of licensing. She says that it’s an honor to be able to focus her energy on creativity and innovation every single day. Courtney is an inventRight Coach, and is also the longtime Managing Director of Inventors Groups of America where she runs online meetings for inventors that gets maxed out at 100 attendees, as well as produces a monthly newsletter and an educational webinar series with guest experts on various licensing and venturing topics.
“Inventors are dedicated movers and shakers who are constantly pushing their ideas forward. It is such an inspiration to be a part of the inventing community.”
In addition to being a zealous advocate for inventors and the inventing community, and developing product ideas for her own company, Courtney is a martial artist, ukulelist, and latin dancer.
Links to Courtney’s Products on the Market:
4. Entry Organizer: A place for all of your on-the-go items!
Read Courtney’s blog about being a young inventor: https://inventright.com/help/blog/youth-isn-t-a-barrier-to-success-it-s-whatever-you-make-of-it