Ten Great Small Business Marketing Taglines

A Million Gallons of FunSmall businesses have many advantages over big businesses– the ability to build real relationships with customers, agility, flexibility, and more.

But brand awareness is one area where the big guys excel. Building Lasting Relationships with Clients and CandidatesThey have millions of dollars in marketing budget to educate customers about what they do and just why customers should care. Because of that, a big brand’s tagline can be esoteric, aspirational and vague. Think Nike’s Just Do It or Coca Cola’s Open Happiness.

Irresistible Ice CreamA small business marketing tagline has to work harder, though. It needs to tell the story of what you do and why customers love you in one small, memorable package. It’s hard work, and that’s why many small businesses don’t have a tagline. But the effort is worth it. Just check out these ten great small business marketing taglines:

Prompt and Proven Sprinkler Service Clearly a Better Carwash

  1. Newport Aquarium – A Million Gallons of Fun
  2. Graeter’s – Irresistible Ice Cream
  3. TriState Water Works – Prompt & Proven Sprinkler Service
  4. Lighthouse Carwash – Clearly a Better Carwash
  5. LMB Associates – Building Lasting Relationships with Clients and Candidates
  6. Dewey’s Pizza – Hey! Ho! Let’s Dough!
  7. Thrive Chiropractic – Adjust. Advance. Thrive.
  8. VooDoo Doughnut – The Magic is in the Hole!
  9. WAVE POOL – A Contemporary Art Fulfillment Center
  10. Yats – Cajun. Creole. Crazy.

Hey! Ho! Let's Dough!A Contemporary Art Fulfillment Center

Cajun. Creole. Crazy.Each one of these taglines combine with the business name to clearly communicate what the business does, while letting customers know what makes it different and special from competitors. For Dewey’s Pizza, VooDoo Doughnut and Yats, the tagline conveys the fun vibe found at these establishments. Others, like LMB Associates and TriState Water Works set their service models apart from competitors.

The Magic is in the Hole Adjust. Advance. Thrive.


Sign of the Times

Today’s blog post is not about Prince- sorry to disappoint. Instead, it features of some of the best signs I’ve encountered around the world.

In my travels, I’ve always taken an interest in the signs that businesses use to promote themselves. A sign can be a powerful motivator for a potential customer- either to buy from you or to pass on by. Or, a sign can blend into the landscape, escaping a potential customer’s attention altogether.

These nine great signs demonstrate what make a sign effective. First up, we have the St. Louis Science Center.

This sign mirrors the shape of the Science Center. It shows that design can incorporate both creativity and functionality- it’s beautiful and easy to read. Also in St. Louis is this dramatic and interesting zoo sign.

Everyone knows what a zoo is, so the designer had a little fun with the shape and presentation of this sign. However, most businesses should follow the Shrimp Factory’s example below.

This sign shows you exactly what you will get: a seafood dinner in a classy atmosphere. Another take on the restaurant sign is this Art Deco sign for the Signature Room at the Ninety-Fifth in Chicago.

Don’t you want to eat at such a cool place?

Next up, we have a little Hebrew for you.

I may not be able to read Hebrew, but I certainly know what a giant coffee cup and arrow mean. This 3-D sign perfectly describes what you can get at this business. When it really counts, though, signs should be multilingual.

Danger. Mines.

The clever building below is a carwash, which isn’t readily apparent at first glance, so the sign is essential. I really like this company, so you might want to learn more about their business model at their website, Lighthouse Carwash Solutions.

This British tube sign makes so much more sense than the American “Exit.” What could be clearer than “Way Out?”

And I’ll leave you with this interesting sign. I can’t decide if it’s good or bad, although it’s quirky. What do you think?

“We sharpen anything but your wits,” and “We fix anything but a broken heart” are certainly interesting ways to talk about the service commodities of sharpening, repairs and key-making. Does it make you want to be their customer?

A Tribute to Small Business Dads

Father’s Day is on Sunday, and as I reflected for today’s blog post, I realized my dad is the reason I am a successful small business owner today. My dad, Mike Kinslow, has been a small business owner since he was 22. My parents bought a car wash and soon after started a changeable letter sign operation. They opened a custom hot tub store during the infancy of the spa craze. Using his car washing expertise, my dad invented and patented a radical new idea for car washing – a glass car wash building named Lighthouse Carwash. He morphed the business from simply selling products to offering entrepreneurs an entire turnkey business model.

Why I love small business marketing

My dad taught me almost everything I know about small businesses, and he is why I love small business marketing. Over the years, I’ve learned that he is entrepreneurialism personified. Here are some of his traits that I find are common to most small business owners:

  • My dad has an incredible work ethic. Small business owners know that working hard is the answer to their success. However, one of my dad’s favorite sayings is, “Work smarter, not harder.” He would be the first to chastise anyone for laboring without first thinking about how it could be done more efficiently.
  • Before making decisions, my dad always considers how it will affect his family and employees. Family values and faith in God are of utmost importance to him, and his generosity knows no bounds. This kind of heart is prevalent with all small business owners. You don’t just want to make money. You want to do the right thing.
  • My dad has earned his living searching for ways to fix other people’s problems. Relentless pursuit of the next big idea gives him an adrenaline rush. Without this passion, small businesses could never thrive.
  • If the going got tough, my dad would just work harder. All experienced small business owners know there are lean times at some points in their entrepreneurial lives. The key is to never quit, work harder and keep up that relentless pursuit of the next big idea.
  • And, yes, my dad even has the tendency to micro-manage in order to ensure perfection. All of you small business owners out there know, deep down, that you have a micro-managing spirit. It’s the sense of pride and attention to detail that has allowed you to become successful in the first place. But be careful. Often it is better to delegate decisions that are outside your area of expertise.

So, I dedicate this Father’s Day post to my dad and small business dads everywhere. (Don’t fret, small business moms. You’ll have a turn next Mother’s Day)