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What moonshine and mountains taught me about marketing

Hiking in the Tennessee mountains with my husband was a lesson in taglines. I just returned from one of those quintessential vacations – a 12-hour car ride that involved my family, overstuffed suitcases and the singing of “100 Bottles of Beer on the Wall.” We eventually made it to our destination, a resort in the Smoky Mountains of Tennessee. After a week of sleeping late, eating out, seeing the sights and hiking the mountain paths, we made the long trek home again.

To pass the time while traveling, I scoped out the license plates of the cars and trucks around us. I also looked for license plates when we stopped at look-out points or tourist attractions, like the aquarium we visited and the salt and pepper shaker museum. Now I can say I’ve seen some of the wildest salt and pepper shakers imaginable – 20,000 pairs altogether.

Reading along the route 

As we traveled from state to state, the license plates changed. The Welcome signs changed, too, as we crossed the borders. “America’s Dairyland” (Wisconsin) led us to the “Land of Lincoln” (Illinois) to “The Crossroads of America” (Indiana) and eventually to “The Volunteer State” (Tennessee).

Taglines were also paired with city names, like “Gateway to the Great Smoky Mountains” for Gatlinburg, Tenn., and “The Center of Fun in the Smokies” for Pigeon Forge, Tenn.

Potent taglines

License plates and Welcome signs make me think about the power of words and specifically, how short phrases can pack a big punch. Like the moonshine recipe we heard about on our tour, taglines are composed of a few simple ingredients. With just a few sips of moonshine, you’re feeling the effects. Don’t you want a tagline to be just as potent?

A well-conceived tagline should be descriptive and memorable. For example, as Writer to the Rescue, I’m the “Wonder Writer” who is “Saving the World One Word at a Time.” My title and motto match the superhero image of my logo and the above-and-beyond writing services I strive to provide to clients. The various themes are integrated together, and the message is clear.

What makes a strong tagline?

I believe that brainstorming is the key to developing your best tagline. Begin by listing the attributes, features and benefits of your business. Ask yourself questions like “What image do I want to portray?”  “What words will connect with my audience?” and “What is the vision I have for my company?”

Your unique brand deserves a strong tagline and well-developed marketing presence. That’s where Writer to the Rescue can help by assisting with website content, blog articles, news releases and other written communication. Send an email to joan@writertotherescue and we’ll get started.

Taglines example of the Museum of Salt & Pepper Shakers

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Author: Joan Koehne

Once a mild-mannered reporter and editor, Joan Koehne has taken on the persona of her alter ego, Wonder Writer, saving the world one word at a time. In 2017 she went up, up and away to launch a writing services business, Writer to the Rescue, a division of Packerland Websites. A 2017 college graduate, Joan earned highest honors and the Marketing Student of the Year award.

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Joan Koehne

Once a mild-mannered reporter and editor, Joan Koehne has taken on the persona of her alter ego, Wonder Writer, saving the world one word at a time. In 2017 she went up, up and away to launch a writing services business, Writer to the Rescue, a division of Packerland Websites. A 2017 college graduate, Joan earned highest honors and the Marketing Student of the Year award.

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