One Cliché at a Time

Why your startup's tagline sucks and how to fix it.

March 3, 2020

Saving the world, one (blank) at a time.

Are you really? What is your metric for doing so? How are you different from companies x, y, and z that are also saving the world, one (blank) at a time? Lastly, what good does it do for me, your intended customer?

You weren't thinking of that when you first wrote that tagline, were you? Probably because it's bullshit and it's not really why you're in business. Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying you don't care about whatever cause you want to help, but if this phrase has crossed your lips in trying to build your brand, it means you are not diving deep enough.

You are choosing to piggyback off a phrase that has no intrinsic meaning other than being a cliché that won't offend anyone.

You can do better. You and your brand are worth more than a worn out phrase void of passion.

How would you fix it? Take a look at some of the best taglines ever written:

Think Different.

Just Do It.

Belong Anywhere.

Open Happiness.

What do they have in common? They're simple, they break from convention, and they encourage the user to be something more. To be more creative, to be a champion, to feel secure, to be happier. These taglines don't impose the idea that a user needs your company, they inform the user that this company has a shared aspiration whether they use their product or not.

They're not salesy, they're not imposing, and they are not trying to make it about themselves. These taglines are calls that signal the user to a new adventure.

You want people to be inspired by your tagline? Don't settle for cliché bullshit. Dig deep and think about how you can encourage a user to be something they never thought they could have been. Most importantly, do it in a way that brings your unique flavor to it.

More you say?

Why Webflow is Ideal for Startup Websites

Move over WordPress

4.21.2020

Full disclosure, I am a Webflow Affiliate and I get monies for sending people to Webflow. Full story, I didn't start out that way and after using the platform to make epic websites for three years, I was given affiliate status.

The website of a startup is like a 24/7 sales person and it's the most extensive component of your branding efforts. It's the only place where investors and customers can experience your company and get a feel for who you are. It stands to reason, then, that if you cannot keep it alive and make it a pleasant experience, it becomes a crutch.

Before you even get started on building a site, chances are you'll do some research figuring out what platform to use. You'll probably explore options like WordPress, but, in my not-so-humble opinion, WordPress sucks compared to Webflow. For these three reasons: time, functionality, and creativity.

Time
Time is your most valuable resource and while WordPress was great in being a first mover into making the web more accessible for makers, they fell off the tracks. It's still time consuming and difficult to make a WordPress site look and function exactly the way you need it, even with the help of developers. Webflow's designer tool allows you to skip over the back-and-forth between design and development. This saves time and it also cuts down on costs, since you are no longer dependent on developers to make design changes.

Functionality
Any time the development team is taken out of the picture, the question of compromising functionality arises. Blanket statement: whatever you are looking to do Webflow can handle it. If you're worried, just ask these giant tech startups how much Webflow helped their marketing teams.

Lattice

HelloSign

Furthermore, if you do need to bring in your dev team after 99% of the site has been built, they can add custom code with ease.

Creativity
Lastly, creativity. New ideas come on quick and you have to move quick as a startup. Can you afford to wait for a designer to put something in sketch, pass it to the dev team, go back-and-forth to make sure it's right, have your marketing team edit it, and then launch? NO! You've gotta move and at the speed of creativity.

As if that wasn't enough, WordPress templates are rigid as hell and can't be molded easily. Certainly not without developer help. Startups can't afford to wait that long or have their developers doing rudimentary coding like front-end website building.

Point being, if your startup is not on Webflow, you are missing an opportunity.

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Chipped Teeth

At some point you can flex your brand, but not at the start.

6.16.2020

When you are first starting a new habit, the key is to first get the motions right. For example, when I started writing these posts Monday-Friday, the goal wasn't to write perfectly, it was just to write every Monday-Friday.

Similarly, when you first get a new brand identity, you should follow your style guide to a "T." Why? Because you are learning to walk within your brand and if you start running you will fall, chip your teeth and look stupid.

Think about it, the kid who can consistently walk at a steady pace will get further than the one who pushes himself too far.

What's more? The kid who walks will get faster with time and practice, naturally.

Treat the design of your brand the same way, walk before you run.

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