Fact: A great tagline is hard to write.

Now, okay ones are pretty easy to come up with, and I have clients all the time who try to save money by tackling this task themselves. But there’s a tangible difference between the poetry of one written by a trained professional using a clear positioning statement, and one written by a well-meaning marketing person.

The best taglines are a clear reflection of what the organization is all about. My current favorite is that of Children’s Memorial Hospital here in Chicago. It’s actually down the street from my house, so I pass their mini-vans, emblazoned with the tagline, all the time:

Where kids come first.

Brilliant. It clearly reflects their mission, and the double entendre emphasizes their excellence.

Our job as marketing people is to 1) clearly set the strategy 2) define the brand through positioning, and then 3) guide the creative process to ensure the output stays true to the positioning and strategy. But the cost:benefit ratio of using a trained copywriter to actually create your tagline is, to copy from MASTERCARD, Priceless!