The Tag Line

By Daniel L. Mannen, OD, FAAO May 24, 2013

Take a look at the following tag lines:

  • Inspiration for the senses

  • Thrive

  • Imagination takes flight

  • Wow


I’ll bet you can’t guess the industries that are being promoted. In order:

What do you think these various organizations are trying to convey about themselves? Quite simply, they are trying to project a unique business image. They want customers to know what makes them different from their competitors.

Is there a word or phrase which you would use to describe your practice? Can you see the competitive advantage in emphasizing that message to your patients and potential patients?

I believe that many independent practices suffer from an identity crisis. We provide excellent care and service, and yet, we have not provided our patients with an easy means of remembering us. In some cases, we may need to take a closer look at our practices and identify what makes us different. Remember, our competitors are hard at work flooding our patients with their messages: "one hour service," "two for one," "where value meets fashion," etc.

If I were to ask you to describe your practice in three words—what would those three words be? How do you want your patients to remember you? Are you enthusiastic, engaging, fun, high tech, caring, progressive, innovative…? What do you want your patients to think of when they think of you?

If we want someone to know something, we have to tell them. If we want to be remembered, we have to give them something to remember. Therein is found the magic of the tag line. I want to go to the car dealer that makes me say, “Wow.” I want to go to the museum where my "imagination takes flight."

Marketing is all about generating an expectation which leads to a desired action. When my patients think about eye care, I want them to think about me.  I want them to both remember and choose me from among their many choices.

As I see it, the first step in making my practice stand out is to determine what makes it unique. The second step is to highlight that set of attributes in a memorable way. And finally, I must make good on my promise and deliver when my patient comes for service.

So, here is your assignment: determine the image that you want to project and make it the centerpiece of your communication strategy.


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