Three (period-separated) word taglines are everywhere. Are they making a comeback? Gaining popularity? Or have they just been a far-too-prevalent (and boring) staple for years?

Here are a few examples:

Wisdom. Power. Change.

Young. Professional. Connected.

People. Planet. Profits.

Live. Learn. Cure.

 This one doesn’t exactly fit the criteria, but I’d say it can be grouped in: Give. Gift. Feel Good.

This great 2010 post from Tate Linden targeted specifically to nonprofits, makes many excellent arguments against the three word tagline. If you are considering such a tagline, please read Tate’s article first!

It seems as if three word taglines are in a further downward spiral. Look at the ‘People. Planet. Profits.’ example, used by countless organizations and individuals. Nouns? With adjectives, we know what you’re saying (whether we buy it or not). Verbs tell us what you’re doing (though they can get confusing – are you telling us what to do, or what you’re doing?). But when an organization starts using nouns, it is just too lazy. A tagline is an opportunity to communicate your brand – not have your audience try to figure it out for you!

Marlene Oliveira

Marlene Oliveira

Communications advisor and copywriter at moflow
Marlene Oliveira is communications consultant and copywriter at moflow and founder of the Nonprofit MarCommunity blog. Having worked in the nonprofit sector since 1999, Marlene specializes in working with capacity building and grant-making organizations, advising on communications strategy, and writing stories and other content.
Marlene Oliveira