Brand slogans and taglines are more than just catchy phrases people associate with a business. They represent the core of your brand. They’re like your mission statements in miniature: it’s the punchline you need to make a point.
But how do you create a slogan or tagline that’s relatable to customers? Most importantly, how do you create a memorable one?
This article will give you an overview of some of the most famous and influential company slogans and taglines. We’ll also take apart exactly what a tagline and slogan is, investigate the differences between the two, and list a number of ground rules you should follow to create your own brand motto.
You’ll be all set on the inspiration and knowledge needed to start crafting your very own brand slogan and brand tagline.
What is the difference between a slogan and a tagline?
What is a slogan?
The best dictionary definition we could find out there was this: a word or phrase used to express a characteristic position or stand or a goal to be achieved.
A slogan is a statement you use to promote your products or services. Slogans are instantly attention-grabbing, concise, and emotion-driven. Typically, slogans are used for advertising purposes, so as to tell the public what goods the company has to offer. Most business slogans also aim to make the audience feel a certain way — whether it’s joyful, happy, or inspired.
Catchy slogans stick in the minds of your consumers for a long time if done well, and for this reason, slogans are usually paired with product releases. They can be changed frequently to fit different occasions.
Examples of a catchy slogan:
- Dollar Shave Club – “Shave Time. Shave Money”.
- De Beers – “A Diamond Is Forever”.
What is a tagline?
Referring to a handy dictionary, the best fitting definition is as follows: a reiterated phrase identified with an individual, group, or product.
Think of a tagline as something more permanent. Taglines are used to restate a company’s mission, values, and beliefs in brief. Normally, marketing taglines are not product-specific. Rather, they help stress the importance of a company’s mission. Your tagline is what will ultimately be directly associated with your brand for years and years to come. With it, you want to say exactly what your company stands for — and give your customers a reason to follow you.
Examples of a catchy tagline:
- L’Oréal – “Because You’re Worth It”.
- Kit Kat – “Have a break, have a Kit Kat”.
Slogan VS tagline: Clearing up the confusion
Product slogans aim to help a company sell goods, while the brand’s tagline raises awareness of the brand. Slogans can change as the company implements certain advertising campaigns. Taglines, on the contrary, live longer as they represent the core essence of the brand, its mission, and values.
A company can have a current slogan that eventually gets updated to fit product releases, but their general tagline remains unchangeable. Most popular advertisement slogans change from season to season, from campaign to campaign.
Okay, that still might be a bit confusing. Some use ‘tagline’ and ‘slogan’ interchangeably. Some will go as far as to say a slogan is a tagline. Although the lines can be blurred, remember this great example.
Apple’s tagline “Think Different” was originally a slogan for one of their campaigns — just like “A touch of genius” is a slogan used to promote the company’s MacBook Pro, and “Wireless. Effortless. Magical” is a part of the AirPods’ promo campaign.
With time, it grew in popularity to the point that it was thought to be their tagline.
Once again, with Apple’s example in mind: slogans are traditionally associated with campaigns, and taglines — with companies.
10 famous company slogans and taglines with an explanation as to why they’re great
Lets gets right to the good stuff — some of the best slogan and tagline examples. These company slogans have made waves, and are notable, famous slogan examples. We dive into the ‘why’ behind the popularity and fame of these company slogans so that you can have your takeaway lessons to keep in mind as you’re crafting your own catchy lines.
1. Just do it — Nike
Name a slogan that is more iconic. We’ll wait. Created in 1988 by Wieden+Kennedy agency founder Dan Wieden, the slogan has earned Nike a reputation of being bold, brave, and straightforward. It’s as if Nike’s your good friend, cheering you up and motivating you to make your dreams a reality.
The slogan is perfect as it’s concise, attention-grabbing, and by all means simple. It makes you think of Nike as a company that doesn’t just sell sports apparel. Rather, Nike has your back in all your aspirations, while being completely sure that you’ll achieve whatever you strive for.
Nike’s slogan is designed in Futura Bold Condensed font. You may want to check our piece on famous fonts that made history for more inspiration.
2. There are some things money can’t buy. For everything else, there’s MasterCard — MasterCard
Money can’t buy you love. Can’t buy you happiness. Can’t buy joy. Created in 1997, MasterCard’s world-known Priceless campaign followed a shift in people’s perception of what it means to be rich. Rather than being rich, the company wanted people to live lives that are full of dreams, sincerity, and positive attitudes.
The slogan was designed for MasterCard by the McCann Erickson agency. The advertising campaign featured a number of stories — such as a son heading to a baseball game with his father. MasterCard, the commercial claimed, can help you buy a ticket to the game and some snacks, but some things are bigger than that. Like a heart-warming conversation or a desired pastime with loved ones.
To date, the phrase remains one of the most well-known slogans that travels across nations, countries, and cultures.
3. Go with the flaw — Diesel
Are you worried? Stressed? Agitated? Just go with the flow, someone once said. Diesel, a brand speaking mostly to a young audience, decided to reinvent the well-known phrase and came up with this — “Go with the flaw”.
In the beautifully-filmed commercial of the same name, Diesel appealed to unconventional people. It implied that we, as humans, sometimes tend to be ashamed of our flaws. But that’s exactly what makes us unique and special.
Created by Publicis Italia, the commercial and a slogan called on everyone to roll with what they have and embrace what they cannot control. We all have so-called flaws, but the idea is to wear them with pride. To some, they are perfection.
Interestingly, the commercial was filmed in Kyiv, Ukraine. To get a grasp of Ukraine’s creative scene, check out our list of the best creative campaigns from Ukrainian agencies.
4. Finger lickin’ good — KFC
Just how good is KFC? Well, the brand tells you: it’s finger licking good!
Not every great slogan is crafted by a specialist agency. KFC’s slogan was spontaneously created by one of the restaurant’s managers back in the 1950s. The voice man behind KFC’s commercial was eating his chicken when a woman cried out angrily: “He’s licking his fingers!”. “Well, it’s finger licking good”, replied one of the restaurant’s managers.
This company’s slogan quickly became synonymous with KFC, as it appeared as a slogan complimenting the logo. Next time you’re in KFC, we bet you can’t finish your plate without licking your fingers. Just because it’s so good.
5. Connecting people — Nokia
Our famous slogans list would be incomplete without Nokia’s epic “Connecting People”. And we bet there’s a jingle playing in your head right now.
What’s good about this slogan is that it capitalizes on the company’s core mission — to bring people closer together. Back in the day, when iPhones were just an idea, most of us had retro-style Nokia phones. Remember just how magical it was to be able to talk to your loved ones via mobile regardless of where your were. And the SMS we were sending out…
Though Nokia has lost some market points to Apple, Samsung, and other giants, the slogan will be remembered forever.
Feeling nostalgic about Y2K? Check out how you can add some 2000s to your designs.
6. Think outside the bun — Taco Bell
Playing with phrases is yet another great way to come up with a great tagline. We all know the saying “Think outside the box”, which urges you to think creatively and unconventionally. Taco Bell, an American fast food chain, took one step further and turned the recognizable phrase into a memorable tagline.
In this one, we love how it is instantly recognizable, and how it hints at the company’s core product — tasty buns, sandwiches, and more.
Though the company’s slogan was later changed to “Live Mas”, the old one still echoes as one of the most accurate brand taglines.
7. Taste the rainbow — Skittles
Skittles is a well-known jester: a brand that jokes with you, is all about fun, and puts you in a good mood. The “Taste the rainbow” phrase encompasses the whole idea of the brand. What makes Skittles special here is the oddity, sometimes even absurdity of their brand messaging.
People love everything that is unique. That stands out from the crowd. And Skittles is indeed a brand to look at for unconventional ideas.
Now, can you literally taste the rainbow? Skittles makes this possible. The slogan is formulated as a call-to-action, which makes it easily usable in ad campaigns, social media placements, and other activities.
8. Let’s go places — Toyota
In 2012, Toyota announced a new tagline to replace the dated one that went “Moving Forward”. The company claimed the new motto was their way of inviting customers on a journey to see new places and dream big dreams together with Toyota.
Bill Fay, the general manager of Toyota Division, described the motto as energetic, aspirational, and inclusive. What’s particular about this catchy tagline is that it allows for different interpretations. By reading the tagline, one might think of physically going on different journeys, as well as feeling optimistic about the future.
The tagline was later integrated into Toyota’s national and regional advertising, while also being present in their digital channels.
9. Can you hear me now? — Verizon
Company slogans aren’t always affirming statements. Sometimes, you want to formulate them with a question mark for more engagement with your target audience.
In a commercial of the same name, Verizon called itself “the most reliable wireless network in the nation”. To amplify the message, Verizon depicted a man finding himself in different places, such as an airport, a regular park, or even a snow pile. As he is asks “Can you hear me now”, the answer is always yes.
Verizon aired a full-scale TV campaign featuring Paul Marcarell, an American actor.
10. You’re not you when you’re hungry — Snickers
Remember yourself when you’re hungry. Like really, really hungry. You’re just not you.
Snickers took this powerful insight and turned it into one of the most famous brand slogans out there.
The story of this catchy phrase dates back to 2009, when Snickers experienced a decline in their sales. To better the situation, BBDO New York introduced a new motto for the company. We love it since it’s just so relatable — the truth at its finest. And there is no better way to win customers’ hearts in advertising than to just tell them the truth.
The campaign became an instant hit after it was shown during the SuperBowl.
7 rules to keep in mind as you’re crafting your company slogan and/or tagline
A good slogan is a memorable one. A great brand tagline is a timeless one. If that seems like a lot of pressure, no worries. We’ll highlight seven rules that will help you edge a little closer to creating outstanding company slogans and taglines.
1. Think of your brand as a person
This covers everything that describes your brand. Before you get down to creating your slogan or tagline, ask yourself a couple of questions:
- What is your target market?
- Who is your target audience?
- How are you different from your key competitors?
- What emotions do you want to evoke in your target audience?
- What is your brand positioning — that is, what place does it hold in the minds of your consumers?
- What are your key values?
In creating a catchy slogan or a tagline, it also helps to think about your brand as a person. How would you describe it? How would it talk to your target audience? What merits would it have? What intonation would it use?
All of these answers combined will bring you one step closer to creating a unique catchphrase for your business. If you’re working on a slogan for a campaign, use the same rules to channel your personality and grasp the essence of the product you’re creating the slogan for.
2. Reflect your mission in your tagline
Most of the company taglines you see out there are unique because they clearly transmit the core ideas behind the business. Ask yourself: why are you doing what you are doing? What are your beliefs?
Though always catchy, slogans and taglines typically manage to create a certain mood around them. One quick tip here is to think of your tagline as an elevator pitch for your business. So, if you were to present your company to someone as you’re in the elevator — what would you say to them?
3. Channel your brand’s personality in your slogan
Your slogan has to clearly reflect your brand’s personality. Is it funny? Serious? Perhaps, mystic or absurd? Remember the brand archetype theory here — your brand always projects a certain mood, and this has to be reflected in your slogan or tagline, too.
Think of the intonation your brand uses in its communication. Your slogan will be one of the most memorable things — so make sure it uses your general style of communication.
Quick tip: to ace in creating slogans and taglines, consider giving them a particular tempo. Use repetition and rhymes. Think of it as an art! Seek inspiration in the works of music artists and poets. Perhaps, you’ll come up with one that is so successful, your customers will walk around repeating them subconsciously. As Frank Sinatra once said: “Do Be Do Be Do.”
4. Stay true to who you are as a brand and a team
Most popular slogans and taglines work because they are just true and sincere, period. Be as open with your customers as possible. Capitalize on your company’s benefits and competitive advantages, but be fair about your weak points, too.
To create a top slogan, you also need to avoid over-promising. Say, you’re a small company delivering vegan snacks to a local community. You’re doing a great job providing the goods to a couple of areas, but can’t scale far. Say it! Don’t try to make your company seem bigger than it is. For instance, you can say you’re the “top local delivery for vegans”, but not a “country’s most loved vegan delivery service”. Sincerity always pays off.
5. Don’t be a dime a dozen
You want to stand out from the crowd, right? See how you can make your slogan or tagline special. Heavily research what your competitors are up to — what slogans do they use? Your goal is to stand out from your pool of competitors, so it pays off to know exactly what they’re up to.
Quick tip here: ideate! If you can’t seem to create your slogan with existing words out there, come up with your own neologisms. Of course, it might take your audience some time to memorize your slogan, but in the long run, a creative approach like this will yield some results. In the end, there was a time when Google was just starting out, and now there’s a phrase we all use on a daily basis: “Google it!”.
When creating slogans and taglines, it’s best to avoid cliches and banalities.
6. The art of being concise
Most of the best company mottos are short and to-the point. And there’s a reason for that: people just don’t have time to read lengthy text. Remember Nike’s iconic “Just do it”? We bet you can create something that is as concise and effective.
We suggest you take this path: brainstorm a couple of slogans with your team and peers. Then, see if you can get rid of some unnecessary words. Experiment, use synonyms, and polish your slogan until it becomes the best possible version. If your slogan appears in stores, it’s best your customers can instantly grasp it.
For both a slogan and a tagline, it’s best to keep it short — 6-10 words in total.
7. Appeal to people’s emotions
We’re all emotional creatures, right? Most commercial slogans are successful because they try to evoke emotions and feelings. What do you want your clients to feel when they see a slogan? Perhaps, you want to uplift or inspire them.
Tip: use a feelings wheel to come up with the core emotion you want to transmit with your slogan. Make sure it corresponds with the core idea of your business, your brand archetype, and values.
To add some emotional value to your slogan or tagline, consider using words like “happy”, “joyful”, “open”, “amazing”, and more — they are set to put your audience in a great mood.
How to create the perfect slogan
Remember to use small words. You’ll notice that the most famous slogans are simple. They use very simple words to communicate a loud message. That’s the trick. A great rule of thumb to check if you have the perfect slogan, is if it’ll be easily understood by children. You might think that’s a bit bizarre, but if a fourth grader can understand and repeat the slogan – you’ve got a good one. If you can say it easily, then you can certainly remember it easily.
Brainstorm around your business. Sit down and take a look at your Brand DNA once more. Brainstorm words (even with Thesaurus if needed) related to your business or the nature of it. Here, some competitor research might help but try to see how you can stand out. Always keep your business in mind and see which words jump out of the page for you that you can use.
Use power words and phrases. These are the words that evoke an emotion. Once you have some slogans to test, run a test! See if others respond to it well.
How to create the perfect tagline
Tell a story in a sentence. That’s right, narrow it down to this difficult task. Try to tell as much as you can in as few words as you can. Make the tagline roll off the tongue. Similar rules apply as to creating the perfect slogan, but the difference here is that you might be using the tagline to represent your brand. Keep in mind the aspect of your business you’re highlighting, and aim to tell a story to your audience.
Clarity of message. No part of your tagline has to be confusing. Below are some examples of some of the most liked and the most memorable slogans
- Disneyland: The happiest place on the earth.
- M&M’s: Melts in your mouth, not in your hand.
- Red Bull: Red Bull gives you wings.
- McDonald’s: I’m lovin’ it.
- Taco Bell: Think outside the bun.
- BMW: The ultimate driving machine.
Are you seeing the pattern yet? Yes, the phrases are simple. But their messaging is also crystal clear. Clarity + simplicity is the trick with taglines.
Write a longform paragraph, condense it to a line. There’s a great practice to write taglines. First, you put down on paper all the things that come to mind that explain what you do. Next, condense it to one sentence. Next, make it a sentence, and finally into a catchy tagline.
Lastly on brand slogans and taglines
Creating the perfect slogans and taglines is an art in itself. You may want to refer to professionals to help you create something that really sticks to your brand. It’s definitely a place of investment for every brand.
Some of the greatest minds sat where you’re sitting and simply brainstormed with their brand in mind. Get a pen and paper – and jot down those ideas! Start with the easy part – put together a longform paragraph of everything you want to say. Then, use your editing skills to narrow down your paragraph into a line and condense the essence of your brand in a one liner.
It’s easier said than done, but no one knows your business like you do. Get that pen and paper out and just start 🙂
Here are some articles you will find useful for further reading:
- An unconventional guide to generating unconventional ideas
- The essential marketing strategy guide for small business
- 7 inspirational podcasts for entrepreneurs