Keep it simple, stupid.
We don’t mean to offend you — this is just an example of a great slogan that also bears the truth of the power of succinctness in advertising.
It’s incredibly difficult to be succinct, and it’s especially difficult to express a complex emotional concept in just a couple of words — which is exactly what slogans and taglines do.
That’s why we have a lot of respect for the brands that have done it right. The ones that have figured out how to convey their value proposition to their buyer persona in just one, short sentence — and a quippy one, at that.
So if you’re looking to get a little slogan inspiration of your own, take a look at some of our favourite company slogans and taglines from both past and present. But before we get into specific examples, let’s quickly go over what a slogan is, how it differs from a tagline, and what makes these branded one-liners stand out.
What Is a Slogan?
In business, a slogan is “a catchphrase or small group of words that are combined in a special way to identify a product or company,” according to Entrepreneur.com’s small business encyclopedia.
In many ways, they’re like mini-mission statements.
Companies have slogans for the same reason they have logos: advertising. While logos are visual representations of a brand, slogans are audible representations of a brand. Both formats grab consumers’ attention more readily than the name a company or product might. Plus, they’re simpler to understand and remember.
The goal? To leave a key brand message in consumers’ minds so that, if they remember nothing else from an advertisement, they’ll remember the slogan.
What Makes a Great Slogan?
According to HowStuffWorks, a great slogan has most or all of the following characteristics:
Is the slogan quickly recognizable? Will people only have to spend a second or two thinking about it? A brief but strong few words can go a long way in advertisements, videos, posters, business cards, swag, and other places.
It includes a key benefit.
Ever heard the marketing advice, “Sell the sizzle, not the steak”? It means sell the benefits, not the features — which applies perfectly to slogans. A great slogan makes a company or product’s benefits clear to the audience.
It differentiates the brand.
Does your light beer have the fullest flavor? Or maybe the fewest calories? What is it about your product or brand that sets it apart from competitors? (Check out our essential branding guide here.)
It imparts positive feelings about the brand.
The best taglines use words that are positive and upbeat. For example, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups’ slogan, “Two great tastes that taste great together,” gives the audience good feelings about Reese’s, whereas a slogan like Lea & Perrins’, “Steak sauce only a cow could hate,” uses negative words. The former leaves a better impression on the audience.
Now that we’ve covered what a slogan is and what makes one great, here are examples of some of the best brand slogans of all time. (Note: We’ve updated this post with several ideas folks previously shared with us in the comments.)
Slogan vs. Tagline
Although both “slogan” and “tagline” tend to be used interchangeably, they actually serve two different purposes.
As we mentioned in Entrepreneur.com’s definition above, a slogan identifies a product or company. So does a tagline, for that matter. Where these terms differ is in how they position a company in its industry.
A slogan encompasses a company’s mission, what it stands for, and even how it’s helping customers in the individual campaigns the company might run. Slogans can therefore be longer than taglines, as you’ll see in the list below.
A tagline is a catchy quip that evokes an image of your brand in the minds of your customers. Taglines enable people to make lighthearted associations with your business: “When I see [tagline], I think [company].”
Taglines are more often next to the company’s logo on official advertisements, and are dedicated more specifically to brand awareness than slogans. Slogans carry a brand’s values and promises as the company grows and evolves, and can be promoted under an overarching company tagline.
Your organization doesn’t have to develop both a slogan and a tagline — it might succeed with just a solid, recognizable tagline. But as you develop new products and identify new types of customers, you might find your brand launching a campaign that is primed for its own slogan.
Catchy Business Slogans and Taglines
Dollar Shave Club: “Shave Time. Shave Money.”
MasterCard: “There are some things money can’t buy. For everything else, there’s MasterCard.”
M&M: “Melts in Your Mouth, Not in Your Hands”
De Beers: “A Diamond Is Forever”
Meow Mix: “Tastes So Good, Cats Ask for It By Name”
Verizon: “Can You Hear Me Now? Good.”
The U.S. Marine Corps: “Semper Fi”
Ronseal: “It Does Exactly What It Says on the Tin.”
The Mosaic Company: “We Help the World Grow the Food It Needs”
Pitney Bowes: “We Power Transactions That Drive Commerce”
Nike: “There Is No Finish Line”
Nike: “Just Do It.”
Apple: “Think Different.”
L’Oréal Paris: “Because You’re Worth It.”
California Milk Processor Board: “Got Milk?”
BMW: “Designed for Driving Pleasure.”
Tesco: “Every Little Helps”
Bounty: “The Quicker Picker Upper”
Lay’s: “Betcha Can’t Eat Just One.”
Audi: “Advancement Through Technology”
Dunkin’ Donuts: “America Runs on Dunkin'”
McDonald’s: “I’m Lovin’ It”
The New York Times: “All the News That’s Fit to Print”
General Electric: “Imagination at Work.”
State Farm: “Like a Good Neighbor, State Farm is There”
Maybelline: “Maybe she’s born with it. Maybe it’s Maybelline.”
The U.S. Marine Corps: “The Few. The Proud. The Marines”