What makes an effective brand slogan?

What makes an effective brand slogan?

What is the aim of a slogan?

If a logo is the visual representation of a brand, a slogan or tagline is what truly brings it to life. 

In short, it is a key phrase or set of words that communicates the essence of a brand, and one that is designed to stick in the minds of consumers.

Key features of a winning slogan

It is succinct

The most enduring brand slogans are often short, catchy and easy to remember. Much like a song chorus that gets stuck in your head, it needs to have a rhythm or sound that rolls off the tongue and is instantly recognisable. 

It provides incentive

Effective slogans also highlight what’s beneficial about a product or service, prompting consumers to buy into the brand. 

Furthermore, it’s vital that it evokes or instills a positive feeling or incentive. For instance, something like “It’s good to talk” from BT – while outdated in today’s context – brings to life the simple pleasure and emotional undertones of picking up the telephone to call a loved one.

It differentiates

Lastly, a slogan is often a good opportunity for a brand to tell consumers why it is different or unique. 

Marks & Spencer’s most famous tagline is from its “Not just any food” campaign, which paid homage to the brand’s reputation for high quality.

The fact that people continue to associate the phrase with the brand, even since it has stopped using it, shows how long a well-crafted slogan can endure.

Five examples of effective slogans

Dollar Shave Club: Shave time. Shave Money

Puns are tricky to pull off, especially when they’re silly or childish as opposed to clever. For some reason, however, this example works simply because it’s so unapologetic.

It fits in well with Dollar Shave Club’s witty and self-deprecating style of advertising, perfectly summing up the brand’s money saving appeal.

Tesco: Every little helps

Re-affirming its stance on value and customer service, Tesco's slogan is subtle. It's not just about money of course, but everything that Tesco offers (from its insurance to its Metro stores) that helps customers.

It's also an incredibly comforting turn of phrase, which reassures consumers that it is a supermarket that cares.

Nike: Just do it

Nike’s slogan is built on the notion that anyone can achieve greatness. Regardless of who you are or where you’re from, the simple call to ‘just do it’ is both uplifting and inspiring – two hallmarks of Nike’s wider brand values.

HSBC: The world’s local bank

Proving that brands don't need to follow the rules, this oxymoron from HSBC has one main aim and that is to instil trust.

Reassuring customers that, despite being a global corporation, it has the values of a local bank - it's a clever play on words.

L’Oreal: Because you’re worth it

A slogan that's been in use since the 1970s, L'Oreal celebrates (and justifies) the very concept of buying make-up.

While it has been tweaked in recent years along with the brand’s efforts to become more inclusive – changing to ‘we’re worth it’ - it remains one of the most well-known phrases in the beauty industry.