How to Write a Great Tagline or Slogan

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An advertising slogan is a short phrase that is meant to sum up your brand. A good one should be memorable, and for the right reasons.

Throughout the years, brands have come up with plenty of memorable slogans, from “Just do it” to “Eat fresh.” But there have also been countless advertising slogans that people just don’t seem to like. So what factors separate the successful slogans from the unsuccessful ones, and how do you write a great tagline?

On-hold message provider M2 On Hold created an infographic on what makes an effective advertising slogan. It cited three main factors that contribute to the success of these slogans: clarity, creativity and familiarity with the brand. So in order for a slogan to be likable, it needs to state its message very clearly, be unique and creative, and successfully match up with the brand’s image.

Brittany Hodak of ZinePak told Inc:

“It’s true that the best taglines are simple and memorable, but they are also something else: functional. A tagline should explain your product or service to potential customers or capture what it is that makes your business different than your competitors’ businesses.”

A few examples of slogans that do these things successfully include M&M’s “Melts in your mouth, not in your hand,” Disneyland’s “The happiest place on earth,” and Las Vegas’ “What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas.” When you hear any of these slogans, you can likely match them up with the brand they represent very quickly. They also offer very clear and unique messages in just a few words each.

There are also a few other factors that might be able to help customers remember or like your slogan. For example, M2 On Hold’s research found that repeated exposure can help people remember a tagline, though that won’t necessarily make it more likable.

People are also more likely to remember slogans set to music. And they are more likely to respond to slogans that don’t include the brand’s name.

However, some companies have been able to develop likable and memorable slogans that include brand names and aren’t set to music. So there’s no perfect formula for creating slogans that will work for every business.

But if you can come up with a short, direct, and creative tagline that works for your business, the tips above might be able to help you make that slogan successful.

write a great tagline

Pepsi Sign photo via Shutterstock, graphic by M2 On Hold

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Annie Pilon - Staff Writer

Annie Pilon Annie Pilon is a Senior Staff Writer for Small Business Trends, covering entrepreneur profiles, interviews, feature stories, community news and in-depth, expert-based guides. When she’s not writing she can be found on her personal blog Wattlebird, and exploring all that her home state of Michigan has to offer.

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4 Reactions

  1. The icons or slogans of trademarks we know of today is because of their products and it did take them many years to reach that level, eg: Mcdonals, coke, Mercedes benz and so on. As today it can make you or break you even if your product is great because it is the advertising and how attractive your logo is as in imprints into people’s minds. Trial and error on your brand logos and slogans until it clicks with people “it might take a few months or many years to get it right”

  2. Great article. Thank you for all the information. I’m curious about the picture with Pepsi’s older slogan: Delicious-Healthful. Obviously soda is not healthy, yet they use that for their slogan. I know that there are very specific guidelines in terms of how you can use words on food labels, but does a slogan have to follow any guidelines or can you use any words that you want?

  3. Slogans are great examples of memes which need to sticky -coherent and easily copy able

    Really good article -thank you

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