Slogan vs. tagline – how do you decide which option your company needs?
Slogans and taglines are standard tools in branding and marketing, often used alongside other brand assets to draw attention to your company, like your name and logo.
Choosing a tagline or slogan for your business can be an excellent way to improve your chances of sticking in the minds of your intended audience and making an emotional connection.
These valuable tools offer insight into your company’s personality and provide more information about what you do or sell.
Today, we’ll look closely at taglines and slogans, exploring exactly how they work and what you might need for your brand.
What is a slogan? An introduction
The first step in understanding the slogan vs. tagline debate is defining what a “slogan” actually is. A slogan is an attention-grabbing statement designed to grab your audience’s attention and promote your services or products.
Slogans can highlight the mission or vision of your brand and work alongside your company name and brand personality to differentiate you from your competition.
One of the key differences between a slogan and tagline is how slogans are typically less long-lasting than taglines. Slogans can focus on specific marketing campaigns and products and evolve over time. They often use a combination of description and persuasion to connect with customers.
Slogans can be:
- Consumer-specific: Looking at the type of consumer using the product.
- Category-specific: Singling out a product category.
- Use-case specific: Showing customers how they can use the product or service.
- Product-specific: Highlighting a kind of product.
What are slogans used for?
In the battle of the slogan vs. tagline, a slogan is a short-term way to bring attention to a specific campaign, use-case, or product.
Slogans are about making an impact, defining your brand offer, and solidifying your presence in the mind of your target audience. A good slogan, usually made up of a few words or a short sentence, can send the most important message: what your business is about and what it can do for customers.
Certain slogans can convey your promise to your audience, like “The Happiest Place on Earth” – Disneyland’s slogan. They can also highlight your brand’s changing identity, such is the case with Old Spice: “If your grandfather hadn’t worn it, you wouldn’t exist.”
Great slogans make your company more memorable and convey positive feelings about your brand. They create a relationship between brands and customers and use emotion to capture the benefits of what a product or service can offer.
Examples of slogans
There are plenty of examples of excellent slogans out there. Here are just a few of the most famous slogans you may be familiar with:
- De Beers: A diamond is forever – 90% of American consumers can still identify De Beers by this slogan, 73 years after it was introduced.
- Mastercard: There are some things money can’t buy; for everything else, there’s Mastercard. This campaign has captured the attention of customers in over 200 countries.
- BMW: The ultimate driving machine. This slogan aimed to capture the attention of Americans who wanted a car they could feel proud of.
- Allstate: You’re in good hands: Designed to make consumers feel safe, this slogan is all about appealing to families and making them feel more secure.
- Staples: That was easy. Created by one of the biggest office supply companies in the world, Staples used their slogan to highlight its USP.
What is a tagline?
A tagline might seem like the same thing as a slogan at first, but it’s actually a lot more long-term. Taglines are intended to relay the entire brand’s value similarly to a logo or a company name. These lines are often used for years at a time and help differentiate brands.
In the debate of slogan vs. tagline, taglines are descriptive and engaging, telling you more about the nature of a company without mentioning specific products.
Most commonly, taglines are:
- Superlative: They position the company as being the best for your needs.
- Imperative: They demand a specific action or include a verb.
- Provocative: They pose important questions to customers.
- Specific: They reveal the company’s identity creatively.
- Descriptive: They highlight the promise of the brand.
What are taglines used for?
Taglines are used to give further depth and detail to a brand’s identity.
They’re a way of pulling more attention to your company and telling your audience what your business can offer without being overly obvious. While slogans are often short-term solutions introduced with a specific product focus, taglines are more extensive.
Taglines can differentiate your brand from others by instantly introducing what unique feature sets you apart from your competitors. You can reinforce your brand’s core values and increase brand recognition with the right tagline.
In certain cases, brand slogans can evolve to become taglines over time, usually when the company sticks with a specific idea for longer than anticipated, especially if the slogan catches on.
Examples of taglines
Just like with slogans, there are plenty of taglines out there you’re likely to be familiar with. Although some of these taglines may have changed or become less common over the years, they’re still universally recognized by most customers.
- Nike – Just do it: Probably the most famous tagline in the sporting world, this phrase highlights the motivational nature of the Nike brand.
- Gillette – The best a man can get: This tagline highlights Gillette’s focus on producing the best possible product for its target audience.
- McDonald’s – I’m Lovin’ It: Playful and memorable, the McDonald’s tagline can easily apply to all of the company’s products.
- Maybelline – Maybe she’s born with it, maybe it’s Maybelline: This tagline offers an excellent insight into Maybelline’s quest to make customers feel their best.
- Red bull – Red bull gives you wings: Applying to all of the Red bull product line, this tagline addresses the company’s commitment to designing products to give customers an energy boost.
The difference between a tagline and slogan
At a glance, it’s easy to see why so many people use the terms slogan and tagline interchangeably.
After all, there needs to be a more distinct difference between a slogan and tagline. Both options add extra depth to your branding, and most include a couple of words or a phrase. However, the overall purpose and impact of slogans and taglines can be quite different.
When it comes to choosing between a tagline or slogan for your business, think about:
Slogans are designed to convey the company’s mission, while taglines address the brand’s image. A slogan is more focused on advertising, while taglines are more intended for public relations and raising awareness about your company.
Taglines rarely tell your customers what your company does, but they provide insight into your vision.
Both slogans and taglines are generally easy to read and quick. However, slogans can often be a little longer than taglines. Taglines typically keep things as short as possible because they can sometimes be placed within the brand logo.
Slogans are intended for a single product or campaign in most cases. While some slogans can last a lot longer, taglines are generally chosen to become the face of the brand for as long as possible.
The way taglines and slogans are developed can also differ. Slogans usually evolve when companies run a marketing campaign, while taglines are designed early in branding.
Do you need a slogan or tagline?
The debate of slogan vs. tagline can take time to understand. However, by diving a little deeper into the meaning behind both of these tools, you can start to see how they serve different purposes.
Taglines and slogans are great for connecting with your target audience and accelerating growth for your company. Of course, like any branding asset, it’s essential to choose your slogans and taglines carefully.
Make sure you know exactly what message you’re sending before you publish your new phrase.
Fabrik: A branding agency for our times.