The brand slogan should summarize its positioning and give the customers a quick glimpse into what your brand stands for.

Besides summarizing the brand positioning a great slogan will also differentiate your brand from competition. Meaningless ones accomplish nothing, or, even worse, favor the competition.

Unfortunately more and more brands choose fancy words that have no effect on brand building. Even strong brands such as Coca Cola fall into the trap of meaningless slogans: the current “Open Happiness” does nothing to differentiate the brand. The original “The Real Thing” is much more meaningful.

An effective tagline:

  • Helps the brand differentiate from competition by owning a distinctive word in the mind of the consumer. If you want the best driving experience you buy a BMW (The Ultimate Driving Machine). If you want the best pizza you’ll order it from Papa John’s (Better ingredients. Better pizza).
  • Repositions the competition as inferior. The new Mercedes-Benz slogan does just that: people who want the best choose a Mercedes and not a Lexus.
  • Expresses the brand promise in a straightforward manner. Too many slogans make use of generic words that have nothing to do with the brand message.  Apple’s “Think different” is by far a better choice than Microsoft’s “Where do you want to go today”. The newest Toyota slogan “Let’s go places” is another bad example.
  • Uses enough words to generate emotions. The temptation today is to use a single word taglines: Acura (Advance); Goodyear (Get There); Volkswagen (Das Auto). The logic is the shorter the slogan, the easier it is to remember. However, the primary ingredient that makes people remember a slogan is emotions. So make sure you use enough words to generate emotional connections to your brand.
  • Complements the target audience. Mercedes-Benz’s current slogan “The Best or Nothing” is a perfect example. Who doesn’t want to be considered the best?
  • Preserves its meaning in different languages. This is very important for companies that plan to expand internationally.

Choosing the brand slogan is a critical step to successful brand building. Make sure you think about your competition and your brand promise when selecting the right one.