“Just do it.”
“What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas.”
Familiar with these slogans? Chances are they occasionally pop up in your head with no context or reason. Maybe you even find yourself making references to them, or occasionally quoting them to friends.
That’s the power of slogans: They stick in people’s minds and, like your logo, become an iconic feature of your brand. A great slogan spreads like wildfire and is a powerful tool for building brand recognition.
While not every successful business has a logo slogan, developing a catchy, memorable slogan is an effective way to market your brand.
A logo slogan—also known as a tagline—is a catchphrase that communicates a message about your brand.
The purpose of a logo slogan is to convey your company’s mission in a way that audiences will remember and identify. In doing so, a slogan helps you spread the word about your products and services and grow your brand’s recognition.
Slogans can take the form of a clear description of your company’s product or service, or a snappy phrase that evokes emotion in your audience.
For some businesses, a slogan is an opportunity to explain a product. Take M&M’s memorable catchphrase, “Melts in your mouth, not in your hand.”
In contrast, the McDonald’s slogan—“I’m lovin’ it”—conveys emotion. It communicates the way the public feels when they eat at the food chain.
Still, other companies use slogans for different purposes. Walgreens recently abandoned its emotive slogan—“The corner of happy and healthy”—in favor of a slogan that reaffirms its credibility. Its current slogan, “Trusted since 1901,” portrays the brand as dependable, steady, and reliable.
The bottom line—however you choose to use your slogan—is to pick a snappy catchphrase that tells your audience something important and defining about your brand.
A logo slogan has immense power to boost your marketing strategy if implemented correctly. Here are some tips to guide you as you think of your slogan:
For many companies, a logo slogan functions as a way to describe your product or service. This is particularly true of companies that don’t yet have brand recognition, such as small businesses and up-and-coming startups.
A family-owned restaurant, for example, might benefit from a simple descriptive slogan, like “home-cooked Mediterranean food.” The purpose of such a slogan is to entice the public by explaining what the restaurant offers. In this case, a straightforward description of the food might be more attractive to a hungry audience than a vague, albeit more emotive, catchphrase.
Subway’s “Eat Fresh” is simultaneously descriptive and emotive; not only does it describe what the sandwich chain offers, but it also appeals to its audience by invoking fresh food and healthy living.
Other slogans are purely emotive. Bank of America’s slogan, “Life’s better when we’re connected,” connotes several attributes of the bank: Digital connectivity, strong customer relationships, and a feeling of community and togetherness. Combined, these attributes turn what might otherwise seem a distant corporate entity into a friendly and accessible business.
L’Oréal Paris’s classic logo “Because you’re worth it” also evokes a powerful emotional response in its audience. Buying L’Oréal, the message implies, is empowering, and women are worthy of treating themselves to their beauty products.
The best slogans are easy to remember; they have a particular ring and flow, and they’re typically no longer than four or five words.
Short logos, like General Electric’s “Imagination at work,” are memorable and concise.
Other logos are snappy because they use rhyme, repetition, or wordplay:
“Maybe she’s born with it. Maybe it’s Maybelline” highlights the play between the words “maybe” and “Maybelline” to emphasize the company’s brand name.
Bounty’s slogan, “The Quicker Picker Upper” employs rhyme and playful language to make their paper towel brand stand out.
Dollar Shave Club’s “Shave time. Shave money” uses both puns and repetition to describe their business while explaining its money saving benefits.
When choosing a slogan, half the work is creating it; the other half is figuring out how to represent that slogan on your logo.
You’ll want your company name and your logo slogan in different fonts in order to differentiate them from one another. However, you need to be careful about which fonts you pair together. If you choose fonts that are too busy or that otherwise clash, your logo will appear convoluted and difficult to read.
When pairing fonts, the golden rule is to put contrasting fonts together. Try pairing a serif font with a sans serif. Also, mix up weights and sizes to establish a hierarchy between your company name and logo slogan.
Be sure to use fonts that are clearly legible, especially if your slogan will be written in smaller letters. Feel free to use a script font for your company name, but stick to a clear, minimalist font for your slogan.
Now that you know the building blocks for creating a great logo slogan, you should also know what to avoid:
Excessive wordiness is a logo slogan’s biggest no-no. First, a long-winded, overly descriptive slogan won’t be a slogan at all; it’ll be a description. Second, such a slogan isn’t going to fit anywhere. It’s not going to look good on your website or marketing materials, and it certainly isn’t going to look good on your brand logo.
To keep your slogan concise, pare down your desired slogan to only the most important key words. Check for places where you use redundant word choice or where you can replace passive with active voice.
While slogans are useful, you should avoid creating a slogan just for the sake of having one.
A slogan needs to have a purpose. If your slogan is meaningless, irrelevant, or simply doesn’t make sense, it’ll only be a blight on your brand.
Time Warner Cable’s slogan “Enjoy better” consists of weak, nondescript words that communicate nothing about the company’s brand. Not only that, but the phrase “enjoy better” hardly even makes sense. What are we supposed to enjoy? And in what way is it supposed to be better?
As effective as a slogan is, you might not need one if you already have a powerful branding strategy, or if you simply can’t invest the time and resources on a tagline. Plenty of famous brands, including Starbucks, Google, and Uber, have risen to success without using a tagline.
Keep in mind that you can also create slogans for your business without including them in your logo design. Even if your slogan doesn’t mesh visually with your logo design, you still benefit from using the slogan on your website pages, business cards, product packaging, and more.
If you do decide to go with a logo slogan, keep in mind the logo slogan best practices.
– Your slogan needs a purpose. It can describe your business, evoke emotion, or both.
– Your slogan needs to be snappy. Keep it pithy, and use rhetorical devices like rhyme, repetition, and wordplay to make it sharp and memorable.
Once you choose the right slogan, decide how you’re going to incorporate it into your brand. Use your slogan on website pages and marketing materials, and try embedding it into your logo design to communicate even more meaning with your logo.