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Between a Slogan & a Tagline: A Case of Mistaken Identity

When it comes to creating a tagline for their brand names, many get confused.

You may think that any clever and catchy phrase can serve the purpose of attracting the right audience. You come up with a perky one-liner, place it beneath your logo and, use it as the punch-line for your next advertising campaign. You feel good.

The question is, what do you need? A slogan or a tagline?

It is common to get confused as they are identical twins from the same genre. If you want to brush up your basics on tagline and get a few tips on creating one for your business, we have an entire blog dedicated to the topic:

How to Create impressive Taglines For Your Business From Scratch.

The blog narrates the significance of a tagline, its impact on marketing and the guidelines for creating one.

Here, we shall educate you on the narrow boundary between a tagline and a slogan, in case you are contemplating on creating an impressive tagline for your business.

Both taglines and slogans could sound similar: short, punchy lines that make your brand/business look smart! Well, not exactly.

Tagline V/S Slogan: Purpose, relevance and contradictions

A tagline is that smart-sounding brief line that appears along with your logo.

It is the voice of your brand; the echo of your mission and remains constant for a long duration.

A slogan is similar in nature: It too is brief and sounds smart, but is often temporary and represents your immediate marketing or advertising goals.

It can be said that a slogan is a sub-tagline: used solely for marketing purposes and to promote the brand spirit.

A good example is that of Disneyland. Their ever-popular tagline is “The Happiest Place on Earthbut the slogans vary from Where dreams come true”, “Where the magic began or “I’m going to Disneyland”.

While taglines are the perfect statements about your brand, reflecting your brand personality and core values, slogans are more of an inspirational war-cry towards achieving a specific and immediate goal.

Taglines are more brand-oriented, closely associated with the company's logo and emphasizes brand awareness. On the other hand, slogans are promises from the brand, raising brand value and align better with your company’s growth.

Taglines are developed with an emotional bend, trying to get your customers relate to and identify with the brand’s virtues. They ensure brand identity and loyalty in the long run.

If you would like a clearer picture on both and to remember them well enough to segregate for your marketing and branding purposes, here’s a glance:


Consistent & permanent Temporary and evolving

Virtue-oriented, evokes emotion Action-oriented, evokes response

Reflects brand Identity Promotes brand value

A Statement An inspirational anthem

Effective branding Effective marketing

Nothing says it more effectively than the inimitable tagline of Nike.

The legendary phrase “Just do it” has been Nike’s tagline for more than 3 decades. It was first coined back in 1988. The phrase captures the emotions that the master sports brand desired to evoke in their customers about the brand: confidence, courage, motivation.

Nike came up with many advertisement slogans that were equally motivating, like “Dream Crazy,” “I Believe” or “Find Your Greatness”. Though they had their impact, none had the mass appeal and brand recognition that those three simple words had.

Blowing the Same Trumpet: Common characteristics of taglines and slogans

If you have read it till here, then you must be seriously interested in knowing more on these rather significant yet seemingly simple flywheels of marketing.

Well, here are the common guidelines for creating successful taglines and slogans for your business.

Keep them brief:

Keep your taglines and slogans short (and sweet!).

Taglines do not tell tales. They just trigger interest. So do slogans.

So keep them brief. Keep the words a minimum. And choose the right ones that are power-packed.

That was what Apple did when they coined their tagline Think different”. The gist of the company, its brand identity, and core value is encapsulated gracefully in those two words.

Keep them simple:

Attractive taglines do not mean you have to be elaborate. Or else, Nike wouldn’t have asked to “Just do it!”. The simpler your taglines and slogans are, the better your target audience or customers are going to recollect them.

Coin short phrases and simple expressions and you will be surprised to see how far and fast they resonate with the public. Remember, all that McDonald had to utter was I’m loving it”!

Keep them relatable:

Both your taglines and your advertisement slogans must follow an essential rule: your audience or customers must be able to identify with the virtue or emotion that you are vocalizing.

A shallow, sweet-sounding phrase with no message will backfire.

Your brand message or ‘war-cry’ must inspire and resonate with your customers.

Evoke positive emotions:

The core purpose behind branding is not to make your company look great, but make your customers feel good. They will remember you for that and will return for more!

So make them happy with your words. Motivate. Encourage. Inspire. Or just make them feel good as L’Oreal chose to: “Because you are worth it”.

And the response will be worth your effort.

Four Primary Lessons in customer Strategy to Build Your SME Up in 2021

Highlight a benefit:

As much as you evoke good emotions, take care to add in a benefit for your customer. What do they benefit from buying your product or service?

Lays said it with a punch with the tagline “No one can eat just one!”.

If you can find a core benefit of your brand over the competitors and insert it with power-packed words and evoke a positive emotion, you are well done with your tagline and slogan.

The Cross Over: When Taglines serve as Slogans

Your business doesn’t necessarily need both a tagline and a marketing slogan. Often, an effective tagline can serve the purpose of a slogan and be used in advertisement campaigns. As your business grow and cater to a wide range of customers or when you develop new range of products, you will feel the need to come up with slogans that address the new markets.

Ford Motors is one company that innovated and re-purposed its taglines into slogans for successful marketing campaigns. A natural leader who effectively leveraged advertising and marketing for its brand popularity, Ford’s changing slogans have been pivotal in its brand positioning in the ever-evolving automobile market.

In 1979, the company came up with the slogan “Built Ford Tough”, involving the Ford F-series. The slogan made the automaker’s pick-up trucks immensely popular among the common public. In the ‘80s, came the new slogan: “Have you driven a Ford lately?”, a gentle shout-out to the public. By 2008, the brand slogan was “Drive One” which later changed to “Go Further” in 2012, mirroring the company’s own decision to move ahead and further to newer frontiers. In 2018, the new tagline “Built Ford Proud” (reminiscent of the earlier “Built Ford Tough” slogan of 1979) was coined in alignment with the company’s newer ventures.

Other articulate slogans like “Everything We Do is Driven By You”, There’s A Ford In Your Future’, ‘If You Haven’t Looked At Ford Lately, Look Again’ and “Built for the Road Ahead, etc also reflected the brand’s marketing strategies over the decades and through changing trends.

Winding it up

It is this effective medley of the brand name, logo, an impressive tagline and eloquent slogans that conveys your brand message clearly to your customers or target audience. It will be your choice and decision to blend your taglines and slogans or go for distinct ones. Nevertheless, a well-articulated tagline or slogan will catapult your brand name to newer heights within a short span of time and seal your brand image and positioning in the market.

To create them with finesse is the trick. Though there are umpteen slogan-generators available online like Zyro or Shopify Slogan Maker, creating a clever and catchy phrase that truly reflects your brand image and grabs attention as well, isn’t easy.

You need to have a thorough perception of your brand and its identity, a professional acumen about brand positioning, and a way with words to bring out the true essence of your business in a short and simple phrase.

Empower your website with original, flawless and creative content.

If you would like to catch hold of a professional writer who is well-versed in the same, and who could help you create an interesting tagline or catchy slogans, get in touch with ThePendits.

We help brands to imprint unforgettable digital footprints with original, target-oriented and high-quality content online.

You’re welcome to get in touch and grab our services at +91 8448040030

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