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The other morning, I was standing in front of the kitchen window, letting my skin bathe in the warmth of the sun. I was making coffee and the smell of the freshly ground beans filled the air.
I smiled to myself and thought, "this is the best part of waking up."
And then I heard an echo in my head in a sing-song tune, "is Folgers in your cup".
It popped into my mind so clearly, as if it were playing on a commercial nearby.
And that's exactly where it comes from, an ad campaign in the 90s by Folgers Coffee that played this memorable slogan to a catchy tune.
The catchy slogan in its entirety is, "The best part of waking up is Folgers in your cup."
And though I've never purchased Folgers Coffee and it has been over 20 years since I've seen any of their commercials, it is still emblazoned into my memory. Any time I think about how enjoyable it is to drink coffee in the morning, I think of Folgers Coffee.
That is the power of a catchy slogan.
What is a slogan?
A slogan is a group of words that clearly advertise a brand or company's mission, its core values, and what it has to offer. In a way, a successful slogan can serve as both a mini-mission statement as well as advertising.
A company slogan is easier to remember than a brand or business name, product, or service and, when done well, can reach potential customers even when you're not actively advertising.
An effective slogan raises brand awareness and keeps your company top-of-mind when consumers are making a purchasing decision.
What makes a great slogan?
The perfect slogan is kind of like a unicorn. You know they exist and you know one when you see one, but everything else about it is a little like magic.
It's that magic that makes the process of coming up with a good slogan a lot of fun.
Coming up with slogan ideas can be a lot of fun as long as you keep these key points in mind.
1. It's easy to remember
One of the biggest mistakes businesses make when creating their company slogan is they make it a little too catchy. So catchy that it's difficult to remember and it's not totally clear what they're advertising, to begin with.
When creating your new slogan, make sure that it is easy to remember. Use words that are easy to pronounce. Make a statement that the customer can relate to. And if you do make it a catchy phrase, be sure that it's easy to say.
Just like Folgers Coffee somehow made its way into my morning routine simply by making a catchy phrase about morning routines, you too can create a successful slogan that your potential customers will remember even when you're not around.
2. It mentions the key benefit
A successful slogan does not boast what the company wants its customers to know about them. Instead, it boasts how the product or service can improve the lives of their potential customers.
Think about it.
Your target audience doesn't care about you, your company, or your corporate identity. Even if they knew these things, and liked them, they wouldn't necessarily be compelled to buy from you.
Unless you associate your brand with the way that it can benefit the consumer.
The easiest way to do this is to include a key detail about how the customer will benefit from purchasing your product or service, rather than simply referencing the product itself.
3. It makes the brand stand out
If your company offers something that your competitors don't, this is the time to mention it. Your brand slogan should clearly articulate how your brand stands out and why it's different than other brands. Do you use only recycled materials? Are your products vegan friendly? Do you offer exceptional support? Make sure that your target audience knows what to expect from you as you create your brand slogan.
4. It makes you feel good
Words that invoke positive emotions have a longer-lasting effect than those that invoke negative emotions. As you craft your business slogan, keep it light and positive.
Slogan vs. Tagline
Truthfully, slogans and taglines are pretty similar. They both serve as a concise mission statement, build brand awareness, and are used for advertising. But there are a few nuances that differentiate the two.
Taglines are generally shorter than slogans and are used in advertising, often alongside the company logo. A slogan, on the other hand, can be used specifically for a marketing campaign or a specific product.
10 catchy business slogans and taglines that have stood the test of time
- Nike‘s Marketing Slogan: Just Do It was inspired by a heinous criminal
- Kit Kat‘s Marketing slogan – Have a break, have a Kit Kat was coined to sell chocolate to the workforce
- California Milk Processor Board’s Marketing Slogan – Got Milk? was popularized by Michael Bay (yes, THAT Michael Bay)
- M&M’s Marketing slogan – Melts in your mouth, not in your hand is the world’s favorite slogan
- De Beers – A Diamond is forever was born in a moment of desperation
- Avis – We Try Harder – was inspired by being the number one loser
- Wheaties – Breakfast of Champions had a hold on 90% of NBA players
- L’oreal – Because you’re worth it was pivotal in gender equality
- Las Vegas Conventions And Visitor’s Authority – What Happens Here, Stays Here was a calculated move in the city of gamblers
- Gillette – The Best a Man Can Get fixed nearly a century of brand confusion
10 catchy business slogans and taglines that have stood the test of time
Some of the most famous advertising slogans have been around for decades, many of which have shaped American history (ie Apple products and their push to 'think differently').
The good thing is that you don't have to be a famous brand to make a good slogan.
Here are some of the most famous advertising slogans of all time to help spark your creativity.
1. Nike's Marketing Slogan: Just Do It was inspired by a heinous criminal
“Just Do It” challenges athletes to rise to the occasion in the face of overwhelming adversity.
This motivational slogan has rather grim origins – it was inspired by the last words of Utah killer Gary Gilmore, who said “let’s do this” as he faced a firing squad.
The slogan has been used for almost 30 years and is attributed to helping Nike triumph over Reebok in the ‘Sneaker War’ of the ’80s.
Though the original ad campaign ran in the ‘80s, it still goes strong today and is often paired with Nike’s identity of the brave and the rebellious
- like Colin Kaepernick.
2. Kit Kat's Marketing slogan – Have a break, have a Kit Kat was coined to sell chocolate to the workforce
Agency: JWT Orland
Kit Kat was conceptualized in 1937 as a chocolate bar that men could take to the workplace and enjoy during break times.
From the get-go, Kit Kat ads used the word “Break” to signify both break time and breaking a finger off the Kit Kat bar… but it wasn’t until 1957 that the iconic slogan was coined.
In spite of losing the iconic slogan after a brief legal battle in 2004, Kit Kat recently reclaimed the phrase and proudly uses the same great slogan it had nearly 60 years ago.
3. California Milk Processor Board's Marketing Slogan – Got Milk? was popularized by Michael Bay (yes, THAT Michael Bay)
Agency: Goodby Silverstein & Partners
“Got Milk” began as a tagline from a series of ads featuring people struggling uncomfortably after having dry or sticky treats without any milk to wash it down.
The slogan almost didn’t make the cut. Staff at the ad agency deemed it “lazy” and “grammatically incorrect”. The first run of award-winning ads with this slogan was directed by Michael Bay.
A year after the memorable slogan was introduced, a total of 2.8 billion gallons of milk were sold in the California region.
4. M&M's Marketing slogan – Melts in your mouth, not in your hand is the world’s favourite slogan
Agency: Ted Bates
This slogan debuted in 1954 with Peanut M&Ms. It was coined to set their candies apart from its competitors, whose candies would leave unpleasant sticky messes on consumers’ fingers.
A survey by researchers from Texas Tech University recently found that M&M’s slogan was the most well-liked slogan in the history of advertising.
5. De Beers – A Diamond is forever was born in a moment of desperation
Agency: N.W. Ayer
This famous slogan was coined in a moment of desperation after Frances Gerety found that she had forgotten to include a signature line in her series of advertisements for De Beers.
The slogan worked. After just two years, sales of diamonds in the United States rose by 55%, and diamond engagement rings had become a cultural mainstay. This skyrocketed the value of diamonds, alongside the perceived scarcity created by the industry.
“A Diamond Is Forever" was named Slogan Of The Century by Advertising Age in 1999 - two weeks before its copywriter died at the age of 83.
6. Avis – We Try Harder - was inspired by being the number one loser
Agency: Doyle Dane Bernbach
In 1962, Avis fully embraced its position as America’s 2nd largest car rental company with the slogan “We Try Harder”.
In the following year, the campaign helped the company go from losing $3.2m to turning a profit of $1.2m for the first time in over 13 years.
After five decades, Avis finally retired the tagline in favor of “It’s Your Space”.
7. Wheaties – Breakfast of Champions had a hold on 90% of NBA players
Since 1933, Wheaties has featured pictures of famous athletes on its cereal boxes with the slogan “Breakfast Of Champions”.
The box designs and slogan made the brand synonymous with professional sports - countless athletes wanted to be identified as “Champions”.
In the 1939 All-Star NBA game, 46 of the 51 players endorsed Wheaties.
8. L’oreal – Because you’re worth it was pivotal in gender equality
Agency: McCann Erickson
L’Oreal’s slogan began as “Because I’m Worth It”, and was the first ever advertising slogan written from a woman’s perspective.
The slogan evolved into “Because You’re Worth It” after market research showed some women found the original line too boastful for their tastes.
It further evolved in 2009 into “Because we’re worth it”, following an effort to brand L’Oreal as a lifestyle and philosophy for empowered women.
9. Las Vegas Conventions And Visitor’s Authority – What Happens Here, Stays Here was a calculated move in the city of gamblers
Agency: R&R Partners
A year’s worth of research by the Las Vegas Conventions And Visitor’s Authority found the emotional bond between Las Vegas and it’s customers was freedom - particularly the freedom to do what they couldn’t have done at home.
“What Happens Here, Stays Here” was coined to brand Las Vegas as a place people could go wild without consequence.
Every $1 spent on advertising campaigns with this slogan has generated $26 in returns for the city.
10. Gillette – The Best a Man Can Get fixed nearly a century of brand confusion
In its early years, Gillette’s advertising efforts fumbled between promoting the brand’s masculinity and the quality of its products.
“The Best a Man Can Get” combined the two facets into one and revitalized the brand.
The slogan, translated into 14 languages, was widely used for over a decade and allowed Gillette to dominate the shaving industry.
Words play an important role
Words have more power than anyone can imagine and if used in the right way, in the right context, any brand could easily persuade potential customers to give their product a try. A strong slogan and message can help your brand stay at the top of the minds when come across it by chance. That is brand recognition that can take even the biggest brands, years to master.
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