At a glance, catchy slogans seem to be the work of magic (or a really, really good ad agency that charges astronomical amounts per hour).
After all, how do you come up with something as iconic as ‘I’m lovin’ it’, ‘Finger lickin’ good’, or ‘Just do it’?
Lucky for you, there’s actually a formula for brand slogans that catch the attention of your target market, help you build brand awareness, and ultimately sell more.
We’ll talk you through what a business slogan actually is, provide you with some catchy slogan examples to get your creative juices flowing and show you how to create company slogans that are out of this world.
What is a slogan?
Slogans are short and striking phrases used in marketing and advertising.
They are meant to be memorable and catch the attention of the target market. Ideally, a successful slogan summarizes what’s so great about the advertised product or deal, and helps the customer remember the product in the future – or when they see it on the store shelf.
A good slogan helps to build brand recognition and can give a clear competitive advantage. Looking back at advertising history, a marketing campaign’s success could depend heavily on whether the public was able to remember the company slogans or not.
While a slogan can be just some catchy words thrown together, the best brand slogans also have a deeper purpose. They serve as a motto of a marketing campaign or a brand, aiming to convey exactly what makes the product or brand unique and special.
A catchy slogan supports and completes visual branding elements such as logos, letterheads, and brand books, and helps the audience to truly hear and understand the core message of the brand or ad campaign.
Brand slogans vs. taglines
Catchy slogan, catchy tagline, is there really much difference between the two?
It’s easy to get the two confused with each other, given that they both serve to summarize what a brand or an ad campaign is all about.
On the other hand, taglines are more lighthearted than a company slogan and aim to make the customers think of the brand when they see or hear it.
Take MasterCard, for example. Their slogan has been around since 1997:
‘There are some things money can’t buy. For everything else, there’s MasterCard.’
The original TV commercial told the story of a father and son who went to see a baseball game and enjoyed hot dogs and drinks. But the focus of the ad was on the conversation between the two that was deemed as something that money couldn’t buy – priceless, in other words.
It’s no coincidence that nowadays, ‘Priceless’ is widely considered to be the tagline of the company.
It still embodies the brand values and mission of the brand but conveys it in far fewer words than the slogan itself.
More often than not, it’s only bigger companies and brands that need to have both a tagline and a slogan in their branding and marketing arsenal.
For most small businesses, coming up with a catchy slogan is usually enough to run a successful advertising campaign.
Great slogan characteristics
So, what makes a company’s slogan truly famous, rather than a catchy phrase that has an expiration date?
While the perfect slogan for your business might be different from that of your competitor’s, popular slogans share a set of characteristics. In general, they:
- Are memorable. A memorable slogan helps to increase the overall brand recall. Plus, the easier your slogan is to remember, the easier it will stick with people. When you think of McDonald’s, or their signature jingle, you’re automatically thinking of their slogan (I’m lovin’ it).
- Succeed in differentiation. An effective slogan plays with what makes your company different from the others. Is your cleaning service the most affordable on the market? Make sure you include it in your slogan and make it reflect your unique selling point.
- Have brevity, clarity, and power. A catchy slogan isn’t just all fun and games – it also expresses in a powerful, yet clear and concise way the inner workings of your brand.
- Show the audience a key benefit of the brand or product. Great slogans don’t just sell the product, they focus on telling the audience how they benefit from making the purchase. Instead of focusing on what you do (maybe you run a car cleaning service), focus on the service’s benefits (wax included with all washes, let someone else do the dirty work, and so on).
- Are catchy. The best slogans are catchy – but that doesn’t mean your slogan has to sound like a nursery rhyme. Usually, a creative slogan that has some wordplay in it becomes catchy almost accidentally.
- Target a specific audience. As with many other marketing tools, your slogan shouldn’t try to please everyone. Focus on your target audience, and create a famous slogan just for your niche.
- Are positive and upbeat. The most famous company slogans rely on positivity, and so should you. Your slogan should excite potential customers to give your product or service a go. After all, don’t you too just crave chicken after hearing that KFC is ‘Finger lickin’ good’?
10 memorable slogan examples for small businesses
If you’re looking for inspiration for your new slogan, your search is over.
The following slogans are bound to make you look at your business in a new light, and come up with new ways to address your uniqueness – in a catchy way.
1. Eat Your Greens – Groceries by day. Restaurant by night.
In this day and age, consumers are more and more concerned about what they eat and where their food comes from.
It’s no wonder that this Leeds-based restaurant and greengrocer made their mission crystal clear to all customers in both their business name and their company slogan.
Not only does Eat Your Greens’ slogan succeed in being upbeat and catchy, but it also caters to a particular target audience and makes it clear what makes the business unique from other local restaurants and greengrocers.
By addressing the two niches that the brand covers (serving food at night, and operating as a grocery store during the day) in its slogan, the business is able to catch the attention of two different groups of people – essentially widening their reach, and increasing their bottom line.
2. University of Stirling – Be The Difference
When it comes to slogans of educational institutions, you’re treading on a fine line between inspirational and downright abstract.
The Scottish small-town university strikes the balance perfectly. Their slogan embodies the mission of any university (to make a difference in a person’s life by providing them with an education), but almost directly addresses the reader.
This slogan makes the reader (presumably the potential university student or hopeful candidate) the active participant – the student can ‘be the difference’ by attending this school.
By directly addressing the reader and making a bold claim simultaneously the slogan sounds confident and aspirational, all the while remaining very down to earth, easy to understand, and remember.
3. RushMyPrints – Your Same Day Printing Experts
Not all slogans need to win commercial awards – sometimes, they just need to get the point across.
Like this print shop, you too can make your customers aware of what makes you unique by stating it in your slogan.
RushMyPrints’s slogan has no ambiguity in its message: it wants to communicate to the readers that this is a print store that offers expert same-day printing services.
By being precise and to the point in your slogan you eliminate the chance of being misunderstood or coming across as too cryptic.
Because, let’s face it – if you’re in a rush to get that parcel return label printed out, you won’t have time to decipher a complicated slogan.
4. Purrple Cat Café – Glasgow’s First Cat Cafe
Sometimes, especially if you’re only starting and your business is new, you might not have a long list of things that make you special.
In some cases, you might just have got there first.
That was the case with this Glaswegian cat cafe, and they’re not shy to make you aware of it in their slogan.
The use of superlatives (being the best, first, strongest, or most anything) is very common in the world of marketing and slogans, and when they are true, they work wonders for brand recognition.
Just don’t make things up – your audience won’t appreciate your dishonesty.
5. The Pet Loss Center – Giving Families The Best In Pet Aftercare
Some of the best slogans address the pain points that their audiences face and offer solutions.
That’s the case with this funeral center that caters exclusively to family pets.
Operating in a field that requires sensitivity and compassion, the brand is able to communicate the benefit they can bring to their mourning customers in their slogan.
The business also uses superlatives to emphasize the level of care their services come with (nothing short of ‘the best’). The slogan also takes into account that pets are often considered as part of the family, and losing one has an impact not just on the owner, but on the whole family.
By addressing the wider circle of mourners, the brand is able to show that they care about their customers and that they know the effect that losing a pet can have on the family as a whole.
6. Dallas Zoo – Amazing Is In Our Nature
The reason we love Dallas Zoo’s slogan is mostly down to the clever wordplay that makes the slogan memorable and catchy.
This is a slogan that’s a good example of how to bring your field of business and what you do into your slogan in a discreet yet customer-friendly way.
It’s clear that a zoo has a lot to do with nature education and fantastical tropical animals. Dallas Zoo takes its two main selling points (nature and amazing animals) and combines them in a short, yet sweet way.
7. Pressed – Your Partner for Good
When thinking about juices and smoothies, you’re probably thinking of the health benefits that are often synonymous with these kinds of products.
The juice and smoothie company Pressed (indicating the cold-pressed juices the brand serves) leverages this existing connotation in its slogan.
Through the reassuring and friendly tone, the slogan almost taps the unsure customer on the back by telling them that this brand is going to support you in your healthy and good choices, no matter what.
Like many other great slogans, Pressed makes do with wordplay and the double meaning of the phrase ‘for good’. Usually, ‘for good’ is more commonly used to indicate a time period that lasts forever, but here it’s also used to reference the good nature of the brand’s products and their benefits to the customer.
Who wouldn’t want a partner that’s looking out for them?
8. Henderson’s Relish – Strong and Northern
There’s no shame in being proud of your origins, and making them part of your branding and slogan.
Henderson’s Relish demonstrates this in their snappy, short, and sweet slogan that cuts straight to the chase.
Offering up two of the main brand’s main selling points (the fact that the relish is strong, and it’s made in the north) helps potential customers see what makes the product different from other relishes on the market.
And by keeping the slogan a similar length to the brand name, it’s not just easy to fit on various designs, but it creates an easy-to-remember juxtaposition between the brand name and its slogan.
The choice of the adjective used in the slogan (‘strong’) is not just descriptive of the product but also speaks in more detail about the brand’s overall identity and its values.
9. Noe Valley Auto Works Inc. – Your import car is not foreign to us.
Here’s another one for the pun lovers.
Noe Valley’s car repair store specializes in import car repairs. How do we know? Because, unlike many other mechanics, Noe Valley won’t send you back empty-handed, telling you that your European car might as well be Martian.
Not only does this slogan take you on a journey, but it also focuses on pre-emptying the customer’s potential worries.
It also cleverly sells the repair shop’s expertise (import car repairs) without blatantly stating it upfront.
10. Little Italy Pizza – From our family to yours
What better way to feel connected to your customers than addressing them in your slogan?
Playing on cultural notions, this NYC pizza joint has been around for a while, and for a good reason.
It’s evident already from their slogan, that the customer entering the restaurant can expect a distinct atmosphere that’s only present in family-run establishments.
The slogan also indicates that Little Italy Pizza is a place to come and share a meal with your family, meaning that the food should be enjoyed together with your loved ones – a stark contrast to many fast-food and on-the-go places present in the metropolitan.
Lastly, using the ‘from X to Y’ structure in their slogan, the brand is able to mimic an almost greeting card-like feel in their slogan, wishing their potential customers well prior to entering the restaurant itself.
How to create a slogan?
Feeling inspired to kick off a brand new marketing campaign with the next famous slogan?
Hold your horses – there’s a couple of things you need to take care of before you can show off your new slogan to the world.
Decide what you want to say
Like with all things in business, you need to have a plan of action before you start throwing good slogans around.
Start your slogan creation process by writing down your vision of what and for whom you want to be speaking.
Think about what makes your brand unique and what differentiates you from your competitors. Are you offering the best service? Or do you locally source all your materials? Or maybe you have the fastest shipping?
Once you can describe your uniqueness or niche in a few words, it’s time to think about your ideal buyer and overall target market.
Who are you trying to reach and why? And what do you want to tell them, and have them remember you by?
Keep in mind that you should be highlighting the benefits of your product or service, not the features. That means that if you run a sports nutrition store, rather than going on and on about what’s in a protein shake, tell the buyer how they can benefit from using it.
Maybe your formula keeps hunger at bay for longer, or maybe it tastes extraordinarily good. Whatever it might be, focus on your ideal buyer and what they get out from doing business with you.
And reflect the benefits of your target market in your slogan, too.
Choose the type of the slogan
Believe it or not, but there are plenty of different types of slogans to choose from. Some cater more towards increasing your bottom line, while some simply aim to describe what’s in the core of the business.
Advertising slogans are perhaps the most common slogans around. If you go to an ad agency and ask them to create an ad campaign for your business, you’re most likely going to get an advertising slogan to accompany your marketing message. For example, ‘America Runs on Dunkin’ by Dunkin Donuts is a good example of a slogan that’s clearly aimed towards advertising purposes.
Business slogans, on the other hand, can be more aspirational and less sales-y. They aim to communicate the company’s vision and main USPs with clarity. The computer hardware company IBM’s slogan ‘Think’ is a good example of a strong business slogan.
Creative slogans emphasize the creative aspect of catchy taglines and slogans. They can also work wonders in advertising but are usually less promotional. Creative slogans focus on wordplay and aim to think outside the box. We all know the chocolate bar in question when we hear someone say ‘You’re not you when you’re hungry’, right?
Descriptive slogans might seem a bit boring next to creative and advertising slogans, but they play an important role in everyday business. As the name suggests, a descriptive slogan describes clearly and concisely what the brand is all about. These kinds of slogans don’t hide behind fancy word form, but instead, state the brand’s USPs upfront. Slogans along the lines of ‘Best car care in Seattle since 1978’ would fall under descriptive slogans.
Emotive slogans aim to make you feel something. De Beers’ ‘A diamond is forever’ not only works as a stand-alone marketing asset but together with the rest of the campaign visuals makes its target audience feel attached to the story the slogan is telling.
Persuasive slogans try to persuade potential buyers to trust the brand and make a purchase off the bat. They can combine different tactics from other types of slogans (they can be creative, geared towards advertising, or pull your heartstrings), but they try their best to be as persuasive as possible.
Once you’ve narrowed down what you want to say, who you want to be speaking to, and what kind of slogan fits your business the best, it’s time to get creative.
Brainstorming a slogan can feel difficult, but start by dotting down various words that reflect your brand’s mission. They can be adjectives (descriptive words) or nouns, or even verbs – the world is your oyster.
A window cleaning company’s word cloud could include adjectives like clean, sparkly, shiny, reflective, professional, affordable, and timely. Try to not limit yourself – you should be jotting down every word that comes to mind at this stage.
Pro tip – To get an idea of how your competitors describe themselves, make a list of all the words they are using to describe what they do. You might find a pattern or identify a corner of the market that nobody’s addressing but that suits your business or your niche.
Once you have some ideas about the kind of slogan you want to create, it’s time to hit the ground running.
Use surveys or social network groups to get input and feedback on the fruits of your brainstorming session. You can talk to friends and family, and even hit up that good neighbor down the road to get external opinions about your new slogan.
Ask people if they understand what your slogan means and whether it catches their attention. Don’t forget to also collect the negative feedback – it’s your best place of learning.
If you already have an existing customer base, don’t be afraid to create short surveys and polls to get them to weigh in, too. Chances are that they already have a good idea of what your brand sounds like and what it represents.
Use slogan generator
If you’re struggling with writer’s block, we have a shortcut for you – simply use a slogan generator.
All you need to do is feed the AI-powered tool some keywords that you have come up with and the AI will do the rest.
Rather than coming up with a handful of slogans that are all unique, catchy, and communicate your niche to your audience, Zyro’s slogan generator does the heavy lifting instead.
Once you’ve fed the AI the keywords, all that’s left is to pick the slogan you like the most. Or, if you’re struggling to make up your mind, choose a handful and run a poll on social media to determine which one the crowds love the most.
The best part is that the slogan generator is completely free to use, and there’s no limit in how many slogans you can generate, either.
Create a slogan that turns heads
When it comes to the best slogans of all time, they all have a few things in common.
They are catchy, concise, clear, and communicate what makes the company unique and what their main USP is.
Most importantly, a great slogan evokes positive feelings, even if it’s geared towards a more business environment.
Whether you come up with your own slogan or use a slogan generator for inspiration, make sure yours breaks through the noise.