Slogan vs. Tagline Explained

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It can be difficult for even the most seasoned marketing professionals and copywriters to develop a brand and then create effective advertising materials. Naturally, small business owners may find the whole process highly confusing. Understanding branding, marketing, taglines, and slogans would give a small business owner some of the tools needed to grow a successful business. Before I explain the difference between a slogan and tagline you need to understand the difference between branding and marketing.

What is the difference between branding and marketing?

While branding and marketing rely on each other and share the same goal, they each have specific jobs to do. Only the company colors, graphics, and logo are the same on both the branding copy and the copy found on the various marketing materials used.

Branding

Branding involves your internal operations and internal culture. It is who you are as a business, and it will cause your current customers to expect particular things from your business and to keep coming back.

It’s a strategy that includes attributes like convenience, community, or a high commitment to quality. Alternatively, the strategy can involve an ongoing commitment to fulfilling a specific need the target audience has.

When creating your brand, you need to ask yourself many questions, such as:

  • What makes you unique?
  • What are your core values?
  • What is the higher purpose of doing business beyond making money?
  • What is your vision?
  • What is your mission?
  • Who is your audience?

Marketing

Marketing is how you attract the attention of new customers in particular sectors of your target audience. Just like products will change, marketing efforts will also change and evolve as it responds to cultural and industry trends. Marketing methods come and go, but the brand remains the same.

Today’s marketing methods include both online and offline methods. Some of these methods include:

  • Print campaigns
  • Radio
  • Television
  • Mobile marketing
  • Pay per click
  • Social media
  • Content
  • SEO

Why is it important to know the difference between branding and marketing?

It all comes down to long-term conversions – sales revenue. Quite simply, not many consumers would buy from you if they do not connect to your brand. You need something that sets your company apart in the customer’s mind from the competition and builds trust and long-term loyalty.

Unless your company sells handmade products or is otherwise highly unique, there are branded competitors out there who will gain more market share than you if you don’t brand your company.

Marketing campaigns will bring in a few sales. But without a brand for them to remember your company by, those customers may not come back. They need to connect with your particular brand so they’ll remember it later. Branding sets you apart from the competition in the customer’s mind, and it builds trust and loyalty.

For a more in-depth dive into marketing and branding click here.

Tagline explanation

What is a tagline?

Taglines are short expressions, sayings, idioms, or phrases that convey a brand’s unique value. They evoke an image of the brand in a consumer’s mind.

Brand strategists write them in the beginning stage of a brand strategy at the same time the communication strategy is developed. They’re initially used as a positioning strategy when the brand wants to differentiate itself, although it may be created to convey the brand’s overarching belief.

Taglines are written to make a distinct impression and to stay in the audience’s minds. To help solidify taglines and the brands, taglines are often displayed next to the company logos on advertisements. They also generally don’t change over time, however, taglines can evolve over a long period of time, just as a brand evolves.

Sometimes a good slogan turns into a company’s new tagline, such as what happened for Apple after a period of decades and there was a need to update Apple’s brand.

Here are some examples of taglines;

  • The U.S. Marine Corps: “The few. The proud. The Marines”
  • Maybelline: “Maybe she’s born with it. Maybe it’s Maybelline”
  • State Farm: “Like a good neighbor, State Farm is there”
  • General Electric: “Imagination at work”
  • The New York Times: “All the news that’s fit to print”
  • McDonald’s: “I’m lovin’ it”
  • Dunkin’ Donuts: “America runs on Dunkin’”
  • Audi: “Advancement through technology”
  • Lay’s: “Betcha can’t eat just one”
  • Bounty: “The quicker picker upper”
  • Tesco: “Every little helps”
  • BMW: “Designed for driving pleasure”
  • California Milk Processor Board: “Got milk?”
  • L’Oreal: “Because you’re worth it”
  • Apple: “Think different”
  • Nike: “Just do it”
Slogan explanation

What is a slogan?

Slogans are memorable catchphrases that reflect the overall theme of a marketing campaign. They help consumers remember the marketing campaign’s key ideas, which involve features, benefits, broader ideas, differences, and emotions.

Marketing teams develop slogans during a marketing campaign’s creative stages. Slogans change whenever the campaign changes. This flexibility allows a brand to see which approaches work best with the brand’s audience and because slogans go with temporary campaigns, they are deployed on a more limited scale than taglines are.

Slogans can be created to promote political or religious beliefs, not just for marketing a product or service. In contrast, taglines only exist to brand a company that sells a product or service.

Here are some examples of slogans;

  • Nike: “There is no finish line”
  • Pitney Bowes: “We power transactions that drive commerce”
  • The Mosaic Company: “We help the world grow the food it needs”
  • Ronseal: “It does exactly what it says on the tin”
  • The U.S. Marine Corps: “SemperFi”
  • Verizon: “Can you hear me now? Good”
  • Meow Mix: “Tastes so good, cats ask for it by name”
  • De Beers: “A diamond is forever”
  • M&M: “Melts in your mouth, not in your hands”
  • MasterCard: “There are some things money can’t buy. For everything else, there’s MasterCard.”
  • Dollar Shave Club: “Shave time. Shave money.”

In Summary

Branding makes a company stand out in a consumer’s mind and enables the company to retain customers. In contrast, marketing is how companies attract new customers. Brand strategists create short taglines to brand companies and solidify their unique position in the market. The taglines created generally don’t change, and they are usually displayed wherever the company logo is displayed.

Marketing teams create slogans when they create marketing campaigns. Slogans are memorable catchphrases that market the brand’s products and services. Companies use different slogans for the various campaigns that they roll out over the years. Sometimes a slogan describes the overall business so well a shorter form of it becomes the new tagline.

Want to learn more about branding? Click here to learn what makes a great logo.

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