Can you name the state capitals? The elements on the periodic table? The bones in the body?

Most people could rattle them off when their exam grades depended on it, when their days were punctuated by school bells and report cards and study guides. But today? Not a chance.

And while you might not be able to point out your pancreas or find Mozambique on a map, there are plenty of things our brains do keep stored, much to consumers’ surprise – and marketers’ delight. Here’s what we mean: It may feel like the barrage of catchy jingles and slogans that we hear each day go in one ear and out the other, but they make more of an impression than we realize.

It’s hard to say, “I’m lovin’ it,” without arousing a Big Mac craving. Or to resist the urge to hum a few bars when the term “good neighbor” comes up in conversation. And don’t pretend you don’t add “Good” when someone asks, “Can you hear me now?”

From retailers to restaurants, the best brands are attached to a memorable tagline or slogan. (Quick note: The distinction is negligible, but there’s actually a difference between the two. A tagline evokes an image of the brand, while a slogan shares the brand’s mission/philosophy.) But what makes these iconic phrases so … well, iconic? We’re glad you asked.

Here are a few things our creative team keeps in mind when drafting taglines and slogans:

  1. Think consumer first.
    It’s all about the consumers, not the brand – and while this may seem counterintuitive at first, hear us out. The best taglines and slogans don’t describe the product itself, but rather describe the value it provides.

    *Example: The words “chocolate” or “candy” are nowhere to be found in M&M’s tagline. Instead, the brand assures consumers that their product won’t become a melty mess in their hands. And Dunkin’ takes a similar approach, omitting a mention of baked goods in favor of “America runs on Dunkin.” They even ditched the word “Donuts” from their name last fall!

  1. Be unique.
    To be remembered, a tagline must first make an impact. And it has no chance of doing that if it doesn’t stand out in the marketplace.

    *Example: Using a jungle cat to sell cereal might’ve seemed outlandish at first, but now, decades later, Tony the Tiger is still confirming that Frosted Flakes are gr-r-reat. Speaking of cereal, elves probably weren’t logical spokespeople either…but there’s no denying that Snap, Crackle and Pop will be forever associated with Rice Krispies.

  1. Spread smiles.
    Positivity is a huge differentiator, with the best brands evoking good vibes with just a few words.

    *Example: Coca-Cola epitomizes this with the well-known, well-loved phrase, “Open happiness.” L’Oréal is another classic example, boosting confidence with the tagline, “Because you’re worth it.”

  1. Appeal to a wide audience.
    While many of the best brands focus their marketing efforts on a targeted audience, their taglines appeal to the masses.

    *Example: Nike serves as a source of encouragement and motivation, telling its buyers to “Just do it.” The brand intentionally doesn’t specify “it,” giving each individual the opportunity to define it for themselves. “It” could be a grueling marathon or a leisurely walk – or even a load of laundry.

  1. Make it snappy.
    Taglines are, by definition, short and sweet. It’s important that they make an impression – and make it fast!

    *Example: Apple did a great job of this by launching its “Think Different” slogan in the 90s. The brand says so much in just two words, offering valuable advice to consumers AND communicating its philosophy in product development.

Your brand’s tagline could be the next big thing, ranking among the greats! If you’re ready for our team to start brainstorming, get in touch with Motivated Marketing today! Send a quick note to or call 843.856.7322.