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Think Different. Just Do It. The Real Thing. These are slogans that go beyond summarising a product – they embody the values of the brand and form a significant part of its identity. They differentiate, influence and inspire.

When seen out of context, slogans may have little meaning. But if they’re really successful, these few simple words can be forever associated with a brand or product.

Take Nike’s famous slogan from the late 1980s: “Just Do It.” These three simple words form an instantly recognizable call to action, well beyond the context of sport. Now forever associated with Nike and its products, it’s part of popular culture, both parodied and respected for its lasting impression.

The opportunity to create a slogan for an entire brand doesn’t come along as often as the need for product slogans, but the basic approach to creating them is the same:

  • Keep it short. No one remembers a slogan that goes on forever.
  • Avoid details, spark interest. Slogans need to catch attention, not deliver information – let your slogan be the hook and the rest of your copy provide the beef.
  • Inspire and motivate. And not just to buy your product – inspire people to change their point of view.
  • Call to action. Use active language – it makes the reader engage and respond to the slogan.
  • No fancy words. Do your best to avoid esoteric language, unless your aim is to be ironic or exclusive. No one likes feeling left out.

When creating a slogan, always keep in mind how you want to be perceived and what your goals are. Think of verbs you can use, what change you want to make, what makes your brand or product different and how playful you want to be.

At the end of the day, the inspiration for your slogan may come from the most unlikely source. Nike’s famous tag was allegedly inspired by the final words of a death-row inmate. Go figure.


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