How to Evaluate Slogans and Taglines

A slogan or tagline, as outlined in our post What Makes a Good Tagline, is a short, pithy sentence that acts as a rallying cry for your brand. It works to:

  1. directly communicate the essence of your brand to your target audience, and
  2. inspire your team to be proud of what you offer.

Evaluate a Slogan

When considering potential slogans or determining whether it is time for a new slogan, we recommend you consider the following key questions. These questions will help you evaluate whether or not the slogan hits the mark.

1. Threshold Question: Are You Clear on Your Brand Strategy?

Before determining if your slogan will help build your brand, you need to make sure your slogan writers are clear on the brand that you are trying to build.

To do that, ensure that all are clear on your brand strategy (promise, position, personality) and that it can be articulated in words that everyone agrees on. For Distility, writing a slogan prior to finalizing a brand strategy is analogous to sending a contractor out to build a house without a plan.

2. Does the slogan help build your brand?

Be explicit in identifying, and ultimately deciding on, whether the brand promise, brand position, and brand personality (or some combination of these brand strategy elements) is the driving idea to be embodied in the slogan. Ensure the brand strategy is actually embodied in the slogan. It is easy to be seduced off-brand by clever creative work.

3. Does the slogan in any way conflict with your brand strategy?

Do no harm to your brand building; make sure that the slogan does not run contrary to your brand personality, brand promise or brand position.

4. Does the slogan roll off the tongue?

If it doesn’t, chances are it also isn’t memorable. Look for unnecessary articles or conjunctions and cut them. For more on this, read our post What Makes a Slogan Memorable.

5. Is the slogan in the active voice?

Avoid past tense and keep language in the present.

6. Is the slogan instantly understood?

A great slogan must be immediately understood. It may be obvious to the slogan writer, but if it is too clever it will require too much thinking and be lost on your audience.

7. Can the slogan be used in a marketing campaign?

Can you build multiple marketing campaigns off of the winning slogan? That is the sign of a true winner. To give a recent client example, our client Sim IP Practice has recently launched their rebranded firms and the Sim slogan — which we developed to embody their brand promise — is “sim.plify”. This idea can be campaigned well into the future.

8. Is the slogan already trademarked?

Sometimes your slogan idea is so good that some other genius has already thought of it. Use tools like the Canadian Intellectual Property Office website to ensure that your slogan isn’t already someone else’s registered trademark.

To gain further insight into the strategy behind slogans and taglines, read our posts What Makes a Good Tagline? and What Makes a Slogan Memorable?