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All about slogans

All about slogans

By: Phil Hardwick - June 23, 2023

Slogans and taglines are everywhere. Companies spend millions to create them to define and market their companies. But what are the elements of a good company slogan?

Companies have them. Cities and towns have them. Products have them. “Them” are slogans and taglines.

I spent the first eight years of my life and many summers thereafter at a village in Rankin County. If it’s famous for anything, it would be the slogan one sees on a sign driving into town. It reads: “Welcome to Puckett. 300 good friendly folks and a few old soreheads.”

Phil Hardwick

Slogans and taglines are everywhere. Companies spend millions to create them to define and market their companies. 

A few examples in the media world immediately come to mind. The New York Times has “All the news that’s fit to print.” The Wall Street Journal reminds readers to “Trust your decisions.” The Washington Post proclaims, “Democracy dies in darkness.” 

And of course, most major retailers tout their slogans. wants its customers to “Spend less. Smile more.” Target invites its customers to “Expect more. Pay less.” Walmart changed from “Always low prices” to “Save money. Live better.”  

To illustrate the use of slogans in the Mississippi business world, I’ve created a couple of matching quizzes, followed by an interview with an expert on the subject. 

Match the Mississippi company with its slogan.

1. BlueCross Blue Shield of Mississippi

2. Bank of Forest

3. Citizens National Bank

4. Ergon

5. La-Z-Boy

6. Peavey

7. Southern Farm Bureau Life Insurance Co.

a. “Your friends for life.”

b. “United by service. Driven by solutions.”

c. “The Power of Local.”

d. “Bank wisely.”

e. “It’s good to be Blue.”

f.  “Live life comfortably.”

g. “We are innovation. Amplified.”

Personal injury lawyers have some of the more interesting slogans. Those attorneys want prospective clients to know they will fight for them and get them the most money for their cases. So, how do they distinguish themselves? With catchy slogans of course.

One of my favorites is the Lowell Stanley Injury Lawyers firm in Virginia. Their slogan: “I am THE HAMMER … They are THE NAILS.” Whoa. Look out insurance companies. Now for another matching quiz.

Match the Mississippi personal injury law firm with their slogan.

1. Dereck L. Hall, P.C.

2. Chhabra & Gibbs, P.A.

3. Cumbest, Cumbest, Hunter & McCormick, P.A.

4. Mayo Mallette, PLLC

5. MW Law Firm

6. Morgan & Morgan

7. Richard Swartz & Associates, PA.

a. “One call, that’s all!”

b. “For the people.”

c. “Mama Justice. Your lady for justice.”

d. “Experienced Attorneys. Collaborative Approach. Exception Results.”

e. “Aggressive advocacy with a personal touch.”

f. “We fight for you. Not corporations. Not big business.”

g. “The Heavy Hitter.”

To learn more about slogans and taglines, and the elements of a good company slogan, I interviewed an expert on the subject. Jeff Russell is President of Godwin, one of the top marketing and branding companies in the country and headquartered in Mississippi. 

Q: How significant are corporate slogans and taglines in a company’s image and marketing?

A: Highly significant. A strong line can mean the difference between being remembered and being forgotten.

Q: What’s the difference between slogans and taglines?

A: A Google search will give you a dozen different answers to this question. I seldom hear people use the word “slogan” anymore. Most people today refer to taglines, positioning lines, and campaign lines. 

Q: What are the elements of a good corporate slogan?

A: It should be memorable and uniquely ownable. It should communicate an emotional benefit. It should have an attitude that reflects who you are as a brand. 

Q: What are some examples of the best lines?

A: Just about anything from the 60s-70s. It was truly the golden age of the advertising slogan. Here are a few lines that have lasted a long time:

  • Just do it. Nike
  • Virginia is for Lovers
  • You’re in good hands with Allstate

One of my favorite campaign lines that Godwin did for the Mississippi Bicentennial ad campaign was – Mississippi Runs Deep.

For memorability, I like that part of the company name is in this position line that Godwin crafted for Trustmark Bank. They’ve stuck with it for over a decade – People you trust. Advice that works.

Shorter tags are more memorable.  Three or four words. – Subway Eat Fresh

I like the emphasis on the target audience, “doers” with the Home Depot line – How doers get more done.

For sports fans, this line taps into the devoted, passionate fanbase of SEC sports as compared to other conferences – SEC – It just means more.  

Q: What advice would you give to a new small business about adopting a company slogan?

A: Think long-term. You don’t want to be changing your line every couple of years. Make sure your line has staying power so you can maintain consistent messaging over time.

Q: What advice would you give to a large company about adopting a slogan or changing an existing slogan?

A: Today, the challenge isn’t just developing a line, it’s developing a line that is clear for usage. Don’t fall in love with a line until you’ve done your homework to make sure it’s free of any usage conflicts. 

Q: Is it advisable for some companies not to have a slogan?

A: There are no hard and fast rules for when you should or should not use a slogan/tagline. If you have a lot of clutter at the end of your advertising materials, an additional line could just make things more jumbled.  But for most companies, a distinctive, memorable line is a win-win proposition. 


Answers to Quizzes:

Mississippi Company Slogans

1. e
2. d
3. c
4. b 
5. f
6. g
7. a

Personal Injury Attorney Slogans

1. g
2. f
3. e
4. d
5. c
6. b
7. a 

About the Author(s)
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Phil Hardwick

Phil Hardwick is an award-winning business columnist and semi-retired economic developer. He also served as an adjunct faculty member at the Millsaps College Else School of Management for many years. He has taught over 1,000 students, written over 800 columns, written 11 books and assisted over 100 communities and organizations with strategic planning. In February 2016 he was inducted as a Lifetime Member of the Mississippi Economic Development Council.