Developing a brand and creating advertising materials that support it can be difficult even for seasoned marketing professionals and copywriters. For a small business owner, it can be downright confusing. However, with a little understanding of the difference between a company tagline and a slogan -- and how they work together -- you can start branding your company effectively with the same tools that multinational corporations use.


Your tagline is a distillation of your corporate values and identity into a pithy phrase that you can use to reinforce your brand and stress the differences between yourself and your competitors as well as what makes your business valuable to customers. A typical tagline is short -- many are seven words or less – and you can think of it as a linguistic counterpart to your company’s logo. A company rarely changes its tagline, as it’s part of its identity, and you should use it in all of your company’s marketing efforts.


A slogan is similar to a tagline in that it’s also a brief, catchy statement to help with branding. Where a slogan differs from a tagline is its scope: A tagline should represent your business, while a slogan represents a single product or is part of an advertising campaign. Develop slogans for more specific purposes than a tagline, and deploy them on a more limited scale. Many companies keep slogans rotating as they redevelop advertising to keep marketing fresh. Although you should develop slogans carefully, they are more temporary and particular aspects of your branding efforts.

Developing Slogans and Taglines

While the brevity of a slogan or tagline makes it seem simplistic, crafting effective copywriting assets is anything but a snap. Start by considering what your company has to offer that’s different from your competitors -- namely, its market position -- and brainstorm ideas that convey that difference and your values. Whether you’re developing a tagline for your company or a slogan for the season’s marketing campaign, shoot for a phrase that expresses the essence of your company and product while eliciting an emotional response.

Deploying Slogans and Taglines

While companies and marketing professionals differ on their theories on how best to use taglines and slogans in tandem, many companies rely on both to help communicate their corporate identity. It’s typical to build an advertising campaign around your latest slogan, using it to convey immediate differences between your company and the competition. Use your tagline in effective branding, as it creates a recurring identity across advertisements for different products or different marketing campaigns. Because a tagline is brief, it’s inserted easily at the end of broadcast commercials or integrated into print advertising to create continuity between campaigns with different slogans.