How Do Good Slogans Influence Public Perception?

Good slogans are a mainstay of any successful marketing campaign. Since the dawn of advertising, these short, often simple phrases have been used to promote everything from diamonds to drain cleaner, cereal to cell phones, fast food chains and car insurance.

From digital marketing firms to old-school ad agencies, everyone in the industry knows the power of a good slogan. But how, exactly, do slogans work to influence public perception of your brand?

In essence, a slogan works by building a link between your brand and a higher purpose — whether that be a call to action, a broader concept or a far-reaching cultural norm. Through a powerful slogan, your brand transforms into something greater than the sum of its products; instead of selling a mere physical object, you are selling an idea. The more unforgettable the idea the better — as The Atlantic wrote in 2011, “The best slogans capture higher purpose in a memorable way.”

While it’s tempting to appeal to some grand, lofty purpose, a brand’s slogan still needs to have something to do with the brand itself. Stray too far from your brand’s original purpose and you’ll likely succeed only in confusing your target audience and digital marketing companies alike. Without a clear link to your brand’s identity, your slogan will bomb as badly as Dr Pepper’s “It’s Not for Women” (yes, that really existed).

A good slogan can also appeal to consumers subconsciously. Any digital marketing firms can tell you the importance of a call to action, but where slogans really shine is through call to actions that don’t have any specific endpoint. Consider the well-known Subway slogan, “Eat Fresh.”

The slogan itself is a clear call to action, but to what, exactly? “Eating fresh” is a rather vague concept; at what point has someone “eaten fresh?” In creating a slogan that primes customers for an unattainable goal, Subway ensures its consumers will always keep the sandwich company in some deep recesses of their minds, in endless subconscious pursuit of the elusive goal of “eating fresh.”

From digital marketing firms to multinational corporations, everyone relies on slogans to get their brand message across in one way or another. Whether your slogan speaks to family values, personal success or maintaining a healthy lifestyle, a company mantra that resonates well with consumers is one with staying power.

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