Your slogan is not your brand

A misconception that I often run across is the idea that a slogan or tagline is the same thing as a company’s brand. In a few cases, that may be true, but in most cases, it is not. A slogan or tagline is a way to communicate a company’s brand to the outside world. The actual brand statement is a different mantra known within the company.

A classic example of the difference between a slogan/tagline and a brand is Nike. The “Just Do It” tagline gained international notariety not long after it was introduced as just one of many taglines with which Nike’s ad agency, Wieden & Kennedy, ended one of a series of TV commercials. But “Just Do It” is not Nike’s brand. Nike’s brand is “authentic athletic performance.” Authentic athletic performance is the standard by which all decisions at Nike are made.

The “Just Do It” tagline had a hugely successful run, but that run is now over. Nike no longer uses it as a slogan. But the core brand statement of “authentic athletic performance” continues and is present in every aspect of what Nike is and does.

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2 Responses to “Your slogan is not your brand”

  1. Trey Reeme Says:

    Way too many companies (credit unions included) don’t get it and I think your post sums it up nicely.

  2. rshevlin Says:

    I can only hope that this post finds its way to the people who need to see it. It also reminds me of the firms whose vision statement reads something like “we strive to be the premier global provider of [fill-in-the-blank] services” with all the attending meaningless platitudes.

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