Copywriting and Brands: The Role of Taglines and Copy in Driving Brand Success

Nike copywriting and brands the role of taglines and copy in driving brand success

“Just Do it.” We’ve all heard the phrase; we’ve all used it. The famous line is the slogan of global sportswear brand Nike, and remains the driving force behind the company’s culture, marketing, product development, and customer experience. It’s very difficult to mention Nike in a conversation without referencing the catchphrase, which has become synonymous with the brand and everything it stands for.

Nike is not alone. Countless brands have coined phrases, either as mottos for the whole company, or a tagline for an ad, that have taken on a life of its own. DeBeers tell us that “a diamond is forever”. Apple tells us to “think different”. American Express warns us, “don’t leave home without it”. These companies have defined their vision, mission, and values in a string of words that are permanently imprinted in the minds of their consumers.

Everyone from McDonalds (“I’m loving it”), to Old Spice (“the mark of a man”) to Disneyland (“the happiest place on Earth”) and Milk (“Got milk?”) have recognized that a good slogan can go a long way in ensuring customer loyalty, improving the brand experience, and raising and spreading brand awareness.

Pictures and logos- these need to be drawn. A name and a sentence can easily be spoken. If people are going to be speaking about your brand, let it be the messages that you control, and let them be positive messages.

So what makes a good tagline? How can you make an epic Nike-caliber catchphrase that resonates with your clients?

  1. The best taglines follow the KISS approach: “keep it short and simple”.
  2. Use easy to pronounce words.
  3. Your statement should be strong (Subway: “eat fresh” or Volkswagen: “drivers wanted”) and in an active tense.
  4. Clever, funny, or witty—taglines that elicit a chuckle are sure to spread (Meow Mix: “taste so good, cats ask for it by name”)
  5. Similarly content that is emotional will also strike a chord (MasterCard: “There are some things money can’t buy, for everything else there’s MasterCard”)

Any content put out by your organization, whether they are mottos, taglines, catchphrases and slogans, or longer informational text, needs to be a reflection of your company’s brand and written in the tone of voice of the organization. Remember, your brand is not just a pretty face- it communicates to the audience through its visual and verbal identity. If brands are like people, your messaging is very much a part of your personality, an extension of your brand.


Keep in mind—you never know what’ll “stick”…make sure whatever you put out there is correct, in line with the company’s objectives, on-brand, and most importantly, not something you wouldn’t want people to affiliate with your brand!

error: © James Branding