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Tuesday Thoughts: "Meaningless Slogans Lead To Weak Branding"


While doing a little bit of research the other night, I stumbled upon an article that caught my eye:


Yes, it may have caught my eye because the title was written exactly like that — but regardless of whether or not it was formatted correctly, the subject itself piqued my interest.

The full paper, authored by Professor Stephen Winzenburg at Grand View College, is incredibly well-written. Many businesses around the country have had some terrible slogans in the past, and while the number of poor slogans out in the world are steadily decreasing, there's no doubt that meaningless slogans still exist.

What could be a deemed as a "meaningless slogan"? Let's take a look at a couple of familiar examples that Winzenburg mentions:

  • Do Stuff — Radio Shack
  • I've Got People — H.R. Block
  • Everyday Matters — JCPenney
  • Expect Great Things — Kohl's

Although these short + simple taglines may seem catchy to the advertisers that created it, they form no solid connection to the brand they are associated with. "Do Stuff" is by far the worst slogan on the list — how is that unique or memorable in any way?

On the other hand, however, one may argue that Nike has one of the best slogans in the world, yet it only consists of 3 words, and I'd agree - but not solely because it's short. Check out this quote from Ad Age on Long vs. Short Slogans:

Slogans should be long enough to contain some words that knock on the right side of the consumer’s brain. The emotional side of the brain as opposed to the left side, the logical, analytical side.

’Just do it’ is one of those slogans. It’s memorable because the slogan emotionally touches a “procrastination” button that exists on the right side of your brain. ‘Why keep thinking about it? Just do it.’
— Al Ries, Ad Age

Want a better slogan? Stop thinking that vague and mysterious translates to trendy and modern. The best slogans are memorable, unique, and convey emotion + clarity to the consumers of the brand their connected to. While your slogan may change from time-to-time, the principles behind creating it never will.


Do good today.

Matt Varughese (InstagramTwitter)
Founder + Business Director, Websterpeace (InstagramTwitter)