13 Effective Brand Taglines (And What Makes Them Powerful)


What is one example of a brilliant tagline that perfectly captures a brand‘s essence? Explain why it works well.

The following answers are provided by members of Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC), an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, YEC recently launched StartupCollective, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses.

1. “Delivering Happiness,” Zappos

“Zappos nailed it with this tagline. It elevated them from being thought of as a shoe company to being thought of as a customer service brand that happens to sell shoes. Nailing the “why” behind the business allowed them to leap from $1B a year in sales at the time of their acquisition to $3B a year today. Sharing your values helps align customers to feel amazing about doing business with you.”

Corey Blake, Round Table Companies

2. “Betcha Can’t Eat Just One,” Lay’s

“Lay’s potato chips aren’t particularly flavorful compared to other packaged snacking options, but they captured the essence of what makes people crave their products: the addictive quality of a full bag of crispy, salty carbohydrates and our deep-seated inability to control ourselves when confronted by it. Same thing is true for popcorn or pita chips, but Lay’s caught on first!”

Dave Nevogt, Hubstaff.com

3. “The World On Time,” FedEx

“FedEx’s tagline perfectly captures the company’s essence: a global organization dedicated to speed of delivery.”

Andrew SchrageMoney Crashers Personal Finance

4. “A Diamond Is Forever,” De Beers

“It taps into a huge cultural belief structure about diamonds and how they are “the hardest” stone. Then it implies that their product and anything that product touches (i.e. your relationship with your loved one) will last forever. In four words, it encapsulates and perpetuates the entire cultural impact of diamonds and relates that entire value to the brand.”

Brennan White, Cortex

5. “Maybe She’s Born With It. Maybe It’s Maybelline,” Maybelline

“The tagline includes a phrase that every woman can relate to. It articulates the desires of their potential user to improve their appearance but not let the makeup define who they are. Maybelline can be part of their users’ daily routines so much that others will think they were born with the natural beauty that they show every day.”

Angela Harless, AcrobatAnt

6. “The Best or Nothing,” Mercedes

“The Mercedes tagline “The best or nothing” fits perfectly with the way the company designs its cars: every detail is considered, and only the finest materials are used for each car. I also like the philosophy behind this line, which is the type of approach you’d like both your employees and your children to follow. It seems like less of a slogan and more of a life approach.”

Grant Gordon, Solomon Consulting Group

7. “Stay Thirsty,” Dos Equis

“I don’t always drink beer, but when I do I prefer Dos Equis,” “Stay thirsty, my friends,” and “The Most Interesting Man in the World” perfectly capture the Dos Equis brand essence. They want to present their beer as delicious, fun and the favorite of “interesting” people. This campaign is incredibly famous, has been made into thousands of memes and is seen today as one of the best ads and taglines.   – Miles JenningsRecruiter.com

8. “Think Different,” Apple Computer, Inc.

“Years before being elevated to God status, brands like Apple found it difficult to compete in an industry that had made itself used to cheap computing. Back then, owning an Apple computer meant that you were a revolutionary and renegade that was defying convention. This tagline personified the brand (it was the David to IBM’s Goliath), and made lifetime devotees out of early adopters.”

Cody McLain, WireFuseMedia LLC

9. “Just Do It,” Nike

“I love the Nike tagline because it captures the emotional impact of what Nike is all about, rather than simply being a descriptor. It is active, echoing Nike’s place as a well-loved sports/activewear brand. It also makes sense. Taglines that aren’t as effective merely describe what the brand does, like defining a word with its own definition. Or are just plain confusing.”

Cooper Harris, Klickly

10. “Drivers Wanted,” Volkswagen

“I always thought this old tagline perfectly encapsulated the Volkswagen brand while calling on people as wanted consumers, but it’s my favorite because it speaks so well for the CEO. I need to lead and drive this company, and I want my team members to be drivers at what they do. When you have drivers at the helm of all the parts of your business, that’s something special.”

Anthony Johnson, American Injury Attorney Group

11. “Be a Hero,” GoPro

“This works so well because most of the events that the camera is used for are extreme sports, where the participant is trying to display himself in a superhuman/hero-type manner (jumping out of planes, etc.). The slogan also captures the quality of the camera to be “heroic” since it is durable. Thus, the product and the encouragement to push the user to do more or bigger things — heroic fits perfectly.”

Kofi Kankam, Admit.me

12. “Open Happiness,” The Coca-Cola Company

“The “Open Happiness” campaign further reinforced Coke’s brand as something linked to having a good time and being amongst friends. So whenever people think of having a good time or are meeting friends, they think of Coke.”

Pratham Mittal, VenturePact

13. “Mmm Mmm Good,” Campbell’s Soup

“Campbell’s tagline is so interesting to me because they sell a product that so many millions can relate to as a comfort food. It’s a taglinesimple enough for people of all ages to relate to, and unique enough that almost every American can instantly recognize it as theirtagline. Their ability to differentiate as a trusted and delicious product has allowed them to endure and thrive.”

Joshua DorkinBiggerPockets