A slogan is far more than just a catch phrase; it is also a statement of values. The slogan tells the public and customers what an organization or product stands for. It also tells the public what the organization’s values are.

You should think carefully the wording of your tagline because your customers will see it as a statement of your values. If you convey the wrong message, you could actually drive away customers that disagree with the values conveyed.

How Statements Convey Values

An excellent example of a simple tagline that does a great job of conveying values and offers a chuckle is the classic United Airlines mantra: “Fly the Friendly Skies.” Even though it is very simple, this wording actually conveys a number of important values, including:

  • Compassion
  • Openness
  • Honesty
  • Integrity
  • Caring

The message it clearly sends is that United cares about its passengers. If you fly United, the flight attendants and pilots will be friendly and care about you. That is obviously a message intended to attract passengers to an airline.

A slogan should be a reflection of how you want your organization or product to be seen by people. United obviously wants to be seen as friendly and caring, hence, its tagline.

Another slogan that conveys values well is Miller Lite beer’s “Tastes great, less filling.” The phrase tells drinkers that Miller cares about them and is committed to the quality of its beer. The company is dedicated to brewing a lager that tastes good, yet it also cares about their health because it makes a light beer.

The Values Themselves can be the Slogan

The Avis car rental agency does one of the best jobs of stating its values in a tagline with: “We try harder.” The saying is  “We work hard, we value hard work, and we are committed to our customers. We will go to extra lengths to satisfy our customers.”

The most blatant statement of values in a famous motto is that of the Fox News Channel: “Fair and balanced.” Both words are actually values Fox is telling its viewers that it values fairness and will try to respect all opinions. Whether this is true or not, it is a powerful statement of values that distinguishes Fox from its competitors, some of whom have a reputation for slanting news to fit an ideological perspective.

Be Careful about the Values you are Conveying

Values are obviously important to all businesses, not just to news organizations. Customers are going to commit their money and perhaps much more to your organization. They will want to know what you stand for and what you believe in.

An interesting statement of values in a catchphrase was once used by Molson Beer in the 1990s: “I am a Canadian.” This obviously established Molson has a patriotic Canadian company that loved its country. Unfortunately, it could also drive potential customers away. Americans would be reminded that Molson is not an American company, and that by drinking its products, you could be putting Americans out of work. That’s obviously not the statement of values you want to send to would-be customers.

Take a Stand

A motto that draws a clear line in the sand can show your company’s moral values, but it will clearly drive some customers away. Therefore, it is a good idea to avoid expressing values in such a way as to identify with one nation, people, or religion. Molson would have been better off with a slogan like “We’re proud of who we are” or “Proud of where we come from.”

Perhaps the best, clearest, and most effective statement of values is found in a saying used by Google: “Don’t be evil.” By stating this, Google is making no commitments, but it is conveying a clear intent. It does not want to harm anybody or do anything considered morally reprehensible. This phrase will not offend anybody except possibly the devil, but it clearly expresses values.

Always remember that when you are creating a slogan and putting it out there, you are expressing your organization’s values. Make sure that you are conveying the values you want in such a way that does not drive customers away. If you are looking for a slogan generator go to www.sloganslingers.com.