For my clients I usually create slogans or tag lines to use in their marketing materials. I have a pretty good idea of how to make an effective slogan but had never really done any extensive research on what makes an effective slogan. This blog article summarizes what I have learned about slogans after doing some research.
What Makes A Great Slogan
Can Be Understood Quickly
If people can't understand what your slogan is saying or make the link to your brand in the few seconds it takes to read your slogan it will not be effective. People don't want to have to think and ponder over a slogan. If they don't get it they won't think about it and they will forget about it. Having a slogan that is quickly understood is a key to success.
The easier your slogan is to remember the better. This is for many reasons, one if people remember it they will be more likely to say it to someone else and two if it is easier to remember they will think about it more and having someone think about your brand is always good (unless of course they are thinking negative things. The best ways to make a slogan easy to remember is to either have it rhyme a little, make it similar to a common phrase (ie the slogan for New York tourism is "I love New York" which is very similar to the common phrase "I love you", make all of the words start with the same letter (ie Blackberry's slogan "Live, Love, Laugh") or make the slogan poetic and go with a giggle (ie. Rice Crispies slogan "Snap!, Crackle!, Pop!,....Kelloggs Rice Crispies")
For a slogan to be effective it has to be unique. If it is similar to another slogan it will only cause confusion and people won't be able to remember which slogan goes with which company and which company is which.
The slogan should also be ownable. This means it is a slogan only your company can claim. As with all marketing you want to differentiate your company from all your competition. The same holds true with a slogan. You want to pick a phrase that only you can say and that would not work for your competition to say. If they could say it as well, then you are not communicating something that is a unique selling proposition for your company. If other company's can say the same thing, then what will stop them from using a similar slogan?
Communicates What Makes You Different
Your slogan should communicate what makes you different so that prospects quickly understand how you set yourself apart from your competitors. You don't just want people to remember your company. You want them to remember how your company is different than all the other choices.
Communicates Something Your Prospects Want
It is not enough though to communicate what makes you different. You must also choose to communicate something that makes you different and that people value and want. If your slogan can do this you will be able to quickly get people interested and desiring to learn more about your business.
Creates Good Feelings
People are emotional creatures and in most cases emotions are what end of driving a purchase decision. As a result you want to create a slogan that will create good emotions in people. If people get good emotions from hearing or saying your slogan then they will be in an emotional state where they are more eager and ready to buy from your company.
Does Not Incite Spending
A study from the University of Miami shows that people spend 26% less after reading a slogan that incites spending such as "Luxury, you deserve it." compared to a neutral slogan like "Time is what you make of it". More interesting is that slogans inviting people to save, like "Dress for less", caused people to spend 29% more. A great example of this is Geico's slogan which is "15 minutes could save you 15% or more." If you want to read the full study results go to http://hbr.org/2011/11/why-consumers-rebel-against-slogans/ar/1
Examples Of Good Slogans
Nike - Just Do It
Why it is good: creates a feeling of confidence, short and easy to remember, quickly understood and makes sense with the brand, communicates something (confidence) that the prospects want
Mc Donald's - I'm lovin it
Why it is good: creates a good feeling of happiness, short and easy to remember, quickly understood and makes sense with the brand
Disney - The Happiest Place In The World
Why it is good: creates a feeling of excitement and happiness, short and easy to remember, quickly understood and makes sense with the brand, it is ownable as no place matches the magic of Disney Land
Coke - Open Happiness
Why it is good: creates a feeling of happiness, short and easy to remember, quickly understood and makes sense with the brand
As you can see slogans for famous brands don't even usually hit all of the requirements of a great slogan. To cover them all in one slogan is very hard to do. That is why the BEST Slogan ever.....
M&Ms - melt in your mouth, not in your hands
Why it is good: It is easy to understand and can be quickly understood. It is very memorable as it is kind of poetic. It is unique, there is no other slogan that is similar to it. It is ownable, no other candy can make that claim, M&Ms are the only chocolate that does not melt in your hand. It communicate what makes M&Ms different from it competition (ie Smarties). It communicates something prospects want, no one wants to have their chocolate melt in their hands as it is messy. It creates good feelings, thinking about them not melting in your hands creates a feeling of relief and removing of frustration, while thinking about them melting in your mouth feels good. The slogan does not incite spending.
If you don't have a professionally designed logo or know you should improve your existing one that is probably the best place to start before even working on your slogan. If you need help knowing how to make your logo strategically effective check out our free logo design guide.
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My name is Chris R. Keller. I work at Profitworks Small Business Services helping various B2B small businesses in Waterloo and Kitchener Ontario generate new customers. Feel free to connect with me on Google+ or if you are just interested in getting new customers for your B2B small businesses enter your email in the box provided below and click the "Send Me Free Updates" button.
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