Part 2 – Field Guide
Seven Secrets to Building Better Slogans
1.) Consistent use. Trump used his “Make America Great Again” slogan on hats, banners, verbally, and everywhere. Using the slogan consistently and in all advertising mediums will help any slogan to succeed over time. Changing slogans or phrases that try to identify your company will only confuse the public.
2.) Your slogan should clearly answer the question, from a customer’s point of view, “What’s in it for me?” Accordingly, most successful slogans have the word “you” or implied word “you” in them, i.e. McDonald’s – “You deserve a break today”, and Coke – “Things go better (for you) with Coke”.
3.) Avoid clichés at all costs. The definition of cliché is a hackneyed or overused expression that has literally become meaningless over time. Advertisers today cannot afford to waste their money on phrases that have become meaningless. Slogans like “In business since 1982” and “Customer service is our motto” just don’t work in today’s crowded communications environment.
4.) Singing your slogan in a professional jingle is very powerful, and well worth the investment. Use other memory tricks like rhyming or alliteration and always make it as short as possible, five words or less.
5.) Your slogan must work, and be used, in all media. Using different slogans in different media creates confusion in your prospects’ minds and no clear identity for you. Every time you pay to announce or publish your name, be it on business cards or in your advertising, your slogan should be there.
6.) If your competition can say it, don’t. Pull copies of your competitors’ ads and view their websites and social media pages to see what they are saying, then consider a position they have not chosen. Sometimes, even if a competitor does what you do but they aren’t saying it, you then can use this. The adverting rule is, whoever says it first, owns it!
7.) Choose, or better yet, create a word or phrase that you can own. Seven-Up’s “Un-Cola” clearly made the point they were the Cola alternative. Your slogan must be five words or less to be remembered.
Bonus tip: Be honest. Your business, your service, and your staff must “walk the talk”. Never make promises in your slogan that you cannot keep. Avis was honest enough to say, “We’re #2, we try harder” when they successfully ran head-to-head with car rental giant Hertz. It was humble, honest, and most importantly, it was believable that number two would try harder (for you).
CAUTION: Because secret number one is longevity:
a) Do not change your slogan if it already has high awareness and works. You may want to conduct a test to determine what your current slogan means to prospects.
b) Before adopting a slogan be sure you are committed to it enough to stay for the long haul. Test marketing a proposed new slogan can also strengthen your resolve and commitment to it.
In today's marketplace, simply keeping your name in front of the public won't make them think of you first. Your name must be accompanied by a slogan or positioning statement which clearly identifies what you stand for and what's in it for your prospects to buy from you.
These successful slogans each answer the question, “What’s in it for me?” from a customer’s point of view:
1.) “Don’t leave home without it”. American Express makes you feel more comfortable traveling with it.
2.) “Where’s the beef?” Wendys questioned where the beef was when you bought at those other burger joints.
3.) “You’re in good hands with Allstate” gives you peace of mind.
4.) “Finger-Lickin' Good”. Kentucky Fried Chicken has you mentally savoring every morsel.
5.) “What happens here, stays here”. Las Vegas promises to keep your behavior confidential.
6.) “The ultimate driving machine”. BMW gives you the best driving experience.
7.) “Think outside the bun”. Taco Bell invites you to try something other than burgers.
8.) “Look, Ma, no cavities!” Crest promises you will have fewer cavities.
9.) “The quicker picker-upper”. Bounty helps you clean up messes faster.
10.) “We’ll leave the light on for you!” A no-frills hotel that’s always waiting for you.