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Part 2 – Field Guide 

The Seven Secrets of Successful Slogans

How important is brand identity in today’s new media world?  In a study of more than 2,000 consumers, 82% of people searching for a business online would click on the first business they were aware of or had a preference for, rather than clicking on the first business name revealed at the top of the search engine page.      

Share of Mind (SOM) is the best Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Creating Share of Mind or Top of Mind Awareness (TOMA) is best accomplished with creative and memorable marketing and advertising.  

Using these rules will help you establish a greater recall of your business name and help you get a better ROI on your marketing and advertising dollars.

1.) Long-term use. One of the worst things you can do is change your slogan too soon or too often, or have several slogans. It only confuses the audience and you’ll never establish a clear identity.  Consistency over time will make your relevant slogan meaningful.  Sticking with a slogan over time can help even poor slogans to succeed.  This rule applies if it's good. If not, change it! 

2.)  Your slogan should clearly say what you want to be “known for” and should suggest to the listener or viewer, “what’s in it for me?” Accordingly, most successful slogans suggest what’s in it for you. Geico: “Fifteen minutes could save you fifteen percent”, Sturdevant’s Auto Parts: “With a million different auto parts – Start with Sturdevant’s”. It suggests that you don’t need to call around. Simply start by calling Sturdevant’s, they’ll have it! 

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 can not 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. 

Caution: Bad jingles are very bad. If you choose to use a Jingle or Musical Image, make sure it is a strong one.   

5.) Your slogan must work, and be used in, all media. Using different slogans in different media creates confusion in the listeners’ and viewers' minds and creates no clear identity for your business. 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, look at their website to see what they are saying, then choose a position they have not chosen. 

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 should be seven 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, before adopting a slogan or creating a new one be sure you are committed enough to stay in it for the long haul.  

SoundADvice is a co-production of this station and ENS Media USA to help local businesses increase their sales and their return on investment in advertising. Your SoundADvice marketing tips are emailed to you on our behalf from ENS Media USA.

ENS Media USA's address is: 6523 S. Killarney Ct., Sioux Falls, South Dakota 57108

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