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The Inbound Playbook

How To Create Killer Brand Slogans That Resonate With Your Audience.

28 Feb 2018

‘Once You Pop, You Can’t Stop’

For many of us the above slogan instantly brings to our memory the shape of crisp, savoury, curved-shaped slices of potato chips, stacked in a cylindrical can with a sealed top... 

Yes, I’m talking about Pringles’, the product originally from Procter & Gamble, now acquired by Kellogg’s. That’s the power of a well-crafted sloganthough essentially it’s a bunch of words or catchphrase weaved together to represent a brand, or a product. 

Slogans go hand-in-hand with the brand’s logo; a mini mission statement if you like, which also works as a succinct ‘value proposition’ helping to immediately grab people’s attention; with the great ones even managing to evoke a powerful emotional response and to affect people’s actions! 

For instance, take FedEx’s previous slogan below; the message is loud and clear and it says exactly what it can do for its customers; it communicates their ‘why’ and shows they are ‘different’ from others in their niche:
 

There is however, a fuzzy area in-between a Tagline and a Slogan. People and even marketers seem to use the terms interchangeably. 

FedEx’s Tagline over the years has been ‘Solutions That Matter’ or ‘We Understand’

Similarly, if you thought Nike’s ‘Just Do It’, or Apple’s ‘Think Different’ to be their slogan; then like most of us, you’re wrong. These most recognisable words are actually their tagline and not a slogan.


Taglines are short, catchy phrases that help you identify with the brand and help to trigger the emotional aspect of how you will ‘feel’ if you associate yourself with the brand. And the taglines, ‘Think Different’, ‘Think Small’, ‘Just Do It’ or ‘The Ultimate Driving Experience’ manage to evoke that exceptionally well. 

But a slogan is there to offer your company’s unique value proposition; the benefits’ your customers get when they do business with you. 

Nike’s slogan is: To bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete in the world.

Apple’s slogan for the MacBook was: Light Years Ahead.

Apple’s slogan for the iPod: 1000 songs in your pocket.

M&Ms: Melts in Your Mouth, Not in Your Hands. 

If you’re looking to create such ‘killer’ slogans for your brands or products, which resonate with your audience and impress their memories; here are some key insights to help you with just that: 

1.  Make It CATCHY & MEMORABLE

A few catchy, memorable words are all that takes to ring the bells in your audiences’ minds. Most slogans however are ‘short’ and ‘snappy’; but it needn’t be so – some great ones are longer but they carve a permanent space into your consumers’ minds. 

Take FedEx’s "When it absolutely, positively has to be there overnight." – These nine words hit the nail on its head for FedEx and made it one of the world’s largest air-cargo carriers. The key here is the ability to trigger memorability with ‘rhyme’ and ‘repetition’. 

Along with ‘rhyme’ and ‘repetition’; ‘alliteration’, ‘reversal’ and ‘double-entendre’ are five of the techniques used to instill memory with words. With the FedEx slogan, the word ‘overnight’ spelled out its position as a brand; but the words ‘absolutely, positively’ packed an emotional punch to the positioning statement. 

2.  Clarify The ‘BENEFITS/Incentives’

An effective slogan provides and clarifies the key incentive or benefit about the product or service. Also be sure to work on the benefits and not on the features. When the benefits are offered, the slogan enhances its ‘pull’ factor invoking consumers to buy into the brand. 

If you hear  M&M’s slogan Melts in Your Mouth, Not in Your Hands”; you get the incentive/message straight away; which is – This little chocolate treat will keep my hands clean, unlike other treats that melt at the slightest heat and makes a mess in my hands. And the fact that it ‘melts’ in your mouth, entices your taste buds and makes you crave for the chocolate ‘goodness’ it offers. 

As per the study conducted by The Journal of Business Research; the liking for a slogan is largely driven by the clarity of the message, the exposition of the benefits, rhymes, and creativity. In the study, M&M’s slogan came out as one of the top 10 slogans for both ‘most liked’ and ‘most remembered’ lists. 

3.  It’s All About ‘POSITIVITY’

If your slogan has a ring of ‘positivity’ around it; then it has a good chance of resonating well with your audience. A ‘positive’ and ‘upbeat’ word triggers a sense of ‘good feeling’ amongst your consumers and puts you on their ‘good guys’ radar. 

Take the Slogans, “Good things come to those who wait”Guinness; or “I’m Loving it”- McDonald’s; both of these slogans send a positive signal to its audiences and instills a ‘good feeling’ within. 

Whereas a slogan from Lea & Perrins, “Steak sauce only a cow could hate”, chooses negative words and though it comes with some humour, it does make for a ‘bitter’ impression on the audience because of the word ‘hate’. 

4.  Slap In Some ‘HUMOUR’ If You Like

Yes, you can slap in some humour to make for a great sounding slogan; but one needs to be extremely careful to not put off the masses with the ‘slapstick’ kind. 

It essentially depends on your positioning. Take the “Got Milk” slogan below from California Milk Processor Board; it features Taylor Swift with a ‘milk moustache’; the slogan makes the list of 10 most recalled slogans:

 A brand that has made an impact pulling off a clever pun in its slogan is the Dollar Shave Club. Their little quip in the slogan, “Shave Time Shave Money”, fits perfectly with their ‘no nonsense’ ‘straight to the point’ approach, which cleverly accommodates two of their service benefits – convenience and cost, and wins the hearts and minds of their customers. 

If you like to know more on what makes a great slogan, take a look at the infographic from SiteProNews below:

Finally…

Whether its short, long, funny or ‘in your face’ – creating killer slogans is all about weaving the right words about your brand; that offers incentives, sends signals of ‘authenticity’ and invokes a feeling of positivity  to instantly make a space in your audiences minds! 

If you'd like further assistance or would like to discuss anything covered today, we'd love to hear from you.

Call Andy Fox (me) on (03) 5249 5570 or email andy@element7digital.com.au

Our Website is www.element7digital.com.au

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