How to Create a Slogan That Sticks
May 27, 2016
Your tagline should be a short, memorable phrase that carries the heart of your business behind it.
By Maureen McCabe
Developing the perfect tagline or slogan for your business requires creativity. Any proper creative session begins with brainstorming. Gather a few members of your staff in a meeting room and start sharing ideas immediately. It doesn’t matter if they are horrible, improper or otherwise ill-suited for your company slogan. The worst ideas can turn into perfect ones by inspiring a thought in someone else, so don’t worry if the unrefined gibberish that comes out during brainstorming will never see the light of day.
While brainstorming, you can also hunt for sparks from outside sources. Browse through popular brand names and discuss how their slogans relate to their identity with your team. Try to identify the aspects of their slogans that you like or dislike, and take those lessons with you into the slogan-creation process.
When you first start thinking about how to create a slogan, the three primary characteristics you should consider are brevity, uniqueness and flair.
Your potential customers are busy people, so your tagline should be easy to read and understand at a glance. There are no hard and fast rules to how long or short your slogan has to be, but it shouldn’t take more than one or two seconds for the potential customer to see or hear the complete phrase. Great taglines are easy to remember, but not as easy to create. Try to design a memorable slogan that will resonate with your customers. For example, McCabe Marketing’s slogan is “Generate More Profits” as that is our business goal when we work with our clients.
If you pair your slogan with a bit of music, turning it into a jingle, then you can bump the time up slightly. The popular State Farm jingle takes two to four seconds depending on the tempo it uses, as an example. My personal favourite is Intel’s.
Having flair means possessing the ability to pique interest with just a glance. Exclamations and excitement are helpful but not always effective. Unless your marketing budget can compete with international corporations, you may have only one opportunity to grab the attention of a potential customer. Make it count!
A slogan is a short phrase that carries the heart of your business behind it. Your audience hears and sees dozens of slogans throughout a single day, so it is imperative that yours is clearly linked to your company.
Both uniqueness and flair are best tested in focus groups where unbiased observers are exposed to the slogan, and their overall responses are recorded and measured. If you don’t have a large budget, as focus groups typically start at $10,000 or more, why not ask for your customers or prospective customers’ input?
Other Features to Consider
There are other literary devices that are commonly seen in slogans but should not be considered absolutely essential to creating one.
Repetition is repeatedly reported to make marvelous modifications to mental mechanisms. Little Caesar’s uses “Pizza! Pizza! Pizza!” to hammer in their primary product, but there are more subtle ways to use repetition. You can begin each word with a similar sound, phrasing or lettering. You could also just repeat a key word once or twice throughout the slogan, bolstering it with other words to make it less jarring.
Jargon crops up in every field, and it’s up to you whether you embrace it or avoid it. Slipping insider phrasings into the slogan can help connect you with customers who are more educated on your product line by positioning your company as knowledgeable. The downside is that you will definitely have to periodically assess the slogan to make sure it doesn’t come across as archaic.
A rhyme is sublime when you have limited time to get inside your customer’s mind. Like repetition, it forms connections within the brain that can cause thoughts to jump from an otherwise disconnected idea to your product or service.
Need more help developing the right slogan for your business or product? McCabe Marketing offers branding and rebranding services to help you ensure your new tagline, logo and brand make an impact. Call us today for a free consultation.
Check out our other branding tips:
Branding Strategies for Your Business
Avoid Logo Design Problems. Questions to Ask a Graphic Designer Before You Hire Them – Part 1
How to Hire a Graphic Designer: 5 More Questions to Ask – Part 2
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