How to Make a Slogan for your business
We are going to touch on a topic that is not exactly design, but it will help you if you personally deal with the commercial content of your business, or if you hire a freelance copywriter and want to supervise their work.
This article will help you to know what a slogan is and how to create one that your ideal client will subconsciously remember in the same way that you may have more than one slogan from the big brands embedded in your memory, probably without even noticing.
How does a slogan work?
Maybe you have encountered a situation that you did not expect and to express your surprise, you said “For everything else, Mastercard”, or on the road you have thought about the phrase: “Sheer Driving Pleasure”.
The ads that contained those little catchy phrases might have sold a car or something else, but you may remember that it was a BMW. Or you may not know what Mastercard offered, but you do recall that there are things in your life that are priceless and that all others are paid with Mastercard.
Not every phrase can become a catchy slogan, so to clarify what you need, let’s start at the beginning.
What is an advertising slogan?
A slogan is like a member of a team, it is not solo, it does not work alone.
Let’s look at an example like Nike’s “Just Do It,” which has been running for more than three decades now. Do you know how this campaign with this slogan was first used in 1988?
It was an image of an 80 year old man running, nothing more. In the ad, they don’t show the shoes, nor do they tell you about the product. What they did show was attitude, strength and courage. And then the words: “Just Do It.”
As you can see in this example, the slogan is not the message of your campaign, nor the value proposition of your product, but the final seal with which you want your client to associate with your brand.
Making a slogan alone does not work, since it has no scope to deliver the value of what you are offering. It needs to be supported by visual content, which is the logo, a brand identity and a campaign.
It is important not to confuse the slogan with your value proposition.
Value propositions and slogans are often confused because they are two tools that require a great deal of thought strategy, but they are not the same, they do not fulfill the same function.
The value proposition of your brand serves to minimize what you offer, to whom you offer it to, what problem you are going to solve, and if so, how you are going to do it.
A good value proposition will feature at the beginning of your message or sales proposition. In contrast, the slogan closes the message of your campaign.
The slogan is your synthesis, the golden clasp, the final auction, not the beginning.
How do you make a catchy slogan?
If you want to create a slogan that stays stuck in your ideal client’s mind like an adhesive label, you have to work on the entire campaign.
List the emotions you want your audience to associate with your product or service. If you sell soaps, the emotions of attitude, strength and courage that Nike awakens, will not work for you. Feelings related to feeling different, cleaner, or the safety of avoiding dangerous bacteria, etc. would be more likely. There are usually more than one, so don’t give up on the first try. Search for those emotions.
Tip: Research your market to avoid using the same emotions your competition is using.
First things first, get a logo
Do you already have a logo? If your brand does not have a logo, you have to start there. It’s essential.
Then think about: What does my logo sound like on the radio? This is a good way to work out your slogan. Most work because they rely on a melody either with words or with music.
The slogan is associated with another tool that supports it, like your logo.
If you have the chance to create a logo and the slogan of your brand at the same time, it is a fantastic opportunity to clearly convey that emotion that you want to associate with whatever you want to sell or promote.
Next, choose the words for your slogan
Make short sentences around the emotions you have chosen for your brand, the shorter the better, that do not exceed five words. A few years ago people generally chose eight-word phrases, but everything tends to be shorter and faster these days, so try to reduce the sentence length to a minimum.
For your slogan to be catchy, make sure it’s positive. In a sales proposition, you can talk about the things that your customer fears, but in a slogan, you have to achieve positive emotions.
Make it easy to understand.
- Make it timeless, that is, do not associate it with something temporary;
- Try to use few words with many syllables or many words of few syllables;
- It is better if there is rhyme. That helps it be memorable;
- Make it easy to pronounce;
- Stay away from abstractions and look for concrete words;
- Start with an action verb. Use the imperative conjugation like: “Fly”, “Dream”, “Be”, etc.; and
- Don’t use common phrases that are overused like: “Take your business to the next level”, or “Leave your comfort zone,” or things like that.
Think about if you plan to sell to other countries and be careful of the expressions you use and how they will translate.
Do you know the story about KFC (Kentucky Fried Chicken)? When they launched their “Finger Licking Good” slogan, they did not know how to translate that in China, so it ended up sounding like “Eat your own fingers” in Chinese!
One final big tip
Here is some advice that is very important which can make your brand be remembered.
For example, the Crossoak Family Dentistry clinic cares for patients who suffer from high anxiety. Its slogan is “Catering to cowards since 1982” and to back it up, they used to show a chicken on their website. Ok, it is very “American”, but you get it, right?
Let’s see some great slogan examples
- Kentucky Fried Chicken: Finger Lickin’ Good
- Nokia: Connecting People
- Adidas: Impossible is Nothing
- Nike: Just Do It
- MasterCard: There are some things money can’t buy. For everything else, there’s MasterCard.
- Red Bull: Red Bull Gives You Wings
- Nespresso: What else?
- Heineken: Think Green
- Kit Kat: Have a Break, Have a Kit Kat
- Apple: Think Different
- Mahou: Thr 5 Star Taste
- BMW: Sheer Driving Pleasure
- SEAT: ‘Auto emoción’ (meaning ‘car emotion’ but also ‘self emotion’)
- L’Oréal: Because You’re Worth It
- M&M: Melt in your mouth, not in your hand
- Lay’s: Betcha Can’t Eat Just One!
- McDonald’s: I’m Lovin’ It
- General Electric: Imagination at Work
- Maybelline: Maybe she’s born with it. Maybe it’s Maybelline.
- United States Marine Corps: The Few. The Proud.
- Coca-Cola: Open Happiness
- Motorola: Hello Moto!
How many of them have you heard?