People often come to me and ask me to make them a slogan. Contrary to popular belief, slogans aren’t simply ‘catchy phrases’. If your company sells cat food, you wont sell more cat food by saying “It’s The Cat’s Meow.” That tells me nothing about the product or company, or what it offers me.
A slogan’s purpose is to inform, create interest, advertise, and brand- all in one pass. That’s a pretty heavy load for just one simple line to carry- but if you have an experienced copywriter create one for you, it’s a line that will advertise and generate hundreds of thousands of dollars in revenue for you even in the smallest of spaces.
Now, I’m not suggesting this “how-to” will replce the expertise and knowledge of an excellent creative manager or copywriter, but it should help you weed out punny slogans and meaningless catch phrases that accomplish nothing.
Here’s five simple steps towards making a good slogan.
1) Figure out if your company needs a slogan at all.
Not all companies need, or can even use slogans for that matter! The general rule of thumb: The more “niche-like” and specific your company is, the more a slogan will work for you by defining your company. The more general and wide-reaching your services are, the more a slogan will hurt you by ‘pigeon-holing’ your company. I’ll be writing a more indepth article on this shortly (heck, there’s so much to talk about, I could write a book on slogans!)
Good Slogan Candidate: Comapany “X” – Sells Cat Food
Bad Slogan Candidate: Company “Y” – Sells Cat Food, Drain Cleaner, Socks, Soaps, Flavored Oatmeal, And Golf Clubs.
2) Brainstorm Your Company’s Strongest Benefits.
Your slogan is going to be built around your strongest benefit. If you’re Company “X” and you sell all-natural catfood, perhaps your strongest benefit is that the food has no fillers, or is made of all natural, organic ingredients. If you’re a lawyer who has a specialty in covering boating accidents, your strongest benefit might be that you’ve won the most boating cases for your clients in your area.
Remember, a good benefit is something you can actually quantify. That means if you can’t measure your claims, they won’t mean anything when you say them.
Good Benefit Examples: No Fillers, 100% Natural, Completely Organic
Bad Benefit Examples: Best __, Better ___, Faster___ (Than what??)
3) Consider Your Company’s “Tone“.
Is your company geeky? Proffesional? Exclusive? Kid-Oriented? Targeted towards mothers? Your slogan should be targeted at your customers. These are the people who are most likely to buy your product. For example, the makers of No-Fillers Cat Food would do best marketing to cat owners ( well the cat’s aren’t going to buy it!)
Good Slogan Tone: No-Fillers Cat Food: Loving Pet Owner, Compassionate, Companion, Health-Minded
Bad Slogan Tone: No-Fillers Cat Food: Professional, Kid-Crazy, Extreme-Minded
4) Don’t Feel the Need to Use Puns
Puns are Punny. No, not really. They also don’t tell your customer what your company really does.
Good: No-Fillers Cat Food: Because ‘No-Fillers’ Means Healthy Cats
Bad: YumYum Cat Food: It’s the Cat’s Meow! It’s Purrrrfect! It’s Paw-Lickin Good! (I could go on…)
5) Personalize the Slogan.
Try to incorporate your company name or trademark or product into the slogan. This makes it memorable, original, and not general
Good Personalization: No-Fillers Cat Food: Because ‘No-Fillers’ Means Healthy Cats
Bad Personalization: No-Fillers Cat Food: Because We Mean Healthy Cats
Luckily for you, your slogan only has to convince his owner that your cat food is the best.
The Final Result?
After you follow these steps, you should have a pretty good list of clear benefits that sum up your company’s best benefits in a few short words. Try saying them out loud to yourself, and cross-check any new lines against the five steps!
Rinse and repeat till – Viola – You have a slogan!
Don’t feel frustrated if you can’t come up with something good immediately. Remember, good slogans -and good writing- take time. If you don’t come up with something right away, step away and come back to it later with a fresh mind.
If you keep hitting a wall or just want that professional touch, you can always contact me – Danielle Lynn. If your company can benefit from a slogan (and I’ll tell you at a glance if it will or not), then I can write up the winning one for you.
Check back soon for more copywriting and more slogany goodness!