No marketing campaign is complete without the backing of a strong brand. Eric Schmidt (former Executive Chairman of Google) is quoted as saying that “Brands are the solution, not the problem,” Eric Schmidt said. “Brands are how you sort out the cesspool.” A strong brand can help more people recognize you, and thus pave the way to more qualified leads. Additionally, the use of a smart marketing slogan or sales tagline (sometimes in the form of a jingle!) can help your marketing approach really take off.
The Point of a Slogan
Like a logo, a company slogan is a way for people to recognize your business immediately. It’s a marketing method that is meant to solidify the brand you want to build in the minds of your target audience. If you do it right, your slogan can essentially do the marketing for you. A good slogan will send people a message about your company. It encompasses your business’ values in a few simple words or a sentence. It also shows that you’re creative and you like to have fun.
What’s the Difference Between a Sales Tagline and a Slogan?
Simply put, a company’s sales tagline is typically more fluid than your company slogan. A company tagline doesn’t position your brand in the mind of your audience quite like a marketing slogan does. A sales tagline is usually something short and quippy that sticks out in your mind. Short phrases like “We’ll leave the light on for you” or “Got Milk?”. These are all great company taglines but they don’t position the company for me like a marketing slogan will.
Unlike a sales tagline, company slogans are much more focused on their strategic presence in the market. What are they offering and how are they bringing it to market? Your company slogan is, simply put, your battle cry.
If someone tells me “We’ll leave the light on for you”, I immediately think about Motel 6 but I don’t know why I would ever stay there (every hotel leaves the light on for me…). Similarly, “Got Milk?” immediately calls to mind 1990s celebrities on billboards with milk mustaches. That aside, it doesn’t tell me anything about why I should drink milk as well.
A good slogan like “When it absolutely, positively has to be there overnight” tells me exactly why and when I need to ship using FedEx.
To put it simply, a sales tagline is creative. A slogan is strategic.
What Slogans Do You Know?
The most important thing about slogans is that they’re catchy and easy to remember. You probably have a lot you recall from when you were a child, that you can instantly associate with the business they represent.
Do you recognize these slogans?
- “It’s where the pets go.”
- “The happiest place on Earth.”
- “It’s everywhere you want to be.”
- “Save money. Live better.”
While many of these are tied to huge companies, there’s no reason you can’t get in on that, too. It works. And, though studies say there has been a decline of the use of slogans in marketing, it’s clear they haven’t died out completely. To give you an idea, here are some new companies using marketing slogans to improve their marketing. But, in case you’re not familiar, we’ll help you out.
- “Belong anywhere.” (Airbnb)
- “A better way to cook.” (Blue Apron)
- “Food as it should be. (Panera Bread)
Find A Marketing Slogan that Fits Your Company
So how is your company going to come up with a marketing slogan that tells your audience why they should do business with you? Tag lines can be incredibly helpful to your business. They give you the opportunity to sum up what makes your organization different in one simple turn phrase. We all know the Energizer battery, right? I don’t know that I’ll ever forget that bunny thumping its base drum through fields, mountains, cities, basketball games and all sorts of other situations. But what pops to mind when I think back to it is that voice on the commercial “They keep going and going and going and going and going…” Well you remember. Now when I think of long lasting batteries, Energizer is the one that comes to mind.
So how do you create a sales tagline that lands?
Everyone has their own process but here’s what I’ve found that works pretty well for our clients:
Put Together a Creative Team
When it comes to anything creative, you never want to make decisions in a vacuum. That said, you don’t want to pull to many cooks into the kitchen either. During the planning phase of the creative process, you want to be sure that you’re devoting the right resources to this process. Preferably, you should have a few different stakeholders involved in the process – clients, employees, management and any other partners. Again, be careful not to overload your team – too many people involved in the process could become unmanageable. You know your capabilities better than anyone but I’d say a good rule of thumb would be no more than five people involved in the process to make the team easier to manage.
When you have your creative team together, it’s time to put together your first brainstorming session. A few key things to remember when it comes to brainstorming:
- Get in a room. This is a process that needs to be done behind closed doors. One of the key rules for a brainstorming session is that there’s no such thing as a bad idea, which requires a feeling of safety and privacy. No one wants a bad idea overheard by the wrong pair of ears.
- Find a whiteboard. The more space you have to write the better. A good brainstorming session will have plenty of ideas to write down so you’ll want space for them. Get all of the ideas down on a whiteboard and don’t start erasing until the ideas are all talked out.
- Use Post-It Notes. You’ll probably end up with ideas that stem from other ideas. That’s great, let them flow. Use Post-It Notes to explore any of the tangents that ideas create.
- Go analog. Remove all devices from the room. Cell phones, computers and tablets have no place in brainstorming sessions. They only serve as distractions from the process.
Test, Measure, Refine
This is probably the most important part of the process. When you get to a point where you have two or three good ideas that you feel really represent your organization and succinctly defines your unique value, test them out on as many different people as you can. Go outside of your circle and find out which ones land. Use a ranking system if you have to but make sure that you get the answers to these questions (add some of your own to make sure you get the right information):
- Does this sales tagline indicate to you that we’re different than our competitors?
- Does this tagline highlight our strengths?
- Does this tagline help you understand what we do?
Be sure to put a limit on the amount of time you spend testing your taglines. Analysis paralysis is dangerous and easy to slip into when you’re in this phase and get yourself to a point where you’ll never actually decide on your sales tagline and all of that creative work will be for nothing.
Here are a few tips to keep in mind as you walk up to the whiteboard.
Make sure the language you use in your slogan makes sense.
Aiming at a younger audience with basic literary comprehension skills may seem ridiculous, but it’s effective. Who is your company’s slogan trying to attract? Make sure that you use their terminology and their verbiage. Always remember that marketing – including your company sales tagline – is not about you. It’s about the people you’re selling to.
Don’t worry too much about length – but don’t make it too long.
Don’t make people think too much about your slogan. A good company slogan should be able to connect with your audience quickly and be memorable. Looking at those we listed above, they say enough without saying too much. Remember that the key to good communication is brevity. When it comes to a memorable company’s slogan, less is more. And, more importantly, less is memorable.
Make sure it’s different from the competition.
Obviously, you need to make sure that your company’s sales tagline or marketing slogan is an asset that you can trademark. And other companies are trademarking their marketing slogans as well. There are plenty of rules around trademark laws that you can find on the US Patent and Trademark Office’ website, or by consulting a good IP attorney.
Before you decide on your company’s sales tagline, or even your marketing slogans, it’s a good idea to do a quick Google search and to check the USPTO’s Trademark Database.
Lastly, make sure it has a nice ring to it.
Simply put, if it doesn’t sound good when you say it, it’s time to go back to the drawing board. Remember, you want people to be able to say this in their sleep. If it doesn’t sound right, no one’s going to repeat it at all.
How do you know if your slogan is working?
There are a few ways that you’ll start to see feedback and success from your company’s slogan. The easiest way is that you’ll start to hear people repeating it back to you when you tell them who you are and what you do. You can also use tools like Google Trends, Alerts and Analytics to see what sort of search capacity they’re creating and how much traffic those terms are driving to your website.
And finally, using systems like Mission Suite to help spread the word about your slogan (and the same rules apply to your sales tagline) and using your tracking data to see the impact of that content can be incredibly beneficial.
Mission Suite can help you see if you’re new slogan is effective in bringing in more leads and more profit overall. Request a demo to learn how.