In business, a slogan is a memorable phrase that typically describes what a company does, who the company works with and/or how they do what they do. A slogan is a catchphrase, and is considered another element of the company’s brand.Not all businesses need a slogan, and not all slogans become a standalone marketing element, but a slogan presents the potential for creating a phrase can eventually become synonymous with the company. Here are some examples of highly effective and memorable slogans (from Wikipedia):
Mentos mints are widely known as ‘the fresh maker,’ while Coca-Cola is the soda that ‘adds life.’ Hyundai offers ‘America’s Best Warranty’ while Dodge trucks are ‘Ram tough.’ Nike implores the athlete and non-athlete alike to ‘Just Do It,’ and in Apple land, there is always ‘an app for that.’
Like naming a business, creating a slogan is a creative process that requires a clear idea of what kind of reaction you want the chosen words to generate. Here are some tips for creating a slogan that can become an effective extension of your brand.
1. Start at the Beginning
Use data from your marketing plan (particularly your unique selling proposition), or start from scratch with a list of the basics about your company. For example, what services do you provide; who do you work with; what do you do differently than your competition; how do you want to be thought of by your clients?
2. Let Loose with Unrestricted Brainstorming
Beginning with the list you just created, have an unrestricted brainstorming session, writing down every idea that comes to you. Then, take the list and identify some common themes to use as your starting point as you draft a working slogan.
3. Say It Out Loud
When you come up with a few ideas, say them out loud to hear how they sound. Try putting emphasis on different words and inserting commas and other punctuation to see how it changes the sound.
For more business start-up tips — from planning, to finances, to legal considerations — check out Alyssa’s series on starting a business.
4. See If It’s Trademarked
Before deciding on a slogan, you will need to see if another business is already using it. If you’re in the U.S., you can run a trademark check through the USPTO. If you’re located in another country, check for availability with your government.
5. Bounce It Off a Friend (or Two)
Once you have a possibility or two, run them by a few colleagues/mentors/peers who understand the basic elements of the business you are creating, and what you’re hoping to accomplish with your slogan. Ask them to do the same process of saying the phrases out loud to see if it changes their opinion of it.
6. Sleep On It
Even if you think you have the perfect slogan, give it at least one night to rest. Look at it again the next day with fresh eyes, and see if it really says what you want it to say. If not, go back to your list and try again.If you have difficulty coming up with a good slogan, try not trying. Sometimes the best inspiration will come when you turn off the pressure and let your mind relax.Do you have a slogan for your business? How did you come up with it?Thumbnail credit: dimitri_c