Do you want to invent a good slogan? We hasten to upset you: truly working slogans are not invented — they are developed. For the development of a good slogan to be successful, it is necessary to collect information on the brand and the product, to analyze it, to make the analytical effort, and… let’s not show all the cards at once.
Read the Moloko blog on how we develop truly working slogans.
Some theory: what is a slogan?
“Slogan” word etymology traces to the Scotch “sluagh-ghairm”, which means “battle cry”. The first slogans were used in the early Middle Ages already, they were used mainly as passwords to recognize allies at night or in a huddle of a battle.
The contemporary slogan has moved from medieval wars to marketing wars and revolutionized in terms of quality – now it helps to communicate the most important information on the brand or the product to the consumer in the snap of a finger. The slogan creation process is called by the complex word “sloganeering”.
Why do we need a slogan? Let’s explain it by giving an example of our customers
A slogan is a powerful marketing tool to promote a brand or a product, but only if it is selected in the right way. It is used to:
1. Underline advantages
Proud Clinic’s positioning is based on the rejection of any mindless cloning of ideals to the detriment of health. The basic principle is to develop natural beauty, maintaining and strengthening the customer’s condition. The slogan “Beautiful version of your health” underlines the key competitive advantage of the clinic amid its competitors – common beauty parlors.
2. Attract attention
We have developed an awareness-raising campaign for UN Belarus under the slogan “Concerns anyone, who touches”, to create public awareness of the fact that anyone may be Covid-19 infected. However, if you wear a mask and keep social distance, risks are effectively reduced.
3. Disengage from competitors
Milavitsaset a challenging task before our agency: to run an advertising campaign, which will help potential buyers to change their vision of the classic line of beige underwear. Not only bright lacy sets of underwear can create a special mood. To demonstrate this we made an emphasis not on the underwear itself, as the competitors do, but on a girl and completely different emotions, which she shows putting on three “identical beige bras”. The slogan “Your form of expressing emotions” underlines positioning and finishes the video commercial with a striking effect.
4. Impel consumers to some action
The slogan “Your pure achievement!” for CLEANING COLOR COSMETICS not just encourages a buyer to clean up the house, but admires him/her, emphasizing the brand positioning.
Types of slogans
We identify two types of slogans: product and image-building.
are used to tell about the brand positioning and the brand essence, to raise the profile, and to develop loyalty of the target audience. For example:
Walmart: Save money. Live better
Nokia: Connecting people
Nike: Just Do It!
focus to a greater extent on unique selling propositions and impel an action/purchase. Examples:
Skittles: Taste the rainbow
Energizer: It keeps going, and going, and going…
M&M’s: Melts in your mouth, not in your hand.
When will you need a slogan?
Upon registration of a new company
The optimal time to start slogan development is the company registration stage, when the brand platform is being developed: positioning, message, communication tone, etc. It is very convenient if the same team works on the slogan as well: it has already plunged into the project and knows everything about the customer company and its product. A new team will have to start from scratch; moreover, it involves time expenditures on examination, brief, research, and creative work, and, as a consequence, extra costs. If you have no brand platform, contact us – we will help to develop it.
When running advertising campaigns
If a company issues a new product, enters new markets, wants to disengage from its competitors, or draws attention to itself or its product once again, it needs an advertising campaign — image-building or product. And advertising campaigns need slogans.
Under various circumstances, a slogan may be updated, supplemented by different contextual words to demonstrate your company life better.
A slogan may be changed completely as well. For example, The Coca-Cola Company changed its slogan for the product of the same name 49 times from 1886 to 2021. Beginning with decent “Drink Coca-Cola”, in 1906 the company changed it to “The Great National Temperance Beverage”, thereby anticipating the alcohol-free policy implemented by the States 14 years later. Some slogans reflected unprecedentedly high sales figures: “Three Million a Day” (1917) and “Six Million a Day” (1925). The company changed advertising slogans when issuing new flavors. In 1986 Cola produced according to the classical formula “Red, White & You” slogan was developed, and for the new Coca-Cola “Catch the Wave” slogan was chosen. In 2021 the company changed the slogan again to “Real Magic”, to reflect the current brand philosophy.
When NO slogan is needed?
No slogan is needed, if you do not know, what message you want to send to the audience or what action you want to impel. In this case, even the most remarkable, beautiful, refined slogan turns into background noise, and in some cases irritates consumers. For the company slogan to work properly, it is necessary to start in an integrated manner: to elaborate the brand platform and to define the brand positioning and the brand essence. In the context of an advertising slogan, first of all, an advertising campaign is elaborated (image-building or product) by the target goals.
Good slogan development stages
There are dozens of slogan development methods, however, we will save you time and tell you about the method we use ourselves. Following the stages described below, we create working slogans, which fulfill all tasks set by the customer.
Important! Any slogan is developed only based on an active brand platform.
When the brand platform is unavailable:
- The customer fills out the brief and we provide a verbal briefing. At this stage, we receive background information on the company and the product of the customer, competitors, and the target audience; set tasks and objectives, record wishes and restrictive factors.
- We develop the brand platform. Further, we define the essence, philosophy, and mission of the brand. We develop positioning and unique selling propositions. We describe the target audience, and keywords, and carefully consider the communication strategy. Collected data will be recorded in a single document – the brand platform. It is the platform that helps to make an identifiable brand of an ordinary product.
When the brand platform is already available:
3. We make analytical efforts. At this stage, we proceed with slogan development. We begin with an analysis of the current situation in the market: which slogans are used by competitors and why? Is there any free area to efficiently disengage from competitors?
Using qualitative and quantitative research we study the target audience. We find its sore spots and ways to communicate unique selling propositions as delicate as possible.
4. We brainstorm. We test ready variants for efficiency by 5 criteria. Which ones? Read below.
Criteria to estimate a truly working slogan
Having completed all development stages, we test slogans by the following simple criteria. A good slogan will comply with each criterion!
1. LACONISM. The tendency for minimalism has affected not only logos but the brand identity as well. An appropriate slogan is to be short — in the ideal case 2-3 words, up to 10 words at worst. There are not so many long successful slogans, but still they exist: “There are some things money can’t buy. For everything else, there’s Mastercard”. However, it is important here not to go too far trying to fit in a single word. In the first place, in that way you sacrifice the essence and recall, in the next place, all the most capacious words have been already employed most probably, and there are risks of repeating.
2. SIMPLICITY AND INTELLIGIBILITY. Your target audience is to understand your slogan without a dictionary, a textbook, or a translator. Therefore, any complex, cumbersome patterns or industry-specific jargon should be avoided.
3. EASY PRONUNCIATION. A slogan is to slip off the tongue and to sound nice: not to “whistle”, “hiss” or “buzz”. Unless such a task is set before it.
4. RECALL. Some brands are recognized by their slogans. This is the thing to aspire to.
5. EXACT REPRODUCTION OF COMMUNICATION TONE, BRAND MESSAGE, AND POSITIONING. If a slogan fails to reproduce the brand philosophy, it is useless.
Methods to be used
There are indeed plenty of methods to create slogans. We will tell about the most effective ones by way of example.
The top market share belongs to free slogans. These are simple but capacious phrases, which communicate a brand message without the use of any special devices. For example, “Just do it!” from Nike, “Keep Walking” from Johnnie Walker, and “Eat fresh” from Subway, have already earned a cult following.
Rhymes and repeating sounds make a slogan ringing and catchy. For example, Sun Station employed this device to striking effect and derived the slogan “Sun. Fun. Tan”. Rhythmical and easy to remember.
Only the self-confident one can make fun of oneself. For example, Old Spice, known for its fantastically creative advertising campaigns, used “The original. If your grandfather hadn’t worn it, you wouldn’t exist”, to grab the attention of a younger demographic group through humor.
EXCLAMATIONS AND WORDS DENOTING SOUNDS
The use of exclamations and words denoting sounds is an excellent time-tested device. The well-known slogan “Snap! Crackle! Pop!” from rice Krispies producer Kellogg’s Rice Krispies traces to radio advertising of 1932 (!), and remains relevant up to now. Having made an emphasis on the product sounds, the company has won without question!
This is the intentional use of mistakes. Misspelling of well-known words attracts attention and firmly sticks in the memory. For example, in its slogan “I’m loving it”, McDonald’s intentionally violates the rule of non-continuous verbs to add more dynamics to the word “love”. One more example — is the slogan “Spread the happy” from Nutella, where an adjective is used instead of the noun “happiness”. The mistake is so noticeable and extravagant that it cannot but attracts attention; moreover, what’s interesting is that such spelling is closer to a potential buyer.
EMBEDDING THE COMPANY/PRODUCT NAME IN A SLOGAN
Producer of KitKat chocolate bars has been encouraging consumers since 1957 to enjoy a sweet during the break, and has been making an emphasis on the product name: “Have a break. Have a KitKat”.
Information on the product or the brand is presented in the form of a paradox, which cannot but fills consumers with surprise and attracts attention. A fine example — is the advertising slogan “Enjoy Thirst” from Coca-Cola
REFRAINS, TAUTOLOGIES, AND PLEONASMS
The slogan of Wrigley’s Doublemint Gum “Double your pleasure, double your fun” with the use of refrains and two close-meaning words underline the chewing gum positioning as a product of double quality, double power, and double cleansing.
We know firsthand, how complicated it is to develop a truly working and catchy slogan – it is a very fascinating, but resource-intensive task, which requires particular experience, skills, and knowledge. Entrust sloganeering to our agency team and plunge into this process together with us. We’ll make sure that even the simplest words will reflect the essence of your advertising campaign and the brand mission.