Five Elements of Effective Slogans or Tags and Three Pitfalls to Avoid

What’s your favorite slogan?  What’s the most effective slogan, motto or tagline you’ve ever heard?

Some that come to mind are “Just do it,” “Can you hear me now?” and “Plop, plop, fizz,fizz.”  That last one probably reveals my age range.  🙂 So what makes an effect slogan or tagline?  We consulted with Rich Winter, Creative Director at Marketing Alliance, an economic development marketing firm, and he offered some useful advice.  Here ’tis:

5 Elements of Effective Slogans or Tags and 3 Pitfalls to Avoid

1.    Memorable – Can your tag be recalled from memory? Use relevant, provocative images and copy to reinforce your slogan. Use of jingles, puns, and rhymes are good ways of making the line unforgetable.

2.    Key Benefit – Sell the benefits, not the features. The benefit should be believable and not just an overinflated claim.

3.    Differentiate the Brand – The slogan should depict a characteristic about the brand that sets it apart from the competition. Keep in mind the target audience. 

4.    Recall the Brand Name – If the brand name isn’t in the tagline, it should be strongly suggested through other visuals or text. Rhyming tags can be useful when incorporating a brand name in the tag.

5.    Call to Action – Does your tag move the reader to do something? Does it impart positive feelings about the brand?

AVOID

1.    Trendy Tags – Slogans and tags should stand the test of time. Avoid using time sensitive references in a slogan you expect to use long term. Catchy taglines try to be trendy without much success. A new trend is the one-word line (“Driven”) or using 3 terse ideas separated by a period (“Check. Create. Inspire”). Also avoid buzzwords in your tag line.

2.    Tags that Could be Used by a Competitor – Don’t use tags that offer no competitive differentiation, such as “Simply the Best”. These tags can be hijacked by any other competitor. If a competitor’s name can be easily substituted for your brand in a slogan, the slogan might need work. 

3.    Claims – Avoid using tags that make claims that can’t be substantiated or measured.

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