3 Reasons Your Slogan is Terrible

BMW gave us The Ultimate Driving Machine. Bounty is the Quicker Picker-upper. Meanwhile, companies like McDonald’s have had innumerable  slogans, from I’m Lovin’ It to Put a Smile on. These slogans are memorable because they tell the value proposition of the brand, underscore the company’s mission and speaks these things clearly. If your slogan doesn’t accomplish the preceding then your slogan is terrible.

Tells the Value Proposition of the Brand

More easily said, why would someone buy your product/service over the competition’s? What do you offer that is different? Say the business is an ice cream shoppe that specializes in unique flavors with a very creamy recipe. Their slogan could be The Special Frozen Treat. It’s clear, simple and tells you why them and not Baskin-Robbins – they’re special. It also says why them over a cake shop – it’s frozen. Once this criteria has been satisfied, you’re ready to move on to step two, capturing the mission.

Captures the Company’s Mission

If we stick with the ice cream shoppe example. the company’s mission is uniquely tasty ice cream that is especially soft and creamy. The value prop isn’t price, fun, ease of finding a store or anything else like that. So, it’s safe to assume that the ice cream is high end and a little more pricey than it’s rivals. The word “Special” connotes and heir of class. Also it works with the uniqueness of the flavors. The creaminess of the ice cream is a “Treat” because the average customer will not have had ice cream of this softness and caliber. If this company wants to say their mission is offering the highest quality unique ice cream, then this slogan works to promote that mission.

Speaks Clearly

Marketers and brands should be sure to use language that people understand. No matter how nice the ice cream is, the brand should appeal to the bulk of potential consumers with their slogan. Plus, clarity is better than trying to be flashy and clever. Clever is a slogan that makes so much sense you can’t imagine it any other way. If pizzaz and flash works while still capturing the other elements, like Bounty’s The Quicker Picker-upper then fine, but don’t try to be cute for cuteness’ sake. No one likes the person/company/brand that tries too hard. Be natural, speak with the voice of the brand and be direct.

Be bold and unafraid to make the change for the long term enhancement of your business. As previously pointed out, some of the best and biggest brands in the world switch up slogans with every major campaign change. Take a look at your slogan and truly scrutinize whether it accomplishes these three objectives. If it does not, then well, you know…

About Therran Oliphant

Therran Oliphant is a strong advocate for developing the academic and practical field of Integrated Marketing Communications. Holding an M.S. in Integrated Marketing Communications (IMC) from Eastern Michigan University, Therran has been a staunch advocate for developing the theoretical, practical and applicable concepts of the field, especially as it comes to digital advertising and media. His main passion is helping marketers more accurately interface with the technology community and ask the right questions to help them accomplish the objectives their brand customers have set. A career in data and advertising technology has allowed him to have a unique perspective on the science of utilizing the right methodologies to systematically ask the right questions that lead to delivering the outcomes necessary for success.