The Science of a Good Slogan

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“15 minutes can save you 15 percent or more on car insurance.”–Geico

“Have it your way.”—Burger King

“It’s everywhere you want to be”–Visa

 

These are just a few of my favorite slogans. Slogans are everywhere you look in advertising. They’re supposed to be a memorable phrase that captures the essence of a brand and draw attention to the unique aspects of a company or its products.

Of course, not all slogans are great or even decent. Too many companies settle for bland, forgettable slogans, like “Serving you since 1990” or “#1 in (insert industry).”

Look, I’m not going to lie, writing a great slogan is tough. You have to find a way to sum up the essence of a brand in a few memorable words.

But if you understand the science of good slogans, you have a better chance of coming up with a slogan that works for your brand.

Here are some tips to keep in mind when writing a slogan.

 

  • Keep it short—Of the slogans I mentioned above, the longest one is 11 words. The others are 4 and 6 words each, which is around the average length of most slogans. Rule #1 of slogan writing is to keep it short. You’re not writing a novel here. You’re trying to create something that’s short and snappy, but that also highlights something important about your brand or product. Laser-like focus is required.
  • Avoid hyperbole—Unless you have actual facts to back it up, shy away from saying things like “#1 in the world.” It just sounds like typical, BS advertising speak, and most people won’t believe you.
  • Truth in advertising—Take another look at the slogans I listed at the top of this blog post. They’re all honest. At Burger King, you can customize your burger any way you like. Visa is accepted practically everywhere. And calling Geico could save you 15% on your car insurance. There’s no need for stretching the truth. If you have an honest to goodness benefit, talk about it.
  • Be different—If your company looks and sounds the same as every other company in your field, why would anyone choose to do business with you? A great slogan showcases what makes your company unique, and it also has a voice that’s distinct to your brand.
  • Focus on a benefit—Customers don’t care about you. They only care about how you can make their lives better. Focus on a key benefit of your product or service in your slogan.

 

What’s your slogan? Does it meet the above criteria for an effective slogan?

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