Marketing Slogans: 5 Great Strategies For Brainstorming

marketing slogansDeveloping a marketing strategy or campaign can be both an exciting and overwhelming endeavor. Once you have something to say, serve, or sell, it’s time to start thinking about what kinds of advertising techniques you’ll use to spread the word. How will you get people to sit up and pay attention to what you’re selling? There are so many aspects to creating and promoting a brand, and the slogan is just a small part of that bigger picture. What makes marketing slogans unique, however, is that for such small things, they have a pretty big job! They’re the “elevator pitch” of the advertising world-when you are working on developing yours, you have to ask yourself, “If I had to sell potential consumers on a brand using just one sentence, what would it be?”.  That’s precisely the goal of a slogan, which interestingly enough comes from the Gaelic words “Sluagh-Gairm” which translates loosely to “battle cry”. How fitting is that? What a great way to think about potential marketing slogans as you work to develop yours: consider it a cry that will rally people to your brand.

We’ll take a look at some tactics that successful brands use to market themselves, and take a look at some of the most effective marketing slogans out there.

Marketing Slogans Tactic #1: Short And Sweet

Here’s a quick exercise: take a moment to think of as many marketing slogans as you can. Give yourself a time limit, say, 30 seconds, and write them down. Once you’ve done that, take a look at your list. Chances are, you won’t see many marketing slogans on that list that are longer than six or seven words. In fact, some are as small as just two or three words. There’s a reason for this–a potential client or customer has a whole lot of information being thrown at them from all directions, including other advertisers! A slogan is by it’s very nature, concise and short. It has to be to cut through the noise and stick with the consumer. So just keep in mind as you’re developing your own slogan. You don’t want the consumer to have to memorize a novel! Save the lengthy explanations for your brand literature, or when you are working on your brand’s website. If you have something particularly catchy but is still just a little too long to be considered slogan material, remember that you can always create a jingle to grab people’s attention. Let’s take a look at some of the more successful short and sweet marketing slogans that we’ve seen over the years:

Wal-Mart: Save Money. Live Better.

Mazda: Zoom! Zoom!

McDonalds: I’m Lovin’ It.

Nike: Just Do It.

Nokia: Connecting People.

General Electric: Imagination At Work.

Staples: That Was Easy.

Marketing Slogans Tactic #2: Make Them Feel Good

Ever heard the phrase, “You catch more flies with honey than vinegar”? Appealing to anxiety is one way to sell something, certainly, but as you are thinking of your potential advertising slogan, you’ll notice that many of the most memorable ones are the ones that make people smile or otherwise feel good about something. That’s really the goal of the slogan, isn’t it? You want someone to be able to remember it and associate your brand with feeling good. Understanding how the brain works when it comes to memory and recall will definitely give you a leg up on the competition. If you can come up with a phrase or even just word that can elicit a smile or chuckle from someone, you are that much more appealing to them! Some marketers call this the warm and fuzzy effect, and you’ve already seen it in action in larger marketing campaigns. Tons of commercials that have gone viral online have centered around making people feel good; either by telling a story that has a happy ending or by using imagery that triggers that warm and fuzzy feeling. But can it be done with marketing slogans? Well of course it can! Let’s see what others have done to make their potential buyers associate their brand with the warm fuzzies:

Kodak: Share Moments. Share Life.

Hallmark: When you care enough to send the very best.

DHL: We keep your promise.

L’Oreal: Because you’re worth it.

AT&T: Reach out and touch someone.

Marketing Slogans Tactic #3: Pare It Down To The Basics

It can be tough to squeeze everything that you want your consumers to know about what you are offering into the limited words of marketing slogans, which is why you should choose the one thing that you hope to get across and begin with that as a jumping off point. If you have an item that you want to sell, make a list of what you think are the best qualities of your item. Why would someone want to buy it? Is it affordable? One of a kind? What does it do? If you run an online store that sells handmade soaps, for instance, let’s look at what your list might look like. Your soaps are unique, certainly. They are handmade, which gives them a special appeal, and you are very proud of the fact that you only use organic materials when you make them. Of course, because the soap takes a while to make, and because organic materials cost a little more than standard ones, maybe the price is less competitive than you might want to advertise. That’s okay! Aston Martin doesn’t have much of a problem selling their cars, and do you know why? They emphasize the qualities of their cars that make them worth a lot of money. Other companies pick the characteristics of their product that they think are the most important as well, whether that’s cost, ease of use, or something else entirely. Paring your marketing slogan ideas down to the basics means that you are choosing the one or two qualities that you think make your product desirable. Let’s see what that looks like in practice:

Aston Martin: Power, Beauty, and Soul.

M&Ms: Melts in your mouth, not in your hand.

Smith Barney: We make money the hard way…we earn it.

Cotton Incorporated: Cotton, the fabric of our lives.

Southwest Airlines: You are now free to move about the country.

Marketing Slogans Tactic #4: Rhyme and Reason

Another key strategy that you can use to make your slogan stick is to give it that little extra something that makes it catchy–recall is easier when there is something lyrical or distinctive to hold on to. This is why rhymes and acronyms make such useful mnemonics when we’re faced with the task of committing something to memory. Of course, this isn’t to say that all marketing slogans must rhyme to be distinctive or memorable. They certainly can, but don’t get caught up in forcing things to rhyme if it isn’t coming naturally–especially if you sell oranges or silver! There are a lot of little language tricks that you can use if you don’t like the idea of rhyming. Alliteration and puns (within reason) and other distinctive parts of language can serve the same purpose. Lets take a look at some of the ways other companies have integrated this tactic when coming up with their own marketing slogans:

Jaguar: Grace, space, pace.

Survivor: Outwit. Outplay. Outlast.

Apple: Beauty outside. Beast inside.

Sears: Come see the softer side of Sears.

Guinness: Guinness is good for you.

Marketing Slogans Tactic #5: A Zebra Among Horses

A surefire way to attract people to your business or product is to let them know how it stands out from the rest. People crave variety and are attracted to brands that can promise a new experience or refreshing idea-and then deliver on that promise. Using your marketing slogan as a way to get this message across is a popular and effective strategy. Like your brand, your marketing slogan then has to stick out as well in order to grab someone’s attention and pique their interest. This is called the zebra effect. Think about it; if you were to see a herd of horses in the middle of a field or pasture, with one lone, solitary zebra in their midst, your eye and attention would be drawn immediately to the zebra. It is a curiosity-a novelty. Here are just a few of the brands who have used their marketing slogans to set themselves apart from their competition:

Chik-fil-a: Eat Mor Chikn

Harley-Davidson Motorcycles: American by birth, rebel by choice.

Energizer: It keeps going, and going, and going.

Apple: Think different.

Google: Don’t be evil.

Virgin Records Megastores: Dangerously entertaining.

Porsche: There is no substitute.

Diesel Jeans: Be stupid.

Creating Your Own Marketing Slogans:

With all of these great ideas, I’m sure you’re ready to tackle the creation of your own slogan, and you should definitely dive right in! If you’re still stuck at square one, try making a mind map, or making several mind maps. You can brainstorm the ideas that you like, and get all of your ideas down on paper. When you find something you like, try saying it out loud or writing it down on a blank piece of paper, to see how it sounds and to determine whether it is aesthetically pleasing, as well. An important thing to keep in mind is that while some marketing slogans have endured for years, not every slogan must.

In fact, many brands and businesses employ multiple slogans over the years, or create new ones to advertise a single campaign or limited edition product. This is a great thing to keep in mind, because it will remind you that nothing is set in stone. Your business will change and grow, and so will you! So why shouldn’t your marketing slogans? They can, and in many cases, they should. Don’t worry too much about something that’s timeless when you are first starting out. You are absolutely allowed to change your mind.

So there you have it, some great marketing slogans and a little more insight into the processes that you can use to develop yours! The great thing about a slogan, motto, or catchphrase is that because it is so short, it is uniquely suited for marketing on social media channels like Twitter or Facebook-so it’s worth it to learn what you can about marketing online. Also, a slogan and a logo go hand in hand, and you can certainly incorporate one into the other, so why not take a look at some ways to develop an attention-grabbing logo for your brand once you’ve developed a pitch perfect slogan.