What is with these bad brand slogans!?In Marketing
What’s with all these bad brand slogans?!?!?!
Ok, I get it, you’re a local small business owner. You want to convey that your company is local and friendly and does good work. You’re not a brand consultant. You’re not a brand strategist. You’re a Dude or Lady who specializes in your ‘special area’……so PLEASE stop trying to pretend like you’re good at advertising!!
Seriously! I can’t tell you how many small local business have horrific taglines or slogans.
Here, just because I’m a pretty giving guy, I’ll give you a few simple greats that you can see every day. Take Note:
Just Do It
The Real Thing
You can do it, we can help
Like a good neighbor, state farm is there
What They Did Right
Nowhere did any of these taglines talk about how great the service is, how long they’ve been in business or how high quality the product is. Nowhere….ever.
These slogans didn’t even really talk about the product at all. Instead, they focused on evoking emotion. They caused you to think of a jingle and no matter what, they made you think of the product or service that they represented. These slogans are great because they are unique and emotional. They are short and sweet and can be repeated enough times for you to build an emotional anchor about the commercials, billboards, print and radio ads….and therefore the product.
What You’re Doing Wrong
You can see it everywhere, small businesses that don’t have a brand consultant to help them achieve something more. so instead they figure they can come up with something good and put together something in Microsoft Word and start a business. Or worse, they have a son/daughter, niece/nephew who knows Photoshop, so they’ll just have them make the ads. While this is great for the kid with the clicker, it almost never turns into a great advertising campaign, logo or brand. Unless the kid is the Mozart of the Ad world, the reality is that you’re asking an inexperienced person to do something most of us spend the majority of our lives becoming experts at. and the best part of it is, the business owner has the perfect idea for a tagline or slogan.
So number one, hire a brand consultant. I realize its pricey, but I guarantee you it’s worth it’s weight in gold if you listen to the consultant.
Now lets have some fun. Here are a few brand slogans that business owners have put as their company’s best representation to the world…and they’re standing by them. Compare these to the slogans above and tell me you can’t see, or better yet, feel the difference.
- Quality Products With Outstanding and Friendly Service
- Service With a Smile
- In Business since 1879
These are all slogans used by small businesses everywhere. Seriously, everywhere. No matter where you are (In any moderately populated US city) you can find one of these slogans in your neighborhood.
So, what’s so wrong with these slogans. If so many small businesses are using them, they’ve got to be working, right?
Here’s where we’ll introduce the “So What?” test. This is how it works:
Read an ad or slogan. At the end, ask yourself “So What?”. If you feel like you could just shrug and move on, the slogan has failed. If you feel like the “So What?” is appropriate, the slogan failed. Most importantly, if the slogan failed to evoke any emotion at all, it failed….and that’s when the “So What?” is most pertinent.
Don’t just take my word for it, let’s try it.
Quality Products With Outstanding and Friendly Service….So What?
The reason “So What?” worked in that example is that the slogan fails to evoke any emotion. The appropriate response to that slogan is “So What?”. Because really, that should be intrinsicly the reason you are doing business with the person. It is implied. Let’s try again:
Service with a Smile…So What?
Again, this doesn’t evoke any emotion…..well, it evokes emotion from advertisers, but not the one the business is hoping for.
Instead, lets try Nike’s famous, and super simple slogan.
Just Do It…..So What?
Doesn’t work, does it?
The fact is that not only is the “Just Do It” slogan ingrained in our culture, it is emotional. It is used as an inspiration and evokes images of sports victories, top athletes, fitness, success and a host of other images. You can say “so what,” but before you finish the thought your mind has already filled with images that answer that question. That’s the power of a great slogan. It evokes emotion, it evokes images, tastes, smells. It evokes.
The Bottom Line
The Bottom line is this: talking about your service or your product and how high quality it is, is a given. If you don’t have great service and a great product, then you shouldn’t be in business. The fact is, talking about the obvious doesn’t count as a slogan. If you want to contend in business with a great tagline, you need to come up with a slogan that you can stand behind, one that will evoke emotion.
Don’t try to do it yourself, get a brand consultant and have someone help you develop a brand identity that can carry your business through not only it’s formative years, but it’s Golden years. After all, I’m guessing you don’t plan on just running the business for the next few weeks…right?
Now, because I love both terrible taglines and good ones, post your favorite slogans below. The good and the horrible…I’m anxious to hear them.