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3 Key Steps to a Successful Slogan
By: Ted Curtin
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Let’s face it: slogans are a marketer’s secret weapon, a second chance to get it right, to make an ad campaign stronger, or simply reinforce your brand’s value proposition. Slogans aren’t just for big brands anymore, and if yours isn’t pulling double duty, it’s time you rework it.

But what makes a slogan great? Here are a just few timeless favorites:

Apple – Think. Different.
YouTube – Broadcast Yourself
Sleepy’s – For the Rest of Your Life
Direct TV – Don’t Just Watch TV, Direct TV
M&M’s – Melts In Your Mouth, Not In Your Hands

All of these slogans stand out, not just because they’re catchy and meaningful, but because they each carry a double meaning. The added mileage this brings to your message is invaluable as advertisers fight for top-of-mind recall and a chance to connect more meaningfully with customers. You could even argue that Apple’s slogan does triple duty with each element: “Think,” “Different,” and “Think Different” all resonating with a powerful statement about the brand. YouTube’s slogan implies that you can both broadcast you, and that you can in fact do it yourself — a clever dig (or hint) at the changing landscape of our preexisting notions of the media, publishing, and broadcasting establishment. Direct TV cleverly gets double mileage in the brand name itself with their slogan. Even non-digital brands such as Sleepy’s and M&M’s resonate with a double meaning giving exponential value to the brand’s message — not just the best sleep of your life, but one that will stand the test of time. And of course, the wonderfully memorable concept that these chocolate treats won’t mess your fingers, but still deliciously melt in your mouth.

Here are the three things that you need to ask yourself to assess the value and strength of your slogan:

1. Is Your Slogan Simple? To be effective it must be easy to remember. It's even better if you can achieve clever and catchy, but direct and succinct can be just as effective as long as it is memorable.

2. Is Your Slogan Thoughtful? Does it have an underlying meaning that evokes an emotion through a clever play on words or literary symbolism? Does it go beyond mere redundancy of the actual brand or company name? Simple gets them the attention, but thoughtfully clever can hold them there.

3. Is Your Slogan Powerful? In the end, unless your slogan can impact consumers, you’ve missed the point. It needs to highlight the benefit of your product or service with a timeless message.

If you couldn’t answer “Yes,” to all three of these important criteria, it’s time you rethink the value of your brand! Your slogan is an incredibly valuable opportunity to boost your brand and connect with customers. Let’s hear what you think. Add a Comment below with your favorite slogan and a brief description of why it stands out. It could simply be one you admire; maybe it’s your own company’s slogan or even one you’d like to see. Either way, post a reply with your favorite.


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About the Author
Ted Curtin is a recognized strategic marketing leader with over 22 years experience covering online and offline marketing channels. Follow him on Twitter or at TedCurtin.com
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