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Posts Tagged ‘slogan’

In praise of clever slogans

Posted by Vicki Moulton on September 28, 2010

You see them everywhere, those little taglines designed to bring a company’s purpose to life. Some have even been set to music (remember “plop plop, fizz fizz, oh what a relief it is”?).

If you’re a business owner, you’ve probably been through the exercise of creating your own slogan. But have you ever stopped to think why some slogans stick with you, even after just one viewing?

The slogan’s job is to raise a question, touch a nerve, or identify a need. The slogan is not your only marketing tool, and therefore it does not need to be all things to everyone.

The slogan IS…

  • memorable
  • an enhancement to the overall brand
  • focused on the customer benefit and/or key differentiator between you and the competition

The slogan IS NOT…

  • a definition/explanation of the company name
  • an explanation of the logo design
  • a literal statement about how the company functions

Think about some memorable brand slogans and how they say a lot with very few words (and remember that all of these companies hired big ad agencies to create these slogans–all trademarked and used here for illustration purposes only):

  • Nike: Just do it
  • Kaiser Permanente: Thrive
  • Avis: We try harder
  • MasterCard: Priceless
  • GE: Imagination at work
  • Allstate: You’re in good hands
  • ING: What’s your number?
  • Weight Watchers: Watch yourself change
  • Capital One: What’s in your wallet?
  • Taco Bell: Think outside the bun

I particularly like that last one. There’s something clever about how it takes an overused business term and turns it on its head while slamming the competition. (Or maybe it’s just time for lunch.)

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Posted in communications, MarComm, marketing, messaging | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Breaking down the wall

Posted by Vicki Moulton on August 18, 2009

wall

What was the last marketing campaign that got your attention?

Maybe it had a great “hook,” a catchy slogan, or a jaw-dropping image. Or maybe it just followed the basic guidelines for breaking down the wall between the messenger and the audience.

1. Define your message.
What are you really trying to say? The heart of your campaign should be one simple message. Make it easy to find, not buried underneath clever headlines or hidden behind slick images.

2. Get to the point.
The average reader’s attention span is much shorter than you think. If someone is quickly scanning your ad, they need to see your main point immediately, or you’ll lose that potential client’s interest altogether.

3. Keep it clean.
Give the piece some breathing room (i.e., white space). Find one image, instead of three, that captures the essence of your campaign. Don’t fill up the page with endless paragraphs. Fewer, more carefully chosen words will communicate your message more effectively.

4. Know your audience.
Who are you trying to woo with your campaign? What is their main concern? How can you help? Your message should reflect an understanding of your audience’s core business.

5. Always be closing.
The old sales mantra also applies to marketing. The “call to action” must be prominent. Go to this website. Call this number. Get your coupon here. The goal is to bring in more business, to close the deal. Make it easy to find, and the new business will follow.

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Posted in communications, MarComm, marketing, messaging | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Making lemonade

Posted by Vicki Moulton on August 3, 2009

yellowRemember your grandmother’s advice about what to do when life hands you a bunch of sour lemons? This classic lesson about turning a negative into a positive can be applied quite handily to any sticky business situation.

SCENARIO: Your client assumes you are skilled in anything that’s remotely related to your actual line of business. The line between what you know how to do and what you pretend to know how to do is getting blurrier by the minute. You like this client and don’t wish to lose potential business by revealing the pretense.

DIAGNOSIS: Your professional brand is not well-defined, and you’re straying from your core mission.

SOLUTION: Take this opportunity to define who you are and what you have to offer. Make a list of your capabilities, and include everything that you’re confident you know how to do well. Make a separate list of things you could do with a bit more time/training/networking help. Leave off items in which you simply don’t have any expertise or would find yourself in over your head.

Next, write a short descriptive statement about the kind of work you want to be doing. You can take elements of this statement to become your mission and your slogan. This should include only the work you want to be known for, and be as specific as you can. If you have a web presence, you can turn all of this into your personal brand.

Then, any areas that go beyond your mission/slogan could go under a “consulting” umbrella, meaning you can always find someone else to help your clients with specific needs beyond your bailiwick. (Hey, I’m connected… I can get you someone for that project. Just tell me what you need!) Definitely keep your relationship with the client, and make sure you stay involved as a “project manager,” even charging a consulting fee (while you learn new skills from the other individual). You might consider partnering with that other expert on future projects.

Once you’ve defined your business, client requests for work beyond your core capabilities won’t cause you angst. To paraphrase Grandma, life may hand you lemons, but you’ve already mastered the recipe for lemonade.

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Posted in communications, MarComm, marketing, messaging | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

 
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