May 04, 2010

Nothing sells like a Slogan.

Logo design and branding are lesser-known parts of what we do at 1300 Web Pro. We regularly design logos, and help form brands for both startups and established businesses. One part of the process that clients often treat as an afterthought, much to my chagrin, is the slogan.

This is potentially a great loss, because the slogan (or tagline, or memory hook, or motto, or catchphrase, or whatever) is generally a brand’s time to shine.

A business’ name and logo are often simply ways for clients and prospects to identify the business. This is certainly important to the business, in the same way that the word “James” is important to differentiate me from most other humans.

However, the word “James” doesn’t tell you anything about who I am or what makes me unique. Likewise, a logo or business name often doesn’t tell a consumer much about what makes the business special and unique.

Even in the best case scenario, a name will generally still only give a trivial piece of information, like “James is a boy” or “Great Wall Motor’s sells Chinese cars.”

A slogan, on the other hand, is a business’ opportunity to sum up their all-important "Unique Selling Proposition" or "Point of Difference" right off the bat.

The starting point to a creating a great slogan can simply be the answer to the question… “Why should I deal with you?”

A few examples… 
Dick Smith Electronics – Okay so you’re like Harvey Norman or The Good Guys?
Talk to the Techxperts – Ohhh! Your staff are experts in technology, not just regular old electronics salespeople.

Qantas – Um, isn’t there supposed to be a “u” after the “q”?
Spirit of Australia – Ohhh! If I fly on you I’ll be with a bunch of fellow Aussie’s, the pilot will speak English, you’ll serve Bundy, and I won’t have a 3AM stop over in Tai Pei.

Chartered Accountants – A band of accountants.
Number 1 in Numbers. – Ohhh! So a chartered accountant is better with numbers than a regular accountant. That sounds beneficial…

Federal Express – I think they move stuff around the country.
When it absolutely, positively has to be there overnight. – Ohhh! You mean they do overnight deliveries that actually get there the next day?

US Army – Why would I want to get shot at?
Be all you can be. – Ohhh! I’m not really reaching my full potential until I’ve risked life and limb to defend my country.

1300 Web Pro – You’re phone number is 1300 932 776, and you do websites.
Websites that mean business. – Ohhh! A website from you guys will sell more widgets, make my phone ring, find me staff, and show up at the top of Google.

Last but not least, I give top honors to this bus advertisement I recently saw in Auckland:
Monthly Meter Reads – You read monthly, my electricity company averages… it’ll all come out in the wash.
We charge you for what you actually use. Precisely. – Shock! Horror! I am paying for more electricity that I actually use? All because my electricity company is lazy? The mongrels!


Every business should have a slogan. That slogan must drive home the business’ unique point of difference. The slogan must define that single most important benefit a customer will get from picking you.

Does your business have a slogan? If not, slot in half an hour with the team and start batting ideas around. As long as you stay focused on that all-important unique point of difference you can’t go wrong.

Want more? Check out this article, "Slogans That Are the Real Thing," at BusinessWeek.

What are some of your favorite slogans? What slogans leave you wondering: “Huh?” Join me in the comments section and share your slogan thoughts.

James Deck
1300 Web Pro
Twitter: @1300WebPro

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