A slogan makes your brand more recognizable and memorable. It captures what’s appealing about your brand in a few words. Writing a catchy motto is easier than you think. Follow these steps to make your business slogan one that gets results.
“A diamond is forever.” “Snap, Crackle, Pop.” “Finger lickin’ good.” “Because you’re worth it.” “America runs on Dunkin.”
These are just a few examples of slogans created by famous brands. You might instantly visualize the product just by hearing the slogan and thinking of the company. That’s exactly what the marketing team working for DeBeers, Rice Krispies, Kentucky Fried Chicken, L’Oréal Paris, and Dunkin’ Donuts were hoping would happen.
Big corporations pay their marketing teams handsomely to come up with the perfect business slogan that will make people remember their brand. In marketing, it’s called brand awareness or recognition, and it’s one of the most important metrics marketers and customers watch.
As a small business owner, you don’t have the resources big companies have. In fact, you may be the marketing “team,” and need to devise your business motto on your own. But don’t fret. You don’t need to come up with a phrase that will become world-famous. You can make a memorable slogan and build brand awareness for your local business by focusing on the customers you want to reach and following these steps.
7 Steps to Make a Slogan for Your Business
1. Start with your logo
Your slogan works hand-in-hand with your logo. Your logo is the visual symbol of your brand. When you create a slogan, you make a short, memorable phrase that conveys what your brand is about and what people get from it.
The two go together like peanut butter and jelly. Unless all your advertising happens on the radio, you need a top-notch logo before the slogan. Take Walmart, for example. The company uses its logo with and without its slogan, “Save money. Live better.” But looking at the two together shows a lot of intentionality. They were obviously designed together.
RELATED: Ten Tips for Choosing a Logo
2. Keep it simple
Most people who do creative work professionally live by one overarching rule — keep it simple. Have you heard the phrase, “less is more?” No, it’s not a famous company slogan. It’s the first rule of design and copywriting. Clutter and wordiness cause confusion. Many of the best slogans have few words. Most of our most famous examples above have between 4 and 6 words.
3. Use small words
The average American reads at a seventh- to eighth-grade level, but you’ll notice that the most famous slogans use much simpler words than that. “It’s everywhere you want to be” uses words that fourth graders would know. Same with Nike. “Just Do It” uses words that young children would understand.
4. Brainstorm a word list related to your business
First, make a list of words that describe your brand. What does your company do, and how is it different from your competitors? What need does your business fill? What emotion do customers want to feel after acquiring your type of product or service? List words that describe your client base and what you, as the company founder, are passionate about. Remember to use those power words.
Next, pull up an online thesaurus and find some other words that might work. Remember to keep them simple enough that any grade school student can understand them.
Looking at your word list, which ones seem to jump off the page at you? Which make your customer envision reaching their goals? Those are probably the ones you’ll end up using.
Finally, start writing. Keep it short and simple. Remember, “Got Milk?” It doesn’t get much simpler than that, so avoid complication.
5. Make it roll off the tongue
If it’s easy to say, it’s probably easy to remember. Gillette’s slogan, “The best a man can get,” is easy to say. Same with Disneyland, “The happiest place on earth.” If you can say it easily, you can remember it easily.
6. Use power words or phrases
Power words or phrases invoke emotion. Look through the business slogans we’ve already listed. Words like, “happy” or “Do it,” or Calvin Klein’s slogan, “Between love and madness lies obsession.”
7. Test your slogans
Once you’re done writing, pick your favorite three and put together an informal poll. Ask your customers, family, and friends to pick their favorite of the three. Don’t explain them or provide any other context. Remember that you won’t be there to explain the slogan to every person who reads it, so it has to work without you providing any context.
You’ll likely have a clear winner once you ask enough people. Find as many as you can. You could use a free service like SurveyMonkey to collect feedback.
Don’t feel like your business has to have a slogan. Some brands and industries don’t see a need, and that’s ok. Take fashion, for example. What’s Michael Kors’s slogan? How about Chanel or Coach? If you serve a niche market, it may not be necessary, or if you don’t rely heavily on marketing, you can probably get by without one.
Disclaimer: The content on this page is for informational purposes only, and does not constitute legal, tax, or accounting advice. If you have specific questions about any of these topics, seek the counsel of a licensed professional.