One of the most valuable elements of a product or service brand is the time-honored trademarkable slogan. While it conjures up pictures of Mad Men and Darren Stephens (Bewitched TV show) the positioning line is often more important than the iconic logo in brand equity terms.
For clients and customers, it’s the elevator pitch. For all audiences, it tells us how you’re different. For stakeholders and team members it’s a vision statement. Overall, it defines the personality—the Persona—of the brand.
Slogans change rarely, and should have long term equity value. And all brands, from trade and service to consumer product, should have a trademarkable slogan. Think of all the great slogans that have stood the test of time:
- Think different (Apple)
- Just do it (Nike)
- I’m lovin’ it (MacDonalds)
- The breakfast of champions (Wheaties)
- Got milk? (Milk)
- The ultimate driving machine (BMW)
- Because you’re worth it (L’Oréal)
Timing is Everything
The time to change a slogan is
- When it stops being relevant to audiences
- When launching a brand.
When it is Time to Change
Persona is best known for brand. We literally wrote the book on brand (The Persona Principle, by Derek Armstrong and Kam Wai Yu from Simon & Schuster.) For the all-important slogan, simplicity and brevity are the rules. A quick glance at top equity slogans (see list above) demonstrates the power of the short story, the shorter the better. Not only does this aid in recall, this forces a S=Urge discipline—ten words or less to tell the entire story.
To date we’ve never had to use a full ten words, although at times it’s daunting. Slogan writing is the most difficult of all arts in marketing. When it is time to change, or time to begin, give Persona a call to help personify your brand.