We recently had a slogan contest where, due to special circumstances, a member of our staff needed to help the slogan contest holder narrow down over 50 great slogan ideas to the top ten slogans.  Since all we do is look at slogans day in and day out, just about everyone here (except for maybe the cleaning lady) can easily separate the best slogans and taglines from the ho hum entries.  The contest holder was incredibly appreciative, but it got us thinking, it’s too bad we can’t do this on a regular basis.  After all, we love picking out catchy company slogans, restaurant slogans, law firm slogans and accounting firm slogans as much as the next guy.  We’re always just watching from the sidelines!

Now before you think we’re about to announce that we’re going to start helping clients judge slogans on a regular basis…well, we ain’t gonna.  We thought it might be helpful, however, to give you the insight we shared with the slogan contest holder in working through their contest.

1. Great slogans should inspire. We love Sony’s current slogan “make. believe.”  Yes, it’s clever, memorable word play but this technology company slogan defines what they do and adds a sense of wonder.  It subtly suggests that their products are so unbelievable they actually have to assure you that you can believe they’re real.  Two words accomplish so much.

2. For small business slogans, the line you choose should inform and help explain what you do. Let’s look back at Sony again for a second.  Who knows what sort of products Sony sells?  Just about everyone on earth (except for maybe our cleaning lady again.)  They don’t need to define themselves.  However, if your business is called “Rourke Industries” or “Southeast Management Systems” your next door neighbor at the office park might not even know what you do.  So in that case, your small business slogan should help fill in the blanks.  It’s one of the most crucial roles a slogan can play.  You still want to be memorable and inspirational but educate at the same time.  Of course, is your name is overly descriptive like “Ed’s Refurbished Washing Machine Warehouse” then you have much more latitude to use a less descriptive slogan.

3. If the line makes you feel like you’re taking a little bit of a chance by selecting it, that might be a great thing! Many of Slogan Slingers contributers are professional slogan writers at expensive ad agencies during the day.  Many have relationships that are decades long with clients.  They’ll tell you that the business that grow year after year are the ones that innovate both in their day to day operations and in their marketing.  “What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas” remains one of the greatest tourism slogans ever conceived because it was unlike any other that had ever been used.  Like Sony, it also inspired – granted what it inspired wasn’t very wholesome.

When you start your slogan competition, keep this slogan advice in mind and you’ll pick a great slogan too.  It doesn’t matter if you need company slogans, restaurant slogans, law firm slogans or  accounting firm slogan, getting a slogan using an online slogan competition can be the best branding move you’ll ever make.  Even our cleaning lady knows that!