The origins of the term tagline are quite straight forward, it is literally tagging your product, service or event with a line. There’s a reason business taglines came into being. They can express in just a few short words what your name and even your logo can’t. Many also, use taglines as a means of driving an action to occur from a target audience. In many cases that’s plunking down money for a purchase of some kid.
What many businesses are just now starting realize is that company taglines don’t have to be reserved for just the business itself. They can be used for individual products and services, too. After all, everything is marketing. Everything is branding. Everything could use an extra push in an increasingly competitive business landscape. Of course choosing the right business tagline isn’t always the easiest thing in the world to do.
Sometimes knows as straplines, marketing taglines should focus on creating an emotional impact in just a short phrase or sentence. A quick word of advice though. A lot of businesses create taglines just meant to appeal to potential customers or clients and don’t focus on existing customers. This can be a big mistake because existing customers are often the ones who see your line most often. So make sure it’s appealing to both audiences. And wait, there’s another audience still. Those who work at a given company are also influenced by your business tagline. A good one will inspire and motivate. It can serve as a rallying cry. A poor one, especially one that overpromises or doesn’t jive with company culture, can actually cause resentment or apathy.
If you are fortunate enough to find a tagline that really hits home internally, use it everywhere. Company shirts, coffee mugs, signage and more help drive home the taglines message home and unify the workforce. Remember, many of the best slogans are a challenge which is perfect for internal and external marketing.
So let’s say you’ve opened a crowdsource tagline contest for new business taglines on Slogan Slingers. You’re now looking at almost 100 options. How do you know which on
e is right for you? Here are some helpful tips.
–Keep it simple. Many people try and accomplish too much or include multiple benefits into a single line. That will make your marketing taglines too long. They’ll be seen but not read. A great line will focus on the most compelling aspect of your company product or service. Sometimes that’s even just a single word.
–Be Bold But Realistic. Everyone knows that marketers tend to overpromise and overhype. Not every Italian restaurant can serve the greatest lasagne in the history of humankind. However, there are some things you might do better than a lot of folks. Maybe it’s incredible service. Perhaps it’s fresher ingredients. Is it the lowest cost for quality of its kind? The point is you can brag, especially about something you’re great at, but if you get to carried away, you get lumped in with the 1000 other companies doing the same thing.
–Avoid the Familiar. This is one if the biggest problems we see at Slogan Slingers. We’ll have a contest where among the entries are several brilliant marketing taglines that really catch you off guard. They would stand out and get people talking and motivated to buy. Yet when the marketing tagline contest holder picks a winner, they go with the safest most expected, most generic line. Lines like “Your home for quality” or “We do the job right.” These options could be for any business in almost any industry. They don’t help you stand out. If it sounds like a lot of other lines, many people see that as a sign that the line is working. We feel that’s a sign you need to pick something else.
As we always say, all the advice in the world is great but it means nothing if no action is taken. So use this helpful advice and start your company tagline contest today!
After four decades, Burger King has done away with “Have It Your Way.” This is…or I guess was, the slogan most associated with the brand and for years emphasized Burger King’s ability to customize customer orders which rivals like McDonald’s couldn’t do. (That has changed in recent years.) BK’s new slogan is designed to be an evolution of “Have It Your Way” but with an emphasis on self-expression. The new line is “Be Your Way.” According to Burger King, “Self-expression is most important and it’s our differences that make us individuals instead of robots.”
Fine Burger King. It’s your company so have it your way. But was this a smart move?
First, let’s look at it from a marketing perspective. Is this a line that is going to resonate with customers? I’m not so sure. I can see how, if they back this with a feelgood multi-million dollar ad campaign, it might gain some traction but at the end of the day, are Americans really going to find their most meaningful expression of self is through buying burgers and fries? For America’s sake, I hope not. In that regard, the line is forced. Even worse it’s kind of tired. Every brand trying to appeal to a younger demo seems to take a shot at positioning themselves as a champion of self-expression, from Dr. Pepper’s “Always one of a kind” to Microsoft’s “Be What’s Next.” These slogans are almost always used in a TV spot featuring non-threatening skateboarders, cool looking garage musicians, budding fashion designers and every other cliched example of youth self-expression. Wild Guess: The Be Your Way commercials will not uniformed teens slaving away in a fast food kitchen making burgers. On a more basic level, does the line even make sense? As Socrates famously asked, “Can one be one’s own way?” Ok, he didn’t ask that. He was more of a Wendy’s guy, anyway. But does “Be your way” stand on it’s own? Probably not. Interestingly, McDonald’s is also pursuing a somewhat similar strategy, testing out “What we’re made of” as a restaurant tagline in some markets. The idea is that the customer, the company and the ingredients themselves are unique and high quality.
Time will tell if the line sticks or not. If it does, those three words could potentially be a rallying cry for customers and make Burger King tens of millions of dollars. If it falls flat, the line and most likely Burger King’s new ad agency who spearheaded “Be Your Way” will be on their way. What do you think of the new line? Email me, Lawrence at firstname.lastname@example.org and tell me what you think!
We are all familiar with the phrase ‘Sending out an SOS’, its meaningful, catchy and it grabs our attention. Those are qualities that are also important when coming up with a slogan for your business, too. It doesn’t matter if it’s a dry cleaning slogan, realtor tagline or political candidate’s catchphrase. You need to have a line that means something to the intended audience and sticks in their heads.
A slogan is a clever little way of getting your company name into the mind of your customers whether as part of your logo, on business cards or a website, a printed ad or even as a jingle on a local radio. However the SOS doesn’t just share a lot of qualities with a good slogan, it can also help you when deciding upon a slogan for you organization whether you a working with a freelancer or crowdsourcing a slogan as you can do on Slogan Slingers.
Let’s put a little twist on the typical SOS so you can save yourself from boring ineffective slogans and taglines.
SOS: Simple – Original – Straightforward
Even if you start a crowdsource slogan competition on our site, following these keywords will greatly enhance your chances of choosing a successful tagline or slogan. Obviously it is always best to keep your slogan simple, there is no room for baggage when it comes to writing slogans, taglines, catchphrases or straplines as some call them. You need to focus on a simple message and not try and say too much. That’s the #1 problem that most companies make. Good slogans leave no room for clutter. They’re concise. That makes them easy to remember.
Most of the time slogans are used across a wide range of advertising channels. Keeping it simple isn’t just necessary to avoid confusing or boring your audience. There’s often no room to display a long slogan. Just because it is simple though, it doesn’t mean it should be shallow. Think about each word carefully so that it has maximum resonance with your audience.
Next up is the “O” for “Original.” It’s always best if you can be unique. Everyone says they want to be original but most companies end up picking something forgettable because it’s safer. Original doesn’t just mean avoiding plagiarism. It can also mean avoiding keywords and even ideas that are overly familiar from other products or services. A great tagline for example will perfectly capture the emotion of your USP (unique selling proposition) and that also is a big contributor to how easily the line will be remembered. If you’re voting on professionally written slogans don’t try and combine two or more. That will give you a unique line but probably not the uniqueness you desire. That makes for a Frankenstein on a line. If the line feels uncomfortable to some that may be a sign it’s worth thinking about more.
Finally we come to being straightforward. Developing a company tagline or slogan is something you’ll anguish over but that’s because it’s yours! Generally, most people are going to come across your slogan with a million things on their mind and running around like we all do. So be original but not opaque. You can make your audience think about your message but don’t make them have to think to understand it
Keep SOS in mind whenever you organize a slogan writing contest. If a tagline, strapline, slogan or catchphrase doesn’t comply with the rules of SOS it is a failure. Make sure that the writers participating in your contest understand SOS and try to achieve it. Now your crowdsource slogan competition will be a great success and you won’t have to scream SOS ever again.
So you have started a crowdsource slogan competition and the entries have poured in. Better still, there’s one you really like. Now what do you do? The next important step is making sure that you can legally own it. All the writers on Slogan Slingers are supposed to submit only original work and we have no reason to believe this isn’t the case. However, who’s to say that just by coincidence another company using a different slogan writer or ad agency didn’t come up with the same exact line?
The best step is to contact an intellectual property attorney and have them investigate. If the line is unclaimed which it should be, go ahead and select your winner and take the legal steps necessary to protect your slogan, tagline or catchphrase.
Many of the most famous slogans and taglines have been trademarked even if they choose not to show the mark when printing their slogan and tagline or displaying it on screen.
History proves the right slogan can earn a business millions so those words have value. Take that extra step to insure your investment is protected.
How to Create a Slogan you can Trademark
The main thing to keep in mind is not every slogan can be trademarked. If your slogan is not very distinctive and doesn’t particularly distinguish your business, product or services from anybody else’s then it will be hard to get it trademarked.
Generic slogans such as “The best” or “The natural choice” or “America’s #1” are so generic, no-one else can easily claim legal ownership. But you know what? That’s okay because that’s not the kind of slogan you want anyway. The best marketing taglines, be they salon slogans, cafe taglines or bowling alley catchphrases, should convey something unique and special. They should speak to the core of the brand. If you have a slogan that’s too generic to be trademarked, you don’t want it!
That said (and we’re no lawyers so please seek professional guidance), if your tagline doesn’t seem distinctive then there may be another way that it can be trademarked and that is if it has developed a secondary meaning which can cause it to be linked to the product or service which the strapline or tagline is linked too.
Secondary Meanings Matter
What do we mean by secondary meanings or more importantly what does the Federal Trademark Registration Office mean by it? It means that the slogan has a meaning not just of the actual words or phrase but of the product too.
If you have just started with a new slogan and it isn’t easily trademarked then secondary meaning can be used but only after a period of five years since the inception of the slogan or tagline. Even then, it has to be continually used by your business whether online, on business cards or in promotion literature. Alternatively if your slogan has proven to boost your sales then you can use this as a justification that in the minds of consumers, your slogan makes them think of your product or service.
If your slogan is used with an image or logo then even a more generic slogan is likely to be easier to trademark. A strapline that is part of a logo or image should be even easier to copyright.
How Slogan Slingers can help
All of our writers at Slogan Slingers are bursting with imagination and can produce a wide range of imaginative and often unique straplines. These slogans will be easy to copyright and product from trademark infringement.
If you’re thinking of creating a slogan that you can trademark you need to investigate the possibility of holding a Slogan Slingers contest today. Our writers can make it easier to create a slogan you’ll want to hug, kiss, cherish and legally protect!
Will your crowdsource slogan bring a smile to your customers face?
Humor brings people together and connects them in ways that aren’t otherwise possible. A good joke always stands out and sticks in the memory of everyone who hears it. Those with a strong sense of humor are often deemed more trustworthy and more likeable.
In essence a funny one-liner has a lot in common with a business slogan or tagline. Both are short and sweet communications, one between the comedian and his audience and the other between a company and its customer base.
The Main Issue in Humorous Slogans & Taglines in Crowdsourcing
The main issue to bear in mind when using humor in your company’s crowdsourceslogan or tagline competition is that there is a fine line between being funny just to get a laugh and being clever and witty with the goal of inspiring action or building a brand. Many an attempt at humor has made a target audience laugh but not made them think. And it goes without saying that you need to avoid slogans and taglines that cross the line by being inappropriate or alienating. But if you’re successful in this area, few things in marketing can be more powerful than a memorable, humorous slogan.
The real trick in using humor in your business catchphrase is that you want your strapline to be the joke but not you or your business. While not necessarily taglines, Dos Equis commercials featuring the “World’s Most Interesting Man” are jam packed each time with brilliantly humorous lines. For example, “His mom has a tattoo with his name on it.” And they all end with the universally loved slogan, “Stay Thirsty My Friends.” It’s tongue and cheek humor that helped sales rise 17% when the rest of the imported beer category experienced a double digit drop. It’s a good lesson to learn if you’re working on a brewery slogan, pub tagline or heck any business. Old Spice, Halos, even the NFL will use campaigns with humorous taglines and see monstrous results.
Appropriate and Inappropriate Humor
Just because you can be funny doesn’t mean you always should. The NFL, who we just mentioned, uses a humorous slogan in their commercials for fantasy football but keep it serious and reverent in the campaign for breat cancer awareness. So if you need an architecture firm slogan for a brochure that features a pediatric neurology clinic your firm built, you might want to opt for something more serious. If you need an engineering firm taglines, you might want tagline options that connote reliability and strength.
Also keep in mind, for every gut busting company tagline, there are a hundred others that don’t quite work, at least not as their creators intended. If you hold a crowdsource slogan contest and want a humorous slogan, make sure the person selecting the line has a sense of humor or your line could fall flat.
Finally, be sure to really think through what you’re truly saying. A West Coast company teaching martial arts wanted to convey that they taught kids discipline who had behavioral problems. Their catchphrase was ‘Building better kids one punch at a time’. Many parents took it to mean they were literally beating kids who didn’t behave. Not good.
Creating Humorous Slogans that Work
If you think humor can work with your company image then go for it. A great way to discover humorous slogans that work is to hold a slogan contest. If you ask for humor in your contest brief, you’ll get everything from the subtly witty to the outrageous. It will be up to you to determine which tone best fits the brand image you want to convey. So whether you need a restaurant slogan or realtor tagline, open a contest on slogan slingers. If you don’t the joke will be on you.