If you are starting a small company or thinking of changing your professional image, creating a catchy slogan might be your next step.
Before you pick up the phone and call the nearest advertising agency, take the time to think about the image you want to project. Here are some things to consider before you contact a copywriter:
- What niche do you want your company to fill in the current market that you occupy? Are you a strong competitor? A second-string player? The bargain-basement option? A maverick operation? Get a sense of who you are and where you want the company to go, which will be projected in the slogan to be created. Jot down several keywords that reflect your desired image, each under its own heading or category. Sketch design for the slogan if you plan to use a print image with advertising materials. Will the slogan appear at the top or bottom of the ad? In large or small letters? Slanted or straight? Dark or light? Answering potential questions like these can help you prepare a tentative plan with plentiful options to share with a graphic design artist or copywriter.
- If you are thinking about switching to a new market niche or target consumer group, factor your new focus into the creative thinking process. An image that worked in the past may fall on its face in a new market. Learn something about the new market’s demographics. What type of customer are you reaching for? Old or young? Retired or working? Male or female? White-collar or blue-collar? The more you understand about your target audience, the better you can fit your slogan to their interests.
- Avoid extremes. While cutting edge themes can be tempting, don’t adopt a slogan unless it truly fits your business image without stretching your customers’ imaginations or turning them off to your image. A popular home furnishing company lost a significant percentage of its customer base after switching from a “home-style” to a “high tech” image.
- Make it simple. Don’t go for a terribly clever or witty slogan that will go right over most people’s heads. Allusions to famous authors, artists, or philosophers may lose value unless the work is well known and recognized, such as the “Mona Lisa” painting.
- Promote the new slogan widely. Use it on company letterhead, announce it in fliers, mention it in the company newsletter, and post it in your stores or offices. Employees may want to wear pins or name badges that include the new slogan. Your advertising agency can launch a media campaign to carry your new image to the community.
- Run a contest. Ask customers to suggest the new slogan, offering a “reward” or “prize” for the winner. Even if you opt not to use a customer’s idea, you will draw attention to your store and involve the public with your company’s new concept. Be sure to announce why the winning idea was selected.
A slogan may seem like a little thing to represent a company’s interests. But research shows that an effective string of words can keep your company on the public’s mind for years to come. Choose wisely and well, and with your advertiser’s help, you may leave a lasting legacy in the local community.A slogan may seem