How to Pick the Perfect Slogan for Your Company

With all the details that businesses need to worry about — from marketing to budgets to following up on leads — coming up with a compelling slogan is often an afterthought. That’s unfortunate, as a good slogan can make a big impact on your company.

Think of the most memorable brands: McDonald’s “I’m Loving It,” Nike’s “Just Do It” and even the New York Times’ “All the News That’s Fit to Print” are all wildly successful slogans that have withstood the test of time. A good slogan can create a lasting, positive impact on customers and how they feel about your company.

With that in mind, here are five ways to come up with a great slogan for your company.

Skip the Clichés

The slogans that advertise “world’s best pizza” and “serving the area since 1982” can be effective if your company is something of a throwback. However, those slogans are so common and overdone that almost all modern companies are better off avoiding those clichés entirely.

Something more original that distinctively highlights what makes your company better would be much more effective. It’s sometimes challenging to avoid such tried-and-true slogans, but it’s definitely for the best.

Make It Short

A long slogan is a boring one. Something like “Creating a lasting and positive impact for the environment to give you the best future” is just not going to stick. The best ones are short and simple. They don’t over-explain, but they get to the point immediately. When brainstorming a slogan, it’s tempting to fit all of your company’s value propositions in at once. While it’s a good idea to highlight what makes your company unique, a slogan shouldn’t go into great detail.

Have the slogan focus on one important aspect of your company. Otherwise, it’ll be too long for anyone to remember. Ideally, a slogan will be both short and clever. Here are a few great ones:

  • KitKat – “Gimmie A Break” – Ties into the memorable way you “break” the candy bar, and will get the song stuck in your head too.
  • Ally Bank – “Straightforward” – It doesn’t get more simple than that. This is a bank that wants you to know there won’t be hidden fees or complications.
  • Tymetal Corp (industrial security gates) – “We Close Openings.” It’s super catchy, smart, and perfectly sums up their entire product line and mission.
  • Red Lobster – “Seafood Differently”. Short, has a double meaning, and lets you know they’re not the same as other restaurants.

Take Your Time

Deadlines are important, but important branding decisions like a slogan shouldn’t be rushed. If you put out a half-baked slogan, walking it back and coming up with a new one can make customers confused. At worst, it makes your company look unprofessional.

Schedule brainstorming sessions, play with slogan generators, ask your customers, or run a contest in-house. Generating a winning slogan should take time and be well thought out.

Don’t be overly aggressive in getting your slogan out the door and in the public’s eye. This is a decision you’ll want to carefully consider in order to come up with the best slogan possible.

Work Off the Logo

In the grand scheme of things, having a good logo is probably more important than a good slogan. Logos are instantly identifiable and are how customers recognize a company.

While a logo probably should be a higher priority, it’s even better to work on the two hand-in-hand. A strong slogan that ties in with a logo makes your company even more memorable and identifiable.

When you’re working on a slogan, think of your logo. When you’re working on a logo, think of a potential slogan. Don’t work on either in a vacuum.

Use It Consistently

One frustrating slogan mishap: when a company goes through the effort of creating a slogan but doesn’t commit to using it consistently. The company’s sign says one thing and an online ad says another, while the company websites have a different slogan entirely.

This is definitely a waste of a potentially good slogan, as there are no real branding benefits if it isn’t used consistently.

Always Look for Feedback

One of the most important steps in the slogan-making process is to seek outside feedback. A slogan that you’re in love with might not make any sense to outsiders, so get their perspective before going public.

Ask co-workers, friends and family what they think. Present them with a few different ideas and see which one works best. The one that you like the most might not be the one that resonates with people.

Scott Huntington

Scott M Huntington is a writer, blogger, and small business owner. He has written for Forbes, Time, Inc, Business Insider, and many other sites. Follow him on Twitter @SMHuntington.