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Catchy Slogans: A Waste of Space?

May 24, 2010
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A slogan is a short phrase used in many ads. It’s usually seen in a series of ads called a campaign. The slogan is what helps make your ad and your company memorable.

Good advertising must have a catchy slogan, right? Most of your life you’ve seen Coke, Ford, Budweiser, Wheaties, Nike, and Frosted Flakes hammering you with their catchy slogans. Even the U.S. Army has its own catchy slogan.

It’s only natural that when you first get in business, you think of ideas for a great slogan. You want something your prospects will remember. You need something that makes your competition tremble in fear.

So after many hours of thought, you come up with something like, “Forget the rest, try the best”, “We clean your dirt not your wallet”, or “No job too big or small.”

These don’t say anything unique and memorable. In fact, these could be used for most any cleaning company. If this is all you can come up with, it’s best to go without a slogan.

I love a good advertising slogan. But most slogans I see for cleaning businesses are a waste of space.

Some tips for a better slogan:
  • Make sure it reflects who your company REALLY is. Don’t fake it.
  • Keep it short. Fewer than five words are good. 2-3 words are better.
  • It should state how you are different from your competition.
  • Make it memorable.
  • Consider a strong statement or guarantee.
  • Give a direct or indirect benefit of your service.
  • Use a slogan if it benefits your overall advertising campaign.
Slogan examples (remember, these are copyrighted examples; you’ll still need to come up with your own):
  • Chem-Dry: Drier. Cleaner. Healthier.
  • Professional Carpet Systems: Experts in Spot Removal.
  • Premium Carpet Care: Exhaustively Thorough.
  • Clean as a Whistle: Most Outstanding Service Experience Ever.
All these slogans fit the profile for being a memorable, beneficial slogan that makes the company look unique. They’re short and sweet. And remember, a slogan isn’t a one shot deal. It should reflect what all of your marketing communication is about.

Everyone was guilty of this when they first start creating advertising, myself included. Cleaning business owners usually go wrong when they put too much importance on a slogan. They rack their brain trying to come up with a catchy phrase. Then they plaster the phrase next to their logo hoping that one little knee-slapper slogan will make their phone ring off the hook. While a slogan can be helpful, it won’t make or break your ad.

Here’s the thing: You do NOT need a catchy slogan to run a successful ad. It’s one of the least crucial parts of an ad. Doesn’t that take away some of the stress? Some of the most successful cleaning ads I’ve seen didn’t even have a slogan. Instead, concentrate more on a benefit driven headline and killer offer.

Using a slogan is most beneficial when you are running a campaign of ads in more than one media. The slogan helps tie all your ads together. It tells the prospect, “Remember us, we’re the company that does XYZ!”

Should you use a slogan? If you have a phrase that sets your company apart and it adds to the overall benefit of your advertising campaign, you’d be a fool not to use it. A good slogan will help your ad response and create branding for your company. But don’t throw in a slogan just because you think you have to have one. If you do, you’ll be wasting valuable advertising space.

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