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How to write an effective slogan for your business

How to write an effective slogan for your businessChecklist

  1. 1 Consider why you need a slogan. A slogan is not absolutely essential for a small business. If you want to create a compelling tagline, you'll need to come up with something that is original and memorable, that differentiates your brand and includes a key benefit.
  2. 2 Be truthful - it's no good using your slogan to claim that you are “the biggest sports retailer in your local area”, if there is an equally popular sports shop down the road. Instead, focus on something that distinguishes you from your competitors, such as the service you provide.
  3. 3 Look at other business' slogans and decide what works and what doesn't. Some simple slogans say it all - such as Intel inside or Nike's Just do it; others address the customer such as L'Oreal's Because you're worth it. Above all, you need a slogan that people will believe in and remember.
  4. 4 Make your slogan customer-focused. Ask your clients what they like about your firm. If there's a recurring theme, integrate it into your slogan.
  5. 5 Ask staff to brainstorm potential slogan ideas or consider running a competition to find the best one. Draw up a shortlist and test your ideas with some of your customers and suppliers.
  6. 6 Make sure you're not using someone else's slogan. You can find out if your idea has already been trade marked by using the Intellectual Property Office's online database.
  7. 7 Keep it short. If you want your slogan to stick in people's minds, try to keep it to a maximum of seven words. Think Subway's Eat fresh or Reggae Reggae Sauce's Put some music in your food.
  8. 8 If you are struggling to come up with an idea, consider hiring a copywriter or marketing consultant. Ask other business owners to recommend freelancers or agencies.
  9. 9 Protect your slogan. Register it as a trade mark at the IPO website, to stop others from using the same one. It costs £200 to apply to register a trade mark, with a £30 discount if you apply online.
  10. 10 Publicise your slogan on your business cards, on stationery, on your marketing materials, at exhibitions and at the bottom of emails. You might also want to include it on your signage. Make use of it as often as possible and ensure you live up to its promise.
  11. 11 Review your slogan regularly. Like your offering, your slogan might need to be adapted if the needs of your market change.

Cardinal rules

Do:

  • Ensure that your slogan reflects your USP
  • Make sure your slogan stands out
  • Protect your slogan with a trademark

Don't:

  • Make exaggerated claims that you can't justify
  • Use an existing slogan
  • Use negative wording