The most effective marketing campaigns are always the simplest; the ones that convey in few words what the brand is about while leaving a lasting impression. Think of the first few chords, the dancing silhouettes, and that classical music in those moving De Beers commercials; the iconic Clydesdale horses in the Budweiser ads; or even those gut-wrenching ASPCA commercials that beg you to pick up the phone so Sarah McLachlan can stop ruining a perfectly good song with sad puppy dog eyes.
What do they share in common?
They are all simple. Remember that Marketing 101 class where you learned the rule of KISS (“Keep It Simple, Stupid”)? (Also, relax, no one is calling you stupid.) Over the past few years, marketers have decided to tone down the in-your-face messaging points (“BUY THIS COCA COLA!!!”) in favor of ads with powerful imagery that tug at our heartstrings. Hold the pomp and circumstance; advertisers are now focusing on how companies are either contributing to a greater good OR how a purchase will make you feel good. Think of their messages as bite-sized takeaways for the masses.
I noticed just the other day great brand messaging while opening my packaged Dunkin Donuts coffee. Neatly printed across the top of the flavor-sealed bag were the words “mornings are in the bag”—so clever and yet, so pithy! For other examples of great marketing, check out jetBlue (I love their “Flying it Forward” campaign), Dogfish Head and their fun packaging/website, and Trulia for their surprisingly witty contests (like their “Win a Freakin’ House” promo).
Here’s a checklist of things you might want to consider when coming up with a company slogan or brand message:
- What am I selling?
- Would this make someone want to purchase the product?
- Is the message clear?
- Is it memorable?
- How does it stack up to the competition?
Don’t be afraid to get a little creative and use an inspiration board to jot down ideas, concepts, words, etc. Good luck!