With the right slogan, you can make people giggle at a pun, ponder the mysteries of the universe, or even experience a powerful craving. A poor slogan, on the other hand, risks making customers cringe. And forking over cash is usually the last thing someone wants to do after cringing.

This post will give you a 5-step guide to writing great slogans. So whether you need a brand new idea or you’re refining an existing slogan, you’ll be in business. Let’s get started!

1. Make your slogan ABC: Ambitious But Credible

Believability is the first test of a good slogan, because a customer’s belief or lack thereof largely determines how he or she will respond, and that response could very well be the difference between buying and walking away. No matter how much fun your slogan is to say, or how good it looks next to your logo, it won’t do any good if your customers don’t believe it. [Tweet this]

For example, Nike’s command to “find your fast” comes across as completely believable. While having the right equipment isn’t the only factor in athletic success, it is a factor. Slogans like this one invite consumers to put their trust in a brand, which is a big plus.

Effective business slogans

Some key questions to ask about your slogan:

2. Appeal to emotional needs

Making a purchase is often an emotional experience. If a slogan can incite a strong positive emotion (think joy, excitement, sympathy, etc.), it stands a better chance of connecting people with the products and services that aim to fill those needs.

For example, major hotel chains go out of their way to convey comfort: Hilton claims to be “filling the earth with light and warmth of hospitality,” while Aston bids “welcome home” to each traveler who sets foot on their premises.

You can also tug at the heart strings without being sappy. When Kleenex launched a video ad about a boy who gives a tissue to a girl he spots crying on the school bus, the closing observation that “someone needs one” positioned Kleenexes as the universal response to tears everywhere.

Questions to consider about your slogan:

3. Stand out with clever wordplay

Your slogan ought to be tricky or clever enough to make most readers think about your slogan for a minute or two, which makes it more likely that they’ll remember it. If it’s too tricky, however, it can go right over their heads and leave them confused.

There’s no easy way to come up with a clever saying, but you can start by listing words that have to do with your product, then searching for rhymes, synonyms, and alternate definitions for puns.

Those aren’t the only ways to make your slogan stand out—in fact, sounding too catchy in a clichéd way could be counterproductive. Reese’s “two great tastes that taste great together” follows an A-B-B-A structure that, intentionally or not, imitates the peanut-butter filled structure of the candy itself.

Nor does it have to be complicated to sound good. “Ace is the place with the helpful hardware folks” isn’t just easy on the tongue; it’s also a straightforward slogan that goes well with the down-to-earth nature of hardware stores.

Ask yourself:

4. Just say no to clichés and superlatives

How do you know when you’ve crossed the line from catchy to corny?

If people can sarcastically cite your slogan to disprove it when they experience setbacks, you’ve probably crossed that line. [Tweet this]

Another sign you may have gone too far is the use of tired clichés. Phrases such as “we do X so you don’t have to”; “for x, by x”; and “x of the future” are all used so frequently that consumers are used to tuning them out. If you really want to express the sentiment embodied in these phrases, find a unique way of doing so.

Some key questions to consider are:

5. Maintain a strong connection to your business

Can you match the following slogans to the product they represent?

1. Made like no otherA. beverages2. Rethink the daily grindB. women’s deodorant3. Live loudC. toilet paper4. Live life in full colourD. denture fixatives5. Bend the rulesE. 3D desktop scanners6. Designed to be forgottenF. ice cream

Having trouble making the connection? The point is that a slogan should strongly relate to the product it promotes. It if doesn’t, then it might catch people’s attention momentarily, but it won’t stay with them.

It’s best if there’s a strong, interesting link between your slogan and your product. For instance, Aquafina’s insistence that their water is “for happy bodies” makes good sense. Sunchips’ claim to be “unique in every wave” distinguishes their chips from their less curvy competitors. Finally, Paper & Packaging Board’s assertion that their products are at the heart of “how life unfolds” wouldn’t make much sense for, say, a burger stand.

Effective business slogans

(And if you want to know the quiz answers, here they are: 1. F, 2. A, 3. D, 4. B, 5. E, 6. C.)

Congratulations! You made it through Business Slogans 101. Once you’ve written a killer slogan of your own, be sure to sell it visually as well as verbally. Lucidpress templates can help you incorporate your new slogan into all kinds of marketing materials: social media graphicsdigital magazinescompany newsletters, and much more.

So you finally made the decision to turn that brilliant idea into a legitimate business—congratulations! You’ve probably got a whole to-do list in your mind right now, including how to market your product, how to determine who your target market is, and how much capital you need to actually get things going. 

Of course, all of these are important parts of your business plan, but have you already settled the most basic element of your brand?

Yes, we’re talking about your brand name—and if you’re having difficulty coming up with one, that’s perfectly normal.

Finding the right name for your brand

Coming up with the right name for your brand isn’t about fitting a certain ‘standard’. Every brand is unique – don’t pigeon-hole your brand because you think it has to fit an arbitrary standard of what other businesses are doing.

Consider your brand’s position, mission, and story as stepping stones that can lead you to a natural brand name fit. Going back to these basics is a great way to get the creative juices flowing, and might help you land on a few potential name candidates.

And if you need extra help, these 5 tips will help you pick out a brand name that your audience will remember.

1. Gather ideas and brainstorm

Before anything else, we recommend starting a brainstorming session. Gather your business partners (or friends and family if you’re a solopreneur) and just start throwing things on the page. Add in any words, phrases, or feelings that sound right – don’t worry about perfection at this stage.

The trick is to come up with as many names as possible, list them all down, and slowly tick away the bad ones until you are left with the best candidates.

2. Use clear, descriptive, easy-to-remember words

In our experience, the best brand names aren’t the super odd or out there ones, but the ones that are easy to remember (and spell when you’re looking them up online). 

Try using words that can be easily connected back to your product or service, the mission your company stands for, and what customers can expect from your brand.

3. Make sure it’s unique

The last thing you want to deal with is a lawsuit, so before setting your heart on a brand name, make sure another brand isn’t already using it.

If you get an exact match, there might still be some wiggle room though. For example, is the business in the same industry or location? Even if it isn’t, we still recommended tweaking your brand name (adding initials or locality, for example) to avoid confusion.Another note here: As you’re considering brand names, check to see if the domain name is available. If your team has their heart set on a certain name, you may be able to purchase the rights to the domain from the owner, but you’ll definitely want to find out if that’s a possibility before making your final decision.

4. Skip the buzz words

Using trendy new words in your brand name is one way to make it memorable. It can even help you appeal to a younger target market. But at the end of the day, trends come and go.

If you want your brand to stick around, it needs to withstand the test of time – and that means picking a name that won’t lose its meaning (or won’t become cringy) in a few months time. 

Save the trendy lingo for timely marketing campaigns instead!

5. Make sure the name can be carried over to your logo, slogans & taglines

Brand consistency is critical to growth, and it all starts with your brand name. Whatever name you choose should look and sound great alongside the rest of your branding: logos, taglines, slogans, etc.

For example, if your brand name is clever or humorous, you’ll want to follow that up with branding elements that match – not clash with – that more relaxed and friendly tone. Now that you’ve got a great brand name, it’s time to start putting it out there. Learn how to build a brand marketing strategy from the ground up here.