The following is an edited transcript of my video The Value of a Great Slogan.
Slogans are powerful tools that tell consumers about your brand. The best slogans are fun, memorable, catchy, and communicate something important or unique about the brand. Slogans can be registered and protected as trademarks, just like brand names and logos. Here’s a few examples of great slogans.
- HBO: “It’s not TV, it’s HBO.”
- Timex: “It takes a licking and keeps on ticking.”
- M&M’s: “Melts in your mouth, not in your hand.”
- Taco Bell: “Think Outside the Bun.”
- American Express: “Don’t leave home without it.” — and they’ve actually tweaked that over the last few years as the world has moved online to “Don’t live life without it.”
Many of these slogans have alliteration, a rhythm to them, or a play on words, and that makes them even more playful, catchy, and memorable.
Here are some steps for creating, launching and protecting a new slogan.
- Decide on what kind of message the slogan should convey to your customers.
- Brainstorm possible slogan ideas that relate to this intended message, and hopefully settle on the ideal slogan.
- Before you commit to this slogan, search the USPTO records and consult an attorney to do a more thorough search and make sure no one else is using a similar slogan in the appropriate field of business.
- If the name is clear, apply to register that slogan with the USPTO, based initially on intent to use the name, and then to go ahead and begin using the slogan along with the proper trademark symbol.
We like to practice what we preach here at EMP&A: We have several different slogans that we use in different context to convey messages with different audiences or at different times, and each of them are registered. We have our core slogan, “Making Trademarks Bloom since 1999.” It reinforces that we’ve been around for more than two decades; that we help grow, create color and vibrancy with brands and trademarks; and we tie in the sunflower imagery that we use. Whenever I talk to people, they enjoy and remember our slogan and it resonates with them, so we get tremendous feedback on it.
From time to time, we also use, “Experience is our Trademark. Trademark is Our Experience.” This one is playing up our experience of many years and that our focus is just trademarks — it’s one thing to have been around for a long time, but it’s another thing to have been around for a long time with a steady, consistent focus on protecting trademarks that we have.
Another slogan that we’ve got is, “The Nontraditional Trademark Lawyers.” We use this from time to time because it’s a play on trademark terminology – a nontraditional trademark is something that’s not a word or a logo, it’s something like a sound or a packaging design or a color. It has a double entendre, meaning the trademark terminology, and that we’re nontraditional because we charge flat fees, we’re more approachable, and we are a little different.
Here are a few great client slogans that we enjoy:
- A local client here in Virginia is an axe throwing called Axes and O’s, whose slogan is, “Chop Local.” A great play on the “shop local” theme.
- A client that does fitness-related video and other services with the slogan, “Where Every Body Fits.” A play on everybody and every body.
- Chad Barr, my marketing, content and video guru has the great slogan, “Raising the Barr”, a great play on words with his name.
- For consulting that relates to physical spaces and office environments, one of our clients has the great slogan, “Great Places & Spaces.” A nice rhyme and rhythm to that slogan.
- Gary Furr, who’s a consultant, uses the slogan, “Turning Complexity Into Simplicity.” Perfect example of a nice message that conveys something important about your business and is fun, catchy, and memorable.
These real world examples demonstrate how a slogan can help bring to life a brand, add depth and color to it, and reinforce a message that resonates with consumers and tells them more about your business, about what you do, and about what your values or principles are. And that’s why slogans can be so useful and powerful!