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What’s in a Slogan? Popular Literary Devices to Make Your Words Work

Posted by Liz Papagni in Branding | 1 comments

literary devices What are some of the most enduring slogans and taglines? Think for a moment about the ones you really love, the ones that captured the essence of the brand while also capturing the attention of consumers. What makes them so special, and how can you do the same for your business? Believe it or not, crafting a memorable slogan or tagline involves a lot more than simply putting words together. There is an art to it, an art that requires some knowledge of literary devices. Let’s examine some of your favorite slogans and taglines from the past and see how these literary devices were put to work for those brands.


This strange word just means that you use a particular cadence and rhythm to make the phrases memorable. It usually involves similar syllables in each phrase so that there’s a hint of repetition. Some very famous slogans and taglines include: The few. The proud. The Marines. Maybe she’s born with it. Maybe it’s Maybelline.


Have you ever heard someone make a verb into a noun or vice versa? Maybe you’ve heard someone say, “I heart you,” which is cringe-inducing for an English teacher, but perfectly acceptable in popular speech. Brands do the same thing—taking parts of speech and mixing them up for something fun with their taglines. Consider Ikea, Subway, and Apple: Live unböring. Eat fresh. Think different.


Some wordsmiths will rearrange words so that the order seems unusual, while the message still makes sense. If done correctly, your slogan will almost seem like poetry. Again, this one’s not easy to pull off, so it’s one of the lesser used techniques. Still, take a look at this tagline from Adidas: Impossible is nothing.


Have you ever heard a slogan that seems to downplay the amazingness of the brand or product? Using a double negative, such as “It’s not the worst thing in the world,” is a tongue-in-cheek way of emphasizing the greatness. One brand that used this particular device comes to mind: Nobody doesn’t like Sara Lee.


Perhaps one of the most commonly used literary device out there, hyperbole gives brands the chance to exaggerate their greatness without appearing conceited. It’s all done in fun, right? Think about Carlsberg beer’s slogan: Probably the best beer in the world. These devices prove that coming up with a slogan takes a lot of work, right? Not only must you pull together words that emphasize your brand’s unique value, but those words must also be memorable enough to stand the test of time. What are some of the best slogans and taglines you’ve heard? Do they fit the devices mentioned here? We’d love to know more about your journey toward choosing the best words for your brand.

Developing Your Brand from Bottom to Top, Part II

Posted by Liz Papagni in Branding | 0 comments

developing your brand In the first part of this series, we laid the foundation for your brand. Now it’s time to start building from the ground up. This is when you’ll begin to inform your buyers of your brand mission, vision, and position. When developing your brand, the design and voice of your brand must be clearly defined so as not to inspire immediate confusion.

Crafting Your Website

We’ve covered your branding design at length. Now it’s time to apply that design to your number-one marketing tool: your website. The moment your prospective buyers land on your website, they will begin forming their thoughts about your brand. You should have those buyers and your brand in mind as you plan your website development. How do they search for information? Will they prefer copy that makes them laugh or do they need a serious approach in order to connect with your brand? Do they react to images, or will they search first for text to guide their search? Even the SEO tactics you employ should adhere closely to your branding standards. Knowing your brand and your buyers tells you everything you need to know about the search terms they will use to find you.

Engaging with Social Networks

With your website firmly in place and ready to launch, it’s time to build your social media presence. Many brands make the mistake of building a home on every single available social platform. Not only could this be a waste of time for you, it could also confuse your audience. Take some time to investigate where your buyers live online. Yes, buyers of all ages and psychographic dimensions use Facebook, but Twitter is a different story. Will you really need an Instagram account if your business sells services instead of products? If you sell almost exclusively to buyers over the age of thirty-five or forty, professionals who work in director-level positions or higher, is there any point in investigating the uses of Snapchat? Once you’ve chosen those networks and begun to build an audience, it’s important that you create social media policies that are used across the company, regardless of who’s creating your messaging each day. Your brand voice must remain consistent with every post and every response.

Educating Your Buyers

However you reach your customers, the end result is always to provide more information about your company, your team, and your products. Whether you’re working at the top of the relationship funnel and working to build awareness about your company, or you’re nearing the end of the buying cycle and have a sale on the line, your brand standards should always be on display. Information about your company will be disseminated in several different ways. Online sources include your blog, ebooks, white papers, charts, comparisons, reviews, and testimonials. You may also send out information in the forms of catalogs, magazines, letters, postcards, fliers, samples, posters, and coupons. Finally, you may engage in various media placements, with radio and television commercials or videos created specifically for sharing through email, social media, or on your website. When you create all of this material, will you do so with your brand in mind before anything else? The answer should be a resounding yes.

Protecting Your Story

The whole idea behind building your brand and educating your buyers is to tell your brand story. Sometimes, whether through a mistake you’ve made or an unfortunate turn of events, that story may change. Consider the current battles between smartphones. Right now, Apple is winning the brand story game, while Samsung’s brand has gone up in flames, literally. Sure, Apple took some serious chances in order to continue pushing the limits of technology by dropping the headphone jack. It was a big opportunity for Samsung to swoop in and gather up those buyers who weren’t ready to evolve along with Apple. Unfortunately, Samsung’s too busy dealing with batteries that catch on fire or even explode. Instead of being a solid choice for customers looking for brilliant technology that keeps buyers at the cutting edge of technology—without going too far over the line—they’re instead watching helplessly as their brand burns along with their phones. How will you convey your message to your buyers through your website, social media, and informational content without losing control of your brand story? Of course, we’re always here to help you on this journey, to help you build an unshakeable foundation for your brand. Give us a call, and in the meantime, you can explore my book, Your Marketing Road Map, now available on Amazon.   Image source

Making Design Choices to Fit Your Brand

Posted by Liz Papagni in Branding | 0 comments

design choices fit brand By the time you begin making design choices to fit your brand, you should have a deep understanding of your company’s vision and mission—your why, as I like to call it. You also will know your buyer personas inside and out by this point. You’ll know what reaches them on both logical and emotional levels. Without this knowledge, you shouldn’t make a single move toward your branding design. Anything you create should reflect your brand standards, not dictate them. When you’re ready to move forward, these tips will help you stay on track.

Keep It Simple

The most recognizable brands in the world have simple, easy-to-identify logos. Without much brainpower, you could easily conjure the images associated with Nike, BMW, or Apple, right? Use the information you’ve gathered from your deep-dive branding examination to cast a critical eye on your logo choices. Will your design speak to the right audience? Will it convey your brand’s mission and vision? Take the necessary time to get it right.

The Psychology of Color

The colors you choose to represent your brand will speak to your buyers. For that reason, you can’t simply select a color because it’s your personal favorite. It’s important to study the emotions that particular hues evoke and pair them together for the optimum reaction. For instance, if you want to grab attention and convey energy or passion, then red is your color. Yellow is the choice for optimism and happiness. Orange, an increasingly popular color, gives the impression of friendliness, creativity, and even youth. Perhaps that last characteristic is what makes orange the big choice these days, since many of the companies that use it target millennials. The rest of the list looks something like this:
  • Black: credibility, power, decisiveness
  • White: simplicity, classic, innocence
  • Brown: rustic, historic, sturdy
  • Blue: professional, peaceful, trustworthy
  • Green: organic, earthy, growth
  • Purple: wisdom, spirituality
  • Pink: fun, flirtatious, feminine
With these characteristics in mind, think of the most famous logos in the world. What do their colors tell you about the brand? McDonald’s would be energetic and happy, right? Starbucks conveys organic and simplistic values. BMW, with its black, blue, and white, says it is powerful, trustworthy, and classic.

Focus on Fonts

Choosing fonts that reflect your brand can also be difficult. In many cases, the font for your logo is created specifically for your brand. Not everyone can afford that kind of design work, however. Whether you’re planning something custom for your brand or choosing fonts that are already in existence, make sure the fonts speak even louder than the words you create with them. You have so many to choose from: big, bold, serif, sans serif, script, thin, serious, whimsical… The list goes on. Some of these fonts will gain popularity so quickly that they eventually become passé. For instance, ask any designer how they feel about the Comic Sans or the Papyrus fonts. We can’t see into the future, but we can definitely keep an eye out for popular choices that may need to be avoided. Your font doesn’t apply to only your logo. Other fonts will become a part of your font palette. You should choose something that will be easy to read on any platform, including print and web uses. This includes the copy on your website, in your brochures, and on your company swag. Before you start creating anything for your business, have all fonts selected and tested.

Create Your Brand Profile

When you have all these things selected, create a brand profile. This is where you’ll apply your colors and fonts to various situations that just might happen in your business. Create different versions of your logo, including the symbol only, logotype with the name of your company included, black and white versions, horizontal and vertical versions, and any other iterations you think you may need. Not only do you get a chance to see all your choices together at once, but you also have a place to return when you want to refresh, rejuvenate, realign, or even redesign. Because, while you definitely need to get it right the first time, there may come a day in the future when you need a few tweaks to stay relevant. Nearly every brand mentioned in this blog has faced that eventuality during their long lives. How wonderful would it be for you to get your branding so right the first time that your company survives long enough to need a rebrand? Let’s make that happen. Your branding design is only a small step on your marketing journey. See how it all fits together in my book, Your Marketing Road Map, available for presale now on Amazon.

Developing Your Brand from Bottom to Top, Part I

Posted by Liz Papagni in Branding | 0 comments

developing your brand Whether you’re an established business or just getting started, developing your brand is always a must. Knowing who you are, what your message is, and how to get that message to buyers is the most important aspect of your marketing. Starting without understanding your brand will only lead to confused buyers and lackluster revenue. Even if you have a pretty good grasp on your brand, you can always use a refresher, right? Getting back to the basics is important to building and maintaining a rock-solid foundation for your business. Let’s go back to the beginning and discover how you can develop your brand from the ground up.

Define Your Business

Maybe it seems a little silly to go back to the very beginning, where you decided on a name for your company. And, of course, you’re already aware of your industry, location, and market size. Still, this is the very foundation of your brand. Your understanding of even these smallest things will help you develop a stronger, more powerful brand. For instance, let’s think about your business name for a moment. Did you think long and hard before coming up with a clever pun? Maybe you own a flower shop called Best of Buds. One of my favorites is the classic Tequila Mockingbird. If you went for the giggle when naming your business, then that’s part of your brand. You want people to immediately recognize your lighthearted approach to your company. The name you chose for your company sets an immediate tone, whether you realize it or not. If you’re not sure you got it right, take a moment to ask some trusted colleagues what their first impression is. You’ll learn a lot with just that one question.

Investigate Your Competitors

If your ideal customers aren’t buying from you, who do they buy from? What is so compelling about that competitor that it draws your target audience away? Determining what makes your competition different is one of the fastest ways to determine how you are different. Let’s imagine you’ve opened a local bank and named it Neighbors Financial Solutions. You’ve got the attention of the families in town, but your biggest competitor manages to get all the high-end investment accounts, and you don’t know why. We could drill right down to the name you chose for your business, which elicits mental images of small-town, friendly service instead of investment sharks like the global financial institutions have. In just one quick question, you’ve determined your competitor’s difference, but you’ve also discovered your own. Of course, you can’t simply stop at the name of your business. You must investigate every aspect of your brand to determine where you can set yourself apart from the competition.

Recommit to Your Vision and Mission

The reason your business is different from your competitors is because you have your own vision and mission for your brand. Your mission is your why—why did you build your company? What did you hope to accomplish? No one, not even the competitor most comparable to your brand, could possibly have the same why. No one else will have the same vision for your company’s future. Rediscover your why and recommit. You may have lost sight along the way, or maybe you started with the wrong vision to begin with. Any company’s mission should be obvious to its customers. Is yours? Do your buyers know why you do what you do? If you don’t, they can’t.

Evaluate Your Brand Position

Now that you know who you are, why you’re in business, and how you’re different, it’s time to evaluate your brand position, which could also be called your unique value proposition. This tells you and your buyers everything in one simple statement. Your bank may be “the neighborhood bank where everyone is family” or “the financial institution with years’ of experience in investments.” See how easily your brand position could set you apart from competitors? You’ll notice we haven’t even touched on your logo, colors, or tag lines. You can’t build a brand on aesthetics alone. These foundational elements must be addressed before you begin designing collateral and building a reputation. We’ll investigate the optics of your brand next time. In the meantime, head over to Amazon to pre-order my book Your Marketing Roadmap to discover where developing your brand fits into the overall marketing journey.   Image Source