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.
IsocolonThis 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.
AnthimeriaHave 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.
AnastropheSome 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.
LitotesHave 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.
HyperbolePerhaps 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.
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 SimpleThe 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 ColorThe 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
Focus on FontsChoosing 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 ProfileWhen 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.
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.