How To Create The Perfect Business Slogan?

Creating a slogan requires a shift in focus and a simplification of language. It requires you to consider everything from the client’s point of view and to evaluate what matters to them and how best to communicate the benefits of the products or services you provide.

There are 9 elements of your business, product or service to explore. These 9 elements describe every aspect of the potential sales transaction:

<Product/service>

Your actual product/service.

<feature>

What you do in a literal sense.

<benefit>

The benefit of what you do.

<feeling>

The feelings surrounding your product or service.

<problem>

The actual problem that necessitates your product or service.

<trigger>

The circumstance that necessitates your product or service.

<client>

A description of your target client.

<industry>

The industry you work in.

<location>

The location of your product or service.

The reason a slogan can be so effective is that it focuses on the needs of the client and how your product or service adds value.

Creating a connection, being relevant and using the right terminology are everything. If you speak to your clients about what matters to them in terms they understand then you can only succeed.

The Best Business Slogans Reviewed and Explained

I have written many articles about the best business slogans of big corporations worldwide. You want to know how these business slogans are created and their impact on the business sales and brands, you may read the business slogans articles below:

A Diamond is Forever – De Beers

‘Melts In Your Mouth, Not In Your Hands.’ – M&M’s

Because You’re Worth It – L’Oreal

Open Happiness – Coca-Cola

Where’s The Beef? – Wendy’s

Think Different – Apple

Just Do It – Nike

“Save Money. Live Better” – Walmart

Live Mas – Taco Bell

I’m Lovin’ It – McDonald’s

Finger Lickin’ Good – KFC

The Happiest Place On Earth – Disney

Impossible Is Nothing – Adidas

9 Elements to consider when creating a business slogan

1. Product/Service

Unless you are a predefined or well-understood product (grass seed, TV etc.) or an understood service (florist, plumber etc.) then you may need to understand how your product or service is described by others.

If your product or service is understood and you are simply looking for a way to differentiate yourself and find an “angle” then it’s possible to skip this element.

To skip this element, you must have an offering that is widely known and understood, if you’re not sure, don’t skip.

If you have created a new product or service, or operate in “less familiar” territory then we most certainly need to find the name or coin the name for what you do.

But how do you do this?

The good old fashioned approach works best here – speak to people, search the internet and aggregate what you find.

Do some research.

You will be amazed by the volume of information that’s out there if you want it.

Check the forums

Forums, in particular, are useful, finding places, where people are interacting with each other in their own natural language, will give the best indication of how a product or service may be referred to.

For example, fast-acting grass seed may be referred to as “green speed seed” or have another colloquialism (common name).

If you establish that your product or service is referred to as “green speed seed” for grass seed or “the digital bin men” for recycling old IT equipment, then you have an edge you can utilise when you are interacting with clients.

Check the reviews

If you use a third-party review site or have clients review you on Facebook, then you will have first-hand access to exactly how your clients refer to your product or service.

Check the competition

How do your competitors refer to what they do? What does their Twitter or Instagram bio say about what they offer? Check brochures, FAQ and “about us” style pages to understand how the competition describe what you offer.

Communicate in the same language

Once you’ve established the terminology used to describe what you offer, the first advantage is that these names will be understood by the majority of your prospective clients because they are the ones who created them in the first place.

If your product or service is hard to pigeonhole and someone already has a way to describe it which works, it will have already spread across the internet and been picked up by others.

A good example of this is the popularity of combined names for couples like “Brangelina”. The phrase was coined to describe both people in one word and was subsequently understood and adopted across the world naturally.

Your goal here is to find the most commonly used term(s) to describe your business, product or service.

Utilise the name and secure the assets

There is a distinct advantage when using the language of the people, things like the URLs (website addresses) and social media handles you need can often be found available because names like “the digital binmen” or “how to fit a kitchen on a budget” aren’t so seemingly popular.

2. Feature

This is where most businesses begin to describe their product or service. This is a description of what your product or service is and what it does. So, if you were a painter you paint, if your product is bathroom cleaner, it cleans.

Speaking in literal terms we need to be sure of what you “do”. Your product or service will likely “do” many things so we need to list each of them in turn.

How to define your “features”

If you have a product, then the features are fairly straightforward to deduce- it’s what the product does. It makes grass greener, unblocks your drains and so forth.

If you provide a service, then your “features” can be less obvious.

Your features are the “what you actually do” part of your business. For some services, there may be only one or two features- I cut hair, I take photos, I teach French.

It doesn’t matter how many things you “do”, what matters is you can be specific about them and make them as simple to understand as possible.

If you are finding this difficult, try this:

  • List every service you offer.
  • Look at previous clients- what have you done for them?
  • Look at invoices- what do you itemise?
  • List every application for your product/service.
  • Look at previous reviews and feedback- what do clients say?

Remember- it’s not how many things you do, but being clear on what you do and why it matters that will make the difference.

Let’s look once more at our examples.

Service

Let’s use the example of a plumber- what do they do?

Install boilers.

Fit outside taps.

Attend to leaks.

Fit new bathrooms.

…and so on.

The list isn’t exhaustive here, but you get the idea; what are the many things your product or service actually “does”.

This list will likely be how you would answer the “what do you do?” question.

“What do you do?”

“I’m a plumber and I fit taps and fix leaks.”

Product

If we were describing a product such as the fast-acting grass seed, the list would

look like this:

Feeds lawn.

Makes grass Green.

Keeps weeds at bay.

Kills existing weeds.

…and so on

Again, this will likely be how you currently describe what your product “does”.

“What does it do?”

“It makes the grass green and helps keep weeds at bay.”

3. Benefit

For each thing that you “do”, we then need to consider what the benefit is.

Where the feature is the characteristic of what you do- we make your grass green, the benefit is the end result and what your client is actually looking for.

There may be more than one benefit for each “do” so it’s important to be as exhaustive as possible here again- we can trim back later.

We are trying to get to the specifics of what we really “do” for our clients and the benefits we provide so it’s important to include everything you can list- at this stage there are few if any “wrong” answers.

No one buys grass seed; they’re buying a greener lawn. No one buys accountancy services; they are buying tax advice.

No one buys a newspaper, they’re buying the news, or the crossword or something to entertain them.

Looking at our examples once more:

Service

For plumbers, installing new boilers can have many benefits from replacing a faulty unit to reducing bills and more.

Fitting outside taps means amongst other things, you can use a garden hose or wash the car.

You will see instantly that the benefit is what your client is actually looking for. You will know to call a plumber if your boiler needs replacing – so as a client your primary focus is on your broken boiler, not the fact that you need a plumber.

With this in mind, it makes sense that we communicate in these terms when we talk about our product or service.

Product

For our grass seed, the benefits are predominantly having fewer weeds and a greener lawn overall.

As with the service example of the plumber, the “benefit” of Green grass is what someone purchasing grass seed would be seeking.

They want a greener lawn, the end result, but the grass seed is how you get there.

The difference between features and benefits

Before we get too far, there is a fundamental problem that many salespeople and businesses face.

This is one of the main reasons so many businesses fail to have a clear and compelling sales message- and conversely why so many people do not consider themselves “salespeople” when they are.

Many businesses and salespeople fail to understand the difference between features and benefits.

It’s not rocket science, but it’s not always fully understood and is the root cause of the many unclear and forgettable sales messages.

Let’s clarify this simply right now:

  • A feature is a characteristic of your product or service.
  • A benefit is the end result.
  • A feature is “what” you do.
  • A benefit is what that means for your client.

This article will be of no value if you are not 100% clear on the difference between features and benefits.

Re-read it and repeat it back to yourself if you need to; you need to get this right to be able to craft an engaging slogan.

Trying to promote features to potential clients fails to work as there is no “why” and no context. There’s also no connection.

Thinking back to the plumbing example, would you connect more with:

We provide plumbing services.

Or

We can fix that annoying leaky tap for good!

Exactly.

The “sell” is in finding the connection point with your client and the connection point is always the benefit you offer as this is what your clients are actually buying. (Speaking in terms your client understands also improves connection-hence it was our first port of call.)

Sure, you sell the fastest drying paint in the world or you’ve created the world’s smallest travel iron – but what does that mean to me as a client? Why should I care?

This is why Question 2 is – “Why should I care?”

Clearly explaining the benefits of your product or service is the key to connection and conversion.

When a client understands “what this means” for them, then they “get it”- then they buy.

Feature

“We sell the fastest drying paint available on the market.”

Benefit

“This means you can paint more rooms faster with less drying time.”

There’s an old saying in sales that no one buys a drill. What they are actually buying are holes in their wall.

This is a simple way to remember the difference between features and benefits. If all I want is a hole in my wall, I don’t care how amazing a drill may be and what it does- so long as it drills holes and I can afford it, I’m likely to buy it.

Taking this a step further, if you consider why the client wants to drill holes- they want to put up a shelf, for example, then you can use this additional insight to ensure you are speaking in a more relevant way.

If you then find out that shelf is for displaying matchstick models, then you may also be able to recommend glues, shelving, brackets and other things in the hardware shop that may interest the client.

You sell more to the client and the client doesn’t feel “sold” as you have identified their needs and provided what they need.

This is real “selling”.

If, however, you try to sell this client a drill as it’s “cheap” or has XYZ functionality, you will be less likely to close because you lack the basic understanding and context behind the sale. You are missing the connection point and not communicating in a relevant way.

Why should I care?

A better question to ask than “what does this mean?” is “why should I care?”. (or “why should they care’)

To find the true benefit of your product or service, ask why anyone should care about it.

If they don’t care, they won’t buy.

Explaining what something means gives some context and makes it more relatable. Explaining why you should “care” is more brutal and cuts straight to the heart of the matter.

Clients also expect businesses to answer this question for them. The logic being “If I am paying you money, you need to tell me why I should care and thus buy” – this makes perfect sense.

Remember, a feature is a characteristic of your product or service- it’s a description of what you “do”.

What you do is the starting point, but this alone is meaningless- these are just the “features” of your business, product or service.

If you don’t explain the benefits of what you do, you will find it hard to connect to potential clients. People buy benefits, not features. They buy holes, not drills.

If you don’t know why your clients should care then this is a red flag and an indication that you need to reconnect with what you are truly selling, to whom and why. It may also identify features that are meaningless and can be omitted when communicating.

To really get to the heart of the matter, repeatedly ask “why should they care” (“they” being your clients) and see how the answers develop.

Each time you ask, you are getting closer to the real benefits and generating multiple potential angles to sell the product or service.

Let’s use a template:

“Feature” which means “Benefit”

“Our paint is fast drying, which means you can paint more rooms in less time.”

“We don’t use chemicals which means our paint is safer to use.”

“Our long-lasting formula means redecorating will not be required as often.”

You can see how following this simple process can begin to break down not only the difference between what you do (feature) and what it means for your clients (benefit) but also allows you to create multiple relevant messages.

You can also begin to see how these two sales messages are vastly different and yet essentially say the same thing.

Would you prefer:

“We sell the fastest drying paint in the world.”

Or

“We sell the fastest drying paint in the world, which means you can paint more

rooms in less time.”

Precisely.

Taking the time to look at what you do and why your potential clients should care about it is an important step in the right direction – and one that can differentiate you from your competitors who fail to do so.

Remember, you’re not selling drills, you’re selling holes.

4. Feeling

The “feeling” element is split into two distinct sections:

Feelings/emotions your product or service encourages.

Feelings/emotions your product or service discourages.

Plutchik’s wheel of emotions sets out perfectly the related and opposing emotions to allow you to find and align to those which sit best with your product or service.

Being emotive, there are no “exact” answers here, you will need to explore the appropriate emotions based on your understanding of your product or service.

Feelings/emotions your product or service encourages.

When speaking in a positive tone about what your product or service can offer, it’s important to focus on the aspirational nature of what you do.

“Feel more secure with our burglar alarms.”

“Be proud of your flawless green lawn.”

Feelings/emotions your product or service discourages.

When speaking in a negative tone about what your product or service can offer, you can reference the feelings/emotions your product or service discourages to better connect with a client.

“No more annoying time wasted waiting for paint to dry.”

“Never be bored again with our on-demand video service.”

A word of warning

Feelings and emotions aren’t relevant or effective for every type of product or service. Can you feel emotive about quick-drying paint? You can definitely feel emotive about an alarm system or anything medical.

Trying to apply emotions to some products and services simply won’t work- and yet for others it can make all the difference.

That said, using words like “trust” and “security” when describing an accountancy practice adds weight and allows connection. 

As with everything in this article, there is an element of experimentation that will be required to find the right fit for you, your products and services and your clients.

If there is no emotion in selling wood screws to builders, then you don’t need to reference it in your sales message.

You can use the following slogan templates to experiment:

Feel less “negative feeling” because “feature” which means “benefit”.

Don’t be embarrassed by your lawn, our grass seed will make it green and weed-free in 30 days.

Feel “positive emotion” because “feature” which means “benefit”.

Be proud to use 100% organic paint which is kinder to the environment.

5. Problem

Whatever your product or service, you will be helping to solve a “problem”.

Now, the word “problem” might not always be relevant, but when we’re working through this exercise it makes sense to focus on the problems your clients face rather than their needs.

Although client needs and problems are often the same, it’s the problem that’s more likely to drive their behaviour:

For example:

Need – “I need petrol.”

Problem – “I don’t know where the petrol station is.”

Need – “I need hot water.”

Problem – “My boiler has stopped working.”

Using our examples of a plumber and grass seed, let’s now consider the problems we solve for each of the benefits provided.

The easiest way to find the problem is to look at the opposite of the benefit.

Service

For a plumber, the problems clients face are quite obvious and quite urgent; a leaky tap or lack of hot water can’t be lived with for too long.

At this stage, let’s combine some of these elements to test out possible sales messages.

Do you have <problem>? We can provide <benefit>

Do you have a faulty boiler? We can replace it for you.

Do you have <problem>? We can provide <feature> which means <benefit>.

“Do you have high energy bills? We can fit a new boiler which means a more efficient heating system.”

Product

For our grass seed, the benefits are predominantly having fewer weeds and a greener lawn – there doesn’t need to be an endless number of benefits on offer or problems solved, in fact being very specific and succinct about what you do is exactly what we are trying to achieve.

The more specific you are, the more likely you are to connect and sales are about making a meaningful connection.

At this stage, let’s combine some of these elements to test out possible sales messages.

Do you have <problem>? We can provide <benefit>

Do you have brown patches on your lawn? We can remove them.

Do you have <problem>? We can provide <feature> which means <benefit>.

“Do you have lots of weeds and moss? We can kill existing weeds and moss to leave you moss and weed-free.”

6. Trigger

A trigger and a problem are very similar, but there is a difference and as such, we treat them as separate entities.

The trigger is what causes your client to act.

Sometimes a problem will be enough to cause your client to recognise they need your product or service, other times there is a specific trigger that must take place.

If you’ve ever had a faulty boiler that you’ve ignored until it’s stopped working completely- you know that the problem is the faulty boiler but the trigger is being left without heating and hot water.

The trigger is what causes you to act.

The trigger is when your need a solution to your problem or need cannot wait.

There are a number of potential triggers to consider.

Date/time – Easter is a trigger to buy Easter eggs and the sale of fans increases in the summer- is there a date/time or seasonality to what you do?

Event – The arrival of a baby means you need to buy nappies. A wedding means you need to buy a LOT of things not least a dress. Is there a non-date specific “event” that triggers a need?

Feeling – Tiredness drives you to buy an energy drink, feeling lonely leads you to online dating. revisit the positive and negative emotions surrounding your product or service.

Abundance- Too much rubbish? You need a skip. Too much fat? You need the gym. What can you help your clients reduce?

Lack – Not enough money? You might play the lottery. Not enough time? You might seek a PA or cleaner. What could your clients lack which leads them to need you?

Emergency- A broken down car necessitates a recovery truck. A smashed window necessitates a glazier. Is there an “emergency” element to what you do?

Another great example is fuel in cars:

Need – “I need petrol.”

Problem – “I don’t know where the petrol station is.”

Trigger – “My fuel gauge is in the red.”

Using our examples of a plumber and grass seed, let’s now consider the triggers that cause clients to know they need a particular product or service.

Service

For a plumber, the triggers are more specific than you may realise and this is where defining the right slogan can differentiate you in the marketplace and help you to connect with more clients in a more meaningful way.

In winter cars get dirtier quicker and thus need washing more often. If you don’t have an outside tap, then this is an issue.

Therefore, as a plumber in winter you may ask using this template:

Do you have <problem> because of <trigger>? We can <feature> which means <benefit>

Do you need to wash your car more often because it’s winter? We can fit an outside tap which makes it much easier.

As this is a template we may not stick 100% to the wording used, but the principles remain sound.

Another template would be

Has <trigger> happened which means <problem?>

As it’s summer are you finding you need to water the garden more often?

Or

If <trigger> has happened and you have <problem> we can <feature> which means <benefit>

If you’ve had your energy bills and they seem high, we can fit a new boiler which can make your heating more efficient.

Product

Interestingly enough, for our grass seed, the trigger is largely the same. A brown, patchy or weedy lawn is more of an issue when you have guests over or are having parties and BBQs. The more time you spend in the garden, the more you will notice the issues.

We can use the same templates here for the grass seed as we did a moment ago for the plumbers:

Do you have <problem> because of <trigger>? We can <feature> which means <benefit>

Are you more aware of how patchy your grass is now you’re having more BBQs this summer? We can make your grass green which means no more patchiness.

Has <trigger> happened which means <problem>?

Are you having guests over for a BBQ this summer? Have you noticed your grass is patchy and full of weeds?

If <trigger> has happened and you have <problem> we can <feature> which means <benefit>

If you’re having guests over this summer and don’t want a patchy lawn, we can make your grass green again and fill in those patches.

Taking a step back to emotions you could also add emotion into this sales message.

If <trigger> has happened, you don’t have to <negative emotion> we can <feature> which means <benefit>

If you’re having guests over this summer, don’t be embarrassed by a patchy lawn. We can make your grass green again and fill in those patches.

You can already see from these simple examples the power of looking closely at what you are selling, to whom and the context of the sale.

You can begin to communicate in a more engaging way when you better understand why what you do is important and what it means to your clients.

Your product or service doesn’t change, but how you communicate about it does.

It’s all about finding out why clients should care about what you do.

For your own product or service, consider the triggers that would cause your clients to take action and call upon your services.

Finding the trigger is not an exact science, it’s considering the logical ways in which a problem will manifest itself.

It’s also about considering when a problem can no longer be tolerated and a client is moved to act to resolve the issue.

Revisit the features of what you do.

Think about the benefit these features bring.

Which problems do these benefits solve?

Who has this problem? (look at each problem one by one)

How does this problem present itself?

When would it be most painful or urgent to experience this problem?

Remember to be very specific and focus on the client perspective.

7. Clients

Once you have established what your product or service does and explored why potential clients should care about it, you can then seek to identify who your ideal client is.

Not being able to clearly explain what you do is one thing, but not being clear on what a potential client would look like only adds to the confusion.

But like everything in this book, it’s simple enough to resolve, it just needs a little thought and some logic.

The key to success here is asking as many questions as possible and being as specific as you can, but remember that there will always be an element of the unknown.

Step 1 – Understand the problem you are solving

Revisiting the features and benefits of your product or service, we then need to consider the problem you are solving with this benefit and then who would experience this problem.

To find the problem you simply look at the reverse of the benefit. If the benefit is saved time, the problem is wasted time. If the benefit is good for the environment, then the problem is bad for the environment.

Step 2 – Who experiences this problem?

Broadly speaking, who could experience the problem you solve. If you don’t know, do some research for the issue both in-person and online and look for commonalities.

As well as who could experience the problem or need, who would want the benefit you provide? 

If you provide green lush grass then who would need and appreciate that? Gardeners? Homeowners? Hotels? Local businesses? Parks? People buy benefits, not features, so focus on who would be most likely to seek the benefit you offer. Who would care the most about what you offer?

Step 3 – Create an image of your potential client types

Consider the following:

  • Location
  • Gender
  • Age
  • Business or personal clients?

What other defining characteristics would your ideal client have that could make them easier for you to identify and reach out to? 

You can’t be too specific here, we need as much detail as possible.

Step 4 – Get the timing right.

You know the problem you solve.

You have a clearer picture of who has this problem.

Now consider when this problem would become apparent and require you to solve it?

Is there a certain event, timescale or another trigger that causes the client to need your product or service?

Consider the <Trigger> element we have previously explored. When would an ideal prospective client experience such a trigger?

Let’s look again at our example of the fast-drying paint, what would a potential client look like for this?

  • The feature is quick-drying paint.
  • The benefit is saved time.
  • The problem is wasted time.
  • Who would experience this problem? Decorators.
  • What characteristics do they have? Mostly male 18-45.
  • What could trigger this problem? Wasting time waiting on every job.

We can combine these elements using the same template for features and benefits, this time adding in the client.

<feature> which means <benefit> for <client>

“Quick drying paint means no more wasted time for painters and decorators.”

Notice how easily that sentence flows.

We are deliberately using plain English and focusing on the viewpoint of the client.

We are speaking in terms they would understand about the issues that would matter and how we can help. This is why the right slogan can be so transformative to your sales efforts.

Contrast this to “We sell quick-drying paint.” To see just how more engaging this slogan is.

Follow these steps to define your own target client. You may have only one or two or there may be several. The aim here is to be as specific as possible so we can then understand where we can find these ideal clients and thus engage with them.

  • Step 1 – Understand the problem you are solving
  • Step 2 – Who experiences this problem?
  • Step 3 – Create an image of your potential client types.
  • Step 4 – Get the timing right.

8. Industry

The industry you work in can be an important element when communicating with clients – especially if what you do is niche or specialised.

This messaging concentrates more towards b2b (business2business) rather than b2c (business2consumer) but whatever your marketplace the messaging can add relevance and value.

For b2b this is the industry- such as “the building trade”, for b2c think of the “genre” or type of marketplace for the product or service you offer. Example:

B2b would be “grounds keeping.”

B2c would be “gardening.”

In the same way, we clarified the common name used to refer to your product or service, the same applies here. What is your industry known as? Is it “the motor trade” or “plumbers” or “florists”.

An easy way to find the most commonly used term for your industry is to find any official industry bodies that represent businesses like yours.

The name of that association, federation or group will be the most commonly used and accepted name for your industry.

With your industry defined you can combine the following words to experiment with templates that accurately portray your product or service.

Notice “accurately portray” – if you aren’t the highest rated or leading in your industry then you can’t include this in your sales message. You can insert “a” to make the message more factual.

The leading vs. A leading

The most trusted vs. A trusted

These are the descriptive elements; there is no limit, this is a starting point to get some ideas flowing.

<descriptive>

  • Specialists.
  • Leading.
  • Trusted.
  • Reliable.
  • Experienced.
  • Best value.
  • Highest rated.
  • Long established / longest established.

Let’s use our examples of plumbing and Grass seed once more:

<industry><descriptive><product/service>

Plumbing’s best value boiler fitters.

<descriptive><product/service><industry>

A reliable widget for the plumbing industry.

<industry> specialists in <problem>

Plumbing industry leaders in fixing leaky taps.

<industry><descriptive><product/service>

Gardening’s highest-rated grass seed

<descriptive><product/service><industry>

Reliable grass seed for groundskeepers.

<industry> specialists in <problem>

Gardening specialists for Greener grass.

Consider whether you provide products and services to consumers (b2c) or to other businesses (b2b). Perhaps you work with both? Using the descriptive element and the name of your industry, experiment with some industry-specific sales messaging.

9. Location

For local businesses, the <location> element can be a vital differentiator. Depending on the nature of your product or service, being the <location’s> only/nearest or “best” can make all the difference – especially when you are against the non-local competition.

Using the location of your product or service- whether that’s a country, region, specific town or locality, you can be more specific about your offering and reach out to those physically close to you.

Considering location there are three defining characteristics- are you

The nearest product or service to a group of people?

The only product or service in a location?

Without location constraints?

Combining your location with a positive descriptive (adjective), we can create some location-specific sales messaging.

<location’s> <descriptive> <feature>

London’s finest bathroom fitters.

Wales’ most reliable couriers.

<descriptive> <product/service> in <location>

The loveliest coffee shop in Dorset.

The <only/nearest/best><product/service> in <location>

The only coffee shop in South street, Dorset.

Got a <problem> in <location> we are the local <heroes/experts/specialists>

Got a leaky tap in Dorset? We are the local experts!

Please note- your location can be a country, territory, street or locale- be as broad or specific as you prefer.

<location’s> <descriptive> <product/service>

The World’s favourite airline.

Please note- the internet can be referred to as your “location” if you are based online:

<location’s> <descriptive> <product/service>

The internet’s highest rated eBook provider.

Are you national, international or local? Are you based online, in “the world” or in a very specific location?

Are you very specific about where your clients are based (such as a local shop) or does location make no difference to your business? (mail order products).

Experiment with some location-specific sales messaging.

Leave a Comment

error: