Is Your Brand Effective? Take the Slogan Line Test

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Do you have a clearly defined brand position or just a catchy slogan with little product positioning behind it?

A slogan is not a brand. The job of a slogan is to clearly convey the brand position. The branding process should have a focused brand position first, then establish a slogan line to concisely convey the essence of that brand. A brand will clearly describe either the rational or emotional attachment to the viewer – not spout a list of product attributes.
Every product line has a brand, but a slogan line is optional. As a matter of fact, most products don’t have slogans.

Slogans are a Brand Moniker, not a Brand?
Slogans are an add-on to a strong brand position. They are meant to encapsulate and heighten the branding’s core emotional drivers.
?- Nike has a brand of tenacity and perseverance. Its slogan is “Just do it.”?
– Best Buy has a brand of helpful advice and making the complex simple. Its slogan is, “Thousands of possibilities. Get yours.”
?- Motorola has a brand of cool and hip style that connects people in innovative new ways. Its slogan is “Hello Moto.”?

So test your brand…
One on one, ask each person in your department to describe the brand position in two sentences or less. If the person recites the slogan line back to you, ask them, “What does that really mean?” Listen carefully to the things they include, and even more importantly, the things they leave out.

Here is what to look for:
1) Do you hear consistency from the entire staff??Do you get many different answers or is the staff accurately describing your brand position? Most people will simply repeat your slogan, but not understand the meaning behind the phrase.

2) How quickly do they answer??Does it roll right off their tongue or do they struggle to figure it out?

3) Do you get different answers from different departments?

4) Are the manager’s answers different than those of the rank and file?

5)Do they just describe the product, or do they talk about the customer??If you were to ask the delivery company UPS the same question, they would not talk about delivering packages. They would talk about joining with their customers as a team to make the clients’ businesses more efficient.

6)Do they simply spit out a long list of buzz words??Using consistent imagery and copy points are important parts of any brand, but does the staff have an understanding of the brand position that goes beyond a laundry-list recitation of research points?

If your team doesn’t score as well as you would like on this little quiz, it’s time to get busy.

Come up with a one-page brand position statement?
The first few paragraphs of the document should not be about you. It should clearly describe how your brand will affect the viewer. It should talk about their priorities, emotional needs, fears, hopes, etc. It should describe how your brand will relate to them on a human level.?

Watch out for toothless descriptions in this section such as “we want to help the people in our community be their best and protect their families.” This section should take a real stand and get beyond generalities. A good example would be: “Our priority is helping stressed out people who are time starved and overburdened. They feel like they are constantly neglecting their families, their careers, and themselves.”

The last part of the document should not describe your product. It should describe how your product will serve the needs of the people at the top of the page.

Graeme Newell
Graeme Newell shows companies how to build fanatical customer loyalty through emotional marketing research. He is an emotional marketing speaker and President of 602 Communications. Graeme turns mere buyers into passionate groupies. Check out his web site, training videos, and white papers.

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