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You’ve got a great name for your startup. What’s next? Before you design your logo, website and other marketing materials, it’s time to create a company slogan or tagline. Like Apple’s “Think Different” or Nike’s “Just Do It,” a great slogan inspires, motivates, informs and persuades. So how do you come up with the right one for your company?
“Having a great slogan is absolutely critical,” says Rich Davis, founder of Slogan Slingers, a crowdsourcing site for slogans and taglines. “In some ways I think it’s even more important than a logo, because everyone has a logo. Not every [new] business is savvy enough to leverage a really smart slogan.”
A good slogan can help you stand out from your competition. “If you have a slogan that conveys a simple, powerful message while your competition just has a logo, you have the advantage in standing out and winning over your target audience,” claims Davis. The right slogan can change how you’re perceived both externally and internally, he adds, citing the “Think Different” campaign as an example. “It represented the cornerstone of Apple’s entire brand. It was their philosophy in two words. It guided every product they developed and every decision they made.”
What Makes a Good Startup Slogan?
Good slogans are not always obvious. “Research shows that cookie-cutter slogans have no impact,” says Davis. “They’re quickly forgotten, and basically convey a general lack of passion within the organization. It’s the opposite of branding. If you care about your image, it’s worth investing the time in getting a slogan that stands out. If your slogan isn’t elevating your brand, you’re making a mistake by using it.”
So what makes a good slogan or tagline? Davis says it must have some basis in emotion. “Good slogans get you to feel something about a brand or even about yourself that you didn’t before.” The slogan can also tout a key benefit in a memorable way. “The Energizer Bunny campaign and their catchphrase, ‘It keeps going and going and going…’ is great example of this.”
In today’s Web-oriented world, do you need to worry about SEO or keywords when creating your slogan? “Taglines really do not impact SEO in any tangible way, unless sites continually link to you with your chosen tagline,” says Ben Fisher, the Social Media Marketing Dude. “One benefit to a keyword-rich tagline would be if the line was in plain text under the logo and displays as part of the site description.”
“You have website headlines, metadata, blogs and back links for SEO,” Davis agrees. “Your slogan should transcend all that.
Davis warns that there are no set rules for slogan success. “Like a hit song, blockbuster movie or any creative product, there’s no specific formula for producing a timeless slogan. A lot of times on our site, a contest holder will see a slogan entry that is nothing like what they were originally envisioning but they instantly realize they’ve found ‘the one,’” says Davis. “That’s the magic of the creative process. There are basic elements a great slogan should possess, but the rest comes down to the writer’s imagination.”
Can Crowdsourcing Help?
Davis owned an ad agency before starting Slogan Slingers late in 2010 when crowdsourcing entered the marketing fray. “I thought, ‘Oh man. If someone ever uses crowdsourcing to generate slogans, that will totally kill an entire service category of my business.’ So I said to myself, it might as well be me.”
Slogan Slingers lets companies look for feedback and ideas about their slogans by putting the project out to thousands of professional writers. Companies choose a set price and provide as much information as they want on the type of slogan they need and for what purpose. Once the slogans start coming in, the business can give feedback to fine tune the pitch.
Image courtesy of Shutterstock.
Google founder Larry Page’s shot across Facebook’s bow in an interview with Charlie Rose on Monday night generated plenty of headlines Tuesday, but Page got off without really answering Rose’s original question: Is Google “worried or not worried about Facebook’s competition in search?”
We spent Tuesday tracking down experts who could speculate on if and when Facebook may try to compete against Google in search, and envision what Facebook’s version of search may look like.
As the social network’s share price continued to tank in its first full week of trading, and with former AdWeek editor Michael Wolff saying it was nothing more than another ad-supported website, Facebook will face pressure to find new revenue streams. For many observers, search seems like a likely tactic.
“I have a strong feeling that Facebook will almost likely have to do something like this if they want to keep their investors happy,” said Maciej Fita, the SEO director at Brandignity LLC. “It is really going to be about profits now, and even if they could steal 5% to 10% of Google’s search market, that could lead to some much better numbers on their balance sheet.”
Flexing Its Social Graph Muscle
None of the experts we spoke with envision Facebook creating a search engine, but instead they expect the company to use all of the data and endorsements for websites that are collected through likes and comments to better personalize search results for an individual user.
Aliza Earnshaw, director of sales and marketing at AboutUs Inc., said Facebook wouldn’t be limited to just pushing recommendations from your friends, but instead would be able to use the data it has from all of its members to figure out what sites people similar to you found useful.
“Of course, not everyone fills out the entire profile – nor even fills it out accurately – but with [905 million] members and counting, it’s possible that Facebook will be able to deliver search results that are even more highly relevant than Google results, especially for things that are lifestyle-related,” Earnshaw said.
Is Facebook a Threat to Google?
Of course, to get into search – even if it is to only steal a small percentage of Google users, as Fita suggested – means Facebook is prepping itself for a fight with the other dominant Web firm (plus a secondary battle with Microsoft’s Bing).
“They can’t just churn out a new Google the way Google churned out a new Facebook,” Dave Davis, managing director of RedFly Limited, said in an email. “They have one thing Google doesn’t have (much of at least): The open graph and individual behavioral data. [There are] 2.7 billion likes and comments per day (according to venturebeat) on websites, data that Facebook can link to individual users and their connections.”
Davis said he expects Facebook to launch search within two years, mainly due to shareholder pressure. He sees it being a truly “peer search” and was even willing to bet that Facebook would call it Peer Search.
“They will do it right. I think they will also phase this in on a vertical-by-vertical stage too,” he said.
Alhan Keser, CMO of digital media agency Blue Fountain Media, said Facebook will have to figure out how to break users’ habits of relying on Google for search.
“They have a long road ahead. Google’s algorithm was created overnight,” Keser said. “It took years to develop a system that gave relevant results. They succeeded by better satisfying users.”