Words That Stick: Creating Company Names and Slogans That Will Remain in the Brain
Catch phrases are named so for a reason; they catch you as tight as a fly stuck in a sticky spider’s web. “Sticky” is what expert writers in the writing, editing and publishing business should aspire to when naming their enterprise and developing a slogan.
Naming your company is particularly challenging. You can no longer depend on using the A or AA or AAA that many have used in the past in order to get a good placement in the telephone book. With the Internet in full swing, potential clients seeking service are not so easily caught. Rather, you must communicate your product and services and what is special about your particular business in two or three words. Most importantly, the company name must be easy to remember, or stick in the mind.
One way to do this is by using your personal name. This is especially true if you already have a collection of clients who know you. “Fred’s Editing,” “Julia’s Production Services,” and “Bill’s Publishing” are examples. The “personal” in your personal name conveys comfort and gently urges people to trust you. Though a bit old fashioned, and perhaps a little hokey, this method is still quite viable. If at all possible, use alliteration when deciding on this method. Alliteration always sticks better. For example, “Ed’s Editing,” “Paula’s Production Services,” or “Peyton’s Publishing.” A specific example is “Words by Wendy,” which is currently in use. Your middle name or nickname may allow you to use alliteration or you may want to use a family member’s name or other inspirational monikers.
Another method involves strongly specifying your company name and services. “Expert Editing,” “University Literary Services” and “World Writing Specialists” come to mind. Each contains a word which clarifies the company purpose. Unfortunately, many common designations are already in use. However, with enough time and thought, you can create a specific, easy-to-remember company name yourself.
Slogans must be sticky in order to provide your company with the best recognizable marketing tool you will utilize to spread recognition. This brands your business and can embed in someone’s mind just as permanently as cattle brands are burned into flesh. Close your eyes and think of the first three slogans which are stuck fast in your mind. Are they “Have it Your Way” (Burger King), “It’s Miller Time” (Miller Beer) or “You’re in Good Hands” (Allstate Insurance)? Perhaps they are “What’s in Your Wallet?” (Capital One Credit Cards), “Be All That You Can Be” (Army) or “Because You’re Worth It” (L’Oreal). All of these are in the Advertising Slogan Hall of Fame and easily stick in the minds of potential clients.
Coming up with a slogan such as those listed isn’t easy. Begin with a one-word thought you want to convey. For example, a hotel casino in Las Vegas decided to rebrand the hotel with a new slogan. The key word was “service.” Hotel employees were invited to enter a contest. There were many excellent ideas generated, but one stuck out as the stickiest, ergo the best: “Service You Can Bet On.”
After you focus on the one word, let the ideas flow. Use stream of thought and write every one-liner possible. When you look closely at your free association, single out the best five and work from there. It is very possible to come up with a catchy, sticky slogan that rivals the hall-of-famers.
Remember that you are already an expert writer and words are your passion. Align them toward marketing and think sticky!
Elizabeth N is a freelance writer available on WriterAccess, a marketplace where clients and expert writers connect for assignments.