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Part 1 – Inspirational Brand Slogans

Inspirational brand slogans create distinction. With a few well-chosen words, capture the true meaning and spirit of your sports brand in an inspirational slogan. A slogan will help distinguish your brand from competitors. Slogans strengthen brand appeal and convey a message with a word phrase. A well-conceived slogan can inspire and move people to action.

A slogan can serve as a motto or advertising tagline. It may be linked to the business or a particular campaign. As a motto, focus the creative concepts on words and phrases that reflect the brand’s values and the mission of the organization. As an advertising tagline, use it to promote a key attribute and draw attention to a benefit. Either way, develop a slogan with emotional appeal – one that inspires. A slogan that is memorable, creative, and well thought out adds value to your sports brand.

If the brand slogan is intended to function as a motto for a sports property, changes will be infrequent. When it is tied to a specific sports marketing campaign, the slogan could, but need not always, change with each campaign message and micro target. Realigning marketing strategies may alter campaign slogans as well. A great advertising slogan is timeless in its appeal because it emotionally engages people.

When developing a brand slogan, I like to ask the following questions before settling on words or phrases and researching their availability:

  • What message is being communicated and to whom?
  • Is there an emotional appeal that could be made?
  • What is the brand’s most significant and attention-grabbing benefit? Can it be promoted through a slogan?
  • At its essence, what does the brand stand for?
  • When making a claim, can it be supported? Is the brand promise truthful?
  • How well will the brand message resonate with the target audience?
  • Will the slogan serve as a motto or an advertising tagline?
  • Can the slogan withstand the test of time?
  • Will the brand be marketed in a foreign country? If so, does the slogan’s meaning change when translated into another language and culture?
  • Is anyone using the same slogan? If so, in what context is it currently being used?
  • Have the words or phrases taken on a different meaning within another class of trade? Will this interpretation cause the slogan to be misconstrued?

Begin the creative process by reaching beyond clever wording. Compose an original slogan that conveys the true meaning and spirit of the brand in a catchy phrase. To be ethical and effective, maintain truth in advertising. Make sure you can support claims being made in your advertising slogan.

Try to capture the brand’s core essence, reflecting its spirit in as few words as possible. Keep the slogan short and avoid jargon. Be politically correct. Avoid insensitive and offensive messaging.

Choose words carefully, selecting ones with inspirational and emotional appeal. Engaging customers’ emotions can be very powerful. When appealing to emotions or emphasizing a key benefit, the slogan has to be credible and relevant to be meaningful.

Consider a variety of possibilities before testing and rolling out a new slogan, and registering it as a trademark. Make a good faith effort to avoid encroaching on someone’s intellectual property rights. It’s better not to attach your brand to a particular slogan until you know if the desired tagline is available as a word mark. Has it been trademarked by another organization or individual? Find out. Do your research.

Inspirational slogans capture the true meaning and spirit of the brand. As intellectual property assets they are worth registering and protecting.

One of the more famous and memorable slogans by a sporting goods manufacturer is Nike’s “Just Do It” created by ad agency Wieden and Kennedy. It had broad consumer appeal and withstood the test of time for two decades.

Two of my favorite sports-related campaign slogans are “Light the Fire Within” created for the Salt Lake 2002 Olympic Winter Games, and “One World, One Dream” promoting the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games.

Join the conversation. What are your favorite sports-related slogans? For and by whom were they created?


  © 2012 Anne Wall, All Rights Reserved.

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