Avoid Cheesy Slogans

by David on June 2, 2011

GOING BACK TO MY RADIO DAYS, when I was in charge of creating the “imaging” (or on-air positioning) for radio stations, one of my pet-peeves was the “cheesy slogan said in a big voice”. You know the ones I mean: “We’re the Rock Station That Really Rocks”, “We’ve got 50-thousand Watts of Power”, etc. They sound cool to people who work in radio but they say nothing to the listener.

The reason I hated them so much was that all they did was talk about the station from the stations point of view…and not the listeners. In fact my time thinking about and doing this kind of work for radio stations brought me to what I’ve title: The BigShots Marketing Method for Small Business.

Mind you those cheesy radio slogans may have had their place back-in-the-day but in today’s over communicated world it’s more important than ever to speak to your listener…or your small business prospect…in a human voice, from their point of view.

What Happened

So this week I was driving to an appointment with a client downtown, driving down the Laurentian Autoroute which is full of 18-wheel trucks going about their business…when I spotted it. Not only the cheesiets line I had ever read but one of the most shocking.

Right there on the back of the truck was written: “If it’s on time…it’s a Fluke” If you know anything about the competitive trucking business one of the most important selling points is “on time service”, so why would ANYBODY say that on time delivery is ‘just a fluke’ is beyond me. Then as I started advancing on the truck I realized the name of this trucking company was ‘Fluke’! “Oh, I get it now”, I said to myself…but what a bad first impression.

Maybe they should have said: “If it’s on time…it’s Fluke”, removing the ‘a’…or best case scenario cut out the cheese and say something important. Yes, they got my attention but at what cost.

Back here at the office I did some research and learned all about Fluke Transportation, they are a reputable company that’s been around since 1920 transporting people’s products around Southern Ontario and have recently expanded here into Southern Québec. The way these guys run a business is no fluke, they are rock solid and they have the history to prove how good they are at what they do…so why would they want to give anybody the wrong first impression about what they do?

If you want to see how a trucking company SHOULD be marketing itself have a look at Old Dominion Freight Line‘s marketing approach. Their website and commercials are built around the word promises: “Helping the World Keep Promises”

The key to a cheese-less slogan is understanding what you do from the customers point of view and then build a relevant message on top of that.

B!gShots Bottom Line: Save the cheese for the nacho platter and use a slogan based on your core marketing message….from your customers point of view.

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