Bad Business Slogans

So, I’m driving on my way into the office today and I see a van on I-90 approaching downtown Spokane. It’s a Security Company I’m not familiar with and the tagline on the van says, “We make it happen.” What?! Make “what” happen? What a totally confusing and disjointed slogan.

Here are some other bad business slogans that have been put out there:

  • “Nothing sucks like an Electrolux” – Electrolux
  • “A body for ever body” – Victoria’s Secret
  • “We speak fish” – Long John Silver’s
  • “Building better kids one punch at a time.” MKG Martial Arts
  • “Our day starts when yours ends” – Minneapolis Police Homicide Division
  • “Good Luck” – Uzbekistan Airways
  • “It’s not for Women” – Dr. Pepper

So, what is the common mistake all of these slogans have made? Yes, some of them probably got lost in translation such as Electrolux and Uzbekistan Airways. However, the one universal mistake many bad slogans make is that they make it about “Them.” “We make it happen” is all about the company, not the customer.

This gets back to the bigger picture in marketing to your target market. Every one of your prospective customers are tuned into their favorite radio station; WIIFM. “What’s in it for me.” They are focused on messages that attract them, their interest, their needs, their wants, their desires. Deep down inside, they really don’t care about you and your business.

So, when your marketing and advertising focuses in on how wonderful you are, how great your products and services are, and the amazing company history you have behind you, that gets tuned out. When the message focuses in on your customer and what they want out of life, now you have their attention.

If I was to change the slogan for the Security Company I saw this morning, it might be something like “Your safety is our priority” or “Helping You secure what you value.” Using the word “You” instead of “We” puts the focus squarely on the customer, not you.

Focus on your prospective customer and over time you’ll start seeing results with your advertising and marketing.

Kevin Weir - 11/18/2022


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