Research Reveals Why Certain Slogans Work, Others Don't

Associate Professor Mayukh Dass found people like slogans based on clarity, exposition of benefits.

Mayukh Dass

A Texas Tech University researcher has found that certain aspects of company slogans may not be as effective for consumers as conventional wisdom has thought.

In a forthcoming article in the Journal of Business Research, Mayukh Dass, an associate professor of marketing in the Rawls College of Business, along with several of his colleagues across the country, explored a variety of factors that influence “likeablity” of slogans. They found that consumers tended to prefer slogans based on the clarity of the slogan’s message, the exposition of the benefits, rhymes and creativity.

“Conventional wisdom expects aspects like jingles to be an important aspect of a slogan, but we couldn’t find any support for that theory,” Dass said. “We also couldn’t find any likeability based on advertising budgets or slogan length.”

Dass and his team collected data through interviews and surveys on respondents in and around a large and diverse metropolitan area in the U.S.

The factors that helped likeability enabled a connection between consumers and the company or product. Message clarity, according to the researchers, articulates a “clear and focused message to consumers to help articulate the benefits provided by the brand and generate positive affinity for it.” This ties in with exposition of the benefits, which lays out the benefit to the consumer of using a particular product or brand.

The most liked slogans, according to Dass, included “The Few, the Proud, the Marines,” (U.S. Marine Corps); “What Happens in Vegas, Stays in Vegas,” (City of Las Vegas); “Eat Fresh!” (Subway); and “Easy Breezy Beautiful Cover Girl,” (Cover Girl).

Rhymes and creativity also played into likeability, as the researchers explain these factors create positive states of mind and fuel favorable emotional responses. However, the researchers found no evidence that consumers preferred jingles to other slogans.

“The key is the fit between the brands and their slogans,” Dass said. “Today’s consumers don’t seem to care about the age of the slogan or its exposure in the marketplace.”

Dass said this is one of the first studies done on slogan likeability. His next research is looking at how slogans tie into brand loyalty.

To read the research article, click here.



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