Slogans- every big business uses them for advertising purposes. Whether we think of car producers, technology suppliers or food chains there is at least one slogan that comes to our mind. And that is exactly what slogans are for! People are supposed to remember them, right? That’s at least what I always thought until I started skimming through Inga’s posts.
No Slogans in Fashion – What Is Up with that?
Surprisingly, while reading through Inga’s posts who mostly writes about big retailers such as H&M or Zara I started to notice that in fashion real slogans are rare. I could not think of one single slogan even though I have been following fashion for pretty a while now. I thought of all the brands that are important to me – Zara, H&M but also Chanel and Asos- but nothing! Then, I considered brands that are usually not that present in my life such as YvesSaintLaurent, Ralph Lauren or Fendi, but still nothing! What is it with slogans in fashion? Are they so bad that they do not stick in people’s minds or are there just not that many?
A Slogan Is Supposed to…
First of all, let’s have a closer look at what a good slogan is supposed to do. An effective slogan is able to leave impressions in people’s minds when they hear or see it. This short statement can affect the way that consumers, competitors and others in the same industry perceive your business. A successful slogan can also distinguish your company in a unique way. Basically, what slogan creators are trying to do is to write a memorable phrase used in conjunction with a political, commercial or religious advertisement that in the best case also conveys a deeper meaning. They can be used to elicit emotions or to paint a visual image that implies something more.
A Slogan is Designed after…
It always amazes me to see how this is done simply by the use of just a few words. There are some crucial rules when developing an effective slogan. First of all, you should be very careful how to choose your slogan. Most of the times, slogans are short phrases that are easy to memorize. That’s about the structure of a slogan. When it comes to the message, it is essential to keep in mind your objectives. What goal does your company have? What image do you wish to portray? If you have the answer to these questions you can translate them into a short sentence.
Sounds pretty easy, but what does that mean in real life? It means that if you are good at it you will do it like Nike. Their “Just Do it” campaign from 1988 is generally seen as one of the most successful in the history of slogans. Why? Because the slogan is created the exact same way I just described. When people hear that phrase they have the impression that with Nike’s products they are able to just do what they want to do without having to think about possible failure or question potential consequences. That also corresponds to the deeper meaning of the slogan while being a positive image. Amazingly, all of this is packed into three words. Concerning the company’s goals included it can be found that Nike’s aim to produce products that make sports an easy activity and not something that is a battle with yourself translates very well into the slogan. ( For more information about this awesome campaign, read this article: http://www.cfar.com/Documents/nikecmp.pdf)
The Nike example shows what a great way slogans present to promote a company. So, why are they not used in fashion?
Where Could Slogans Be Seen or Heard in Fashion?
First of all, slogans are mostly created when a company starts a new campaign. This campaign will be seen on TV, on posters, in magazines and on the web. However, when designers launch a new product or better a new collection, there are no TV commercials, no posters and nothing on the web. The only channel through which they promote themselves are fashion magazines and their reviews. Therefore, it would make little sense to invest a whole lot of money into a slogan that only a small proportion of people will hear or see.
In addition to that, the people that will be confronted with the slogans given the fact that they would only be seen in fashion magazines are at least very interested in fashion. This implies that they already know a lot about the brands and their special and unique style as well as image. This is why, they are not in need of a slogan that could tell them what the brand is all about.
What about the Others?
Now, you may argue that there are also people reading the magazines not knowing a whole bunch about fashion. True, but as several surveys have found it shows that even though they are not very familiar with it most people can associate the big names with exactly the right brand image. Take H&M for example! Without ever having had to tell anyone, their customers know that the key characteristic of this brand is being affordable but still fashionable and stylish.
Image Creation in Fashion – No Need for Slogans
In the fashion industry, it is generally considered to be sufficient to diffuse photos of a model wearing the brand staging the right kind of atmosphere and environment. This has exactly the same effect as a slogan while having the advantage of not only seeing the product but also showing how to wear it. In just a few sub-sectors of the industry one can actually find slogans such as cosmetics, jewelries or sports-wear. Since the companies in these industries produce products that are bought by a much bigger number of people it makes sense to do so. Think of L’Oréals “Because you are worth it” and it becomes obvious in which way the fashion-fashion industry distinguishes itself from other industries. And that difference is not the reason for not creating slogans – it is the reason for simply not needing them!