Just one look and my jaw dropped…
I was at an art fair out in Bucks County, PA last weekend when it happened. Strolling through the food area, I took a quick glance to my right to see a booth with a sign, front and center, that read…
“Taste My Nuts.”
Funny? Maybe, depending on your sense of humor. Appealing? You can probably judge that by the number of people lined up in the above picture to buy nuts. I still don’t even know whether this was the name of the guy’s business or his slogan, but, either way…
“Taste my nuts” is a slogan train wreck.
It’s just wrong on so many levels. But let’s focus in on two big fat branding rule violations that led to it’s demise in a effort to stop others from heading similarly off the tracks and into slogan deathswamp.
Rule #1: Don’t use humor, unless you are astonishingly good at it and you know it will have mass appeal with your market.
I crack jokes all the time, I use humor every day in business, teaching, presenting and writing. But, I am also acutely aware of the risks of using it in a setting where you have one shot to sell the greatest number of people on an idea, product or service.
While humor done right can be highly effective in an up close and personal or small group setting, it’s always a big risk in a mass messaging arena. So, while you may think something is cute and funny, a really big chunk of your most likely customers won’t. Best bet, unless you are a comedic marketing rock star, steer clear of trying to be funny when creating a slogan or tagline (btw, man have I learned this the hard way).
Rule #2: Your slogan should make people want to buy what you are selling, not be repulsed by it…or you.
Think about the endgame of creating a slogan. Brand awareness? Sure, that’s a piece. Defining what you do? Yup. Differentiating your offering? Most definitely. But, that’s still not the true end game.
Branding, defining and differentiating are worth bubkis if they don’t eventually make people want to buy more of what you are selling. That’s what it’s all about. So, beyond the above factors, you need to ask this question…
Is your slogan or tag line eventually helping you sell more stuff?
If not, something ain’t right in Sloganville!
How does this apply to our friendly Taste My Nuts buddies?
When they decided to make their sign read “Taste my nuts,” sure people immediately knew they were selling nuts (maybe not), BUT, the mental image immediately created for so many people was not exactly something that made them say…
“Man am I hungry, let me have a bag of those.”
In fact, I’d wager to bet that a really big percentage of the people who read the sign were somewhere between highly-offended, repulsed and mildly-nauseated. Okay, I confess to being one of the few who actually thought it was funny.
But, it also did nothing to make me want to buy the product.
Funny or cute don’t work when the net result not only fails to make your product more appealing, but literally stops people form wanting what you are trying to sell. Kapish?
So, what do you guys think? About the slogan and the critique?
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