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Long taglines using ‘rare’ words are most memorable but least liked, study reveals

Trying to stand out from the crowd with an effective brand tagline is something that can keep even the best marketers up at night.

But it turns out that the most loved brand slogans are often the least memorable and the most memorable are the least liked, according to research from the Bayes School of Business, the University of Missouri and the University of Arizona.

Research shows that the key to an effective brand tagline depends on the desired outcome, whether it’s loved or remembered.

It found that consumers preferred shorter taglines that did not include the brand name and used words described as “regular and abstract”.

Don’t expect a tagline to make your brand famous. But for brands looking for permanence, longer taglines that include the brand name and ‘unusual and specific’ words will be better remembered by consumers over a longer period of time.

About 1,000 online students and staff members tested 820 brand slogans and were asked which slogans they liked or disliked. Five linguistic attributes emerge as determinants of whether a slogan is liked or remembered: length, brand name, word frequency, perceptual distinctiveness, and abstract.

Longer taglines that include the brand name are more likely to be remembered but less likely to be liked. Meanwhile, slogans – such as Listerine’s ‘Kill bad breath’, which include the more frequently used words instead of the more popular but less remembered medical term ‘halitosis’ than.

Everything Old Like New: Why Are Brands Reviving Old Assets? As part of the study, 234 students took part in an experiment to make disliked slogans more fluent – ​​and vice versa – showing that changing the slogan ‘Kills bad breath’ ‘ by Listerine to ‘Stop Halitosis’ making it more popular, but less memorable.

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On the other hand, changing from Toyota’s ‘Get the feel’ to ‘Snag the sense’ makes it more remembered but less loved. This change in perception occurred because participants looked longer at less fluent words, such as ‘feeling’, compared with more readable words like ‘feeling’.

Increasing the fluency of slogans can have tangible benefits for brands. According to research, Facebook ad click-through rates increased by 28% as tag fluency improved, which research shows increased from 1.3% to 1.7%.

According to Zachary Estes, a professor of marketing at Bayes School of Business, brands pursuing recognition should use difficult words, while established brands should go the other way by using words more common and abstract, easier to handle.

“Our research identifies specific attributes of words that can make a slogan more likeable or memorable, but importantly, the attributes that make a slogan more likeable are also important,” he said. make it less memorable and vice versa.

“To make it easy to remember, taglines should be relatively long, include the brand name, and use rare and specific words. For example, BMW could make its tagline easier to remember by changing it from ‘The ultimate driving machine’ to ‘BMW is the ultimate driving machine’, but that would also make it difficult to be heard. more favorite.”



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