Thursday February 4 2010

A powerful slogan could give you that edge

By Scola Kamau


Regardless of the nature of the entity, slogans will always depict an image of the business. Therefore many businesses go for catchy, short slogans that can easily click their customers’ minds. However there’s more in slogans than the normal eye sees.

According to James Agwayo, a media consultant in Kampala, a unique slogan for a company not only avoids confusion but also promotes the brand.
“When it is presented together with other company slogans, it attracts more attention from the audience. Therefore, for a company to come up with the best slogan, they need to study the slogans of their existing competitors,” he says. With new telecommunication companies emerging at a higher speed in Uganda and competition becoming stiffer, there is dire need to use strong slogans.

Uganda Telecoms, slogan ‘It’s all about you’ is set to care about customers and nothing more. In an interview last week, Mark Kaheru, Uganda telecom’s communication officer told Smart Money that all the products of the company rotate around the slogan. “We always look at the consumers’ needs, what they want is what we give to them, from reduced calling rates to cheap message offers, because it’s all about you, customers,” he explained.

More so a short slogan will always stick at the back of the minds of the customers, even without mentioning the name of the company.
‘A Wonderful World’ is the three word slogan for Zain and Fred Masadde, External Affairs Manager at Zain Uganda says that apart from the sweet to the tongue aspect of the slogan, it has been easy for all to utter.
“When one wakes up in the morning, while working or at school, we create a wonderful world to everyone,” says Masadde.

Regardless of the nature of the slogan, Agwayo further asserts that the delivery of the services should be in line with the foretold promise in the slogan. “An empty slogan will be known by the fruits of the business and customers will always question the abilities of a company to deliver if it strays from its mission,” he explains. However many companies claim to have fulfilled the calling of their slogans. “We’ve created a wonderful world where people have won money and changed their lifestyles,” says Masadde. He adds that apart from the Zap mobile money services, Zain for the first time has invited an international musician, R.Kelly for the first time in Uganda. “Everything we do depicts a wonderful world, we are so daring,” explains Masadde.

Customer orientation is another aspect that Agwayo says should be considered by companies before coming up with a viable slogan. He asserts that slogans which depict love and care are vital. They should meet the heart desires of the target customers as they influence the sales and marketing decisions. “A company that shows “care” is the type of company that tickles the hearts and catches the loyalty of customers. Therefore taglines should show some “tender loving care” that is directed to customer,” asserts Agwayo. He adds that comfortable words are words that come from the heart and customers would always affiliate themselves to such. Warid Telecom’s, ‘We Care’ depicts the care the company offers to its customers.

Obo a resident of Mbale says that he chose Warid because,
“I wanted to enjoy the care they promised and Pakalast has proved to me that ‘these people’ really care,” he told Smart Money in an interview.
On the other hand, Agwayo asserts that customers would always look forward for quality products and therefore companies need to gain trust and confidence from the clients and customers, this he says can be done by use of taglines. “To attract customers, we need to create a tagline that illustrates our power and strengths. This tagline will answer the customers’ question of how best their satisfaction is guaranteed,” he explains.
To achieve total distinctiveness a company should carry out research and study of the existing taglines of competitors in the market – or even beyond the market.

Last year, Stanbic Bank changed its slogan from ‘inspired, motivated, involved to ‘moving forward’. In an interview with Smart Money, Daniel Nsibambi, Communications Manager, Stanbic Bank said that the bank looked at the customer service and customer delivery and there was nothing better to suit that than a ‘moving forward’ slogan. “To energize zeal and market leadership, new positioning and right connections with our customers,” he added.

Nsibambi concurs with Agwayo that a study of the market is important before coming up with a slogan. “Moving forward came from a review of strategies and a study which showed that all customers need quality services,” Nsibambi says. With some companies, slogans come in products. Bell Lager changed its brand’s theme (the slogan) to ‘Bell Lager….Live Life Confidently’ two weeks ago. Marketing manager, UBL, Mrs. Marion Muyobo told Smart Money that the new slogan recognises consumers’ exuberant approach to life. “It will have a profound impact on the market and on the industry,” she said.

According to Sheila Kangwagye Public Relations Officer, MTN Uganda, an effective slogan is one that speaks directly to the customers. ‘Everywhere you go’ she says is a slogan that gives hope to all.
“It indicates the vision that MTN is available across Uganda, Africa and globally. In Uganda we have the widest coverage, it’s everywhere you go,” she says. However Agwayo says that slogans are only made to help businesses and products succeed and therefore more emphasis should be put in quality delivery. “It’s still your product or service that brings along your business success,” he concludes.