One-word slogans may have run their courses.

The most compelling one-word sloganAt least I haven’t experienced one for several months.

I can’t remember too many of them – perhaps that is the short-coming of the one-word tagline. There is no context, no empathy.

I do remember Hewlett-Packard using “Invent” for a while. And Nisson had made commercials for a couple of years in which the one-word slogan was prominent. However, they used more than one I believe so none of them registered with me.

Al Ries and Jack Trout were probably the inspiration for the one-word slogan. Either or both thought the way to develop and imprint a position in the collective minds of consumers was to “own” a word. Some examples: Volvo owns safety, 7Up owns un-cola, Apple owns creative. But I think the one-word slogan was invented by folks who took this lesson too literally.

Ries and Trout, in their breakthrough book, Positioning, The Battle for Your Mine, state “Words are triggers. They trigger the meanings which are buried in the mind.” But I don’t believe the one-word slogan was what they had in mind.

Martin Jelsema

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