The world is absolutely full of slogans. Customers are addicted to them and clever marketers use them to dominate their industries.
Although trends come and go, slogan t-shirts as a whole have been around for as long as many of us can remember. And there's no sign of them dying out anytime soon, people are always going to want to express themselves with their clothing. Get this right and not only will people want to buy your t-shirts, they will proudly wear them as free advertising, double win!
So what’s the secret to crafting a winning slogan that flies off the shelves? What’s the difference between a weak boring slogan and a cool, funny or catchy one? We're going back to the basics so you can formulate your own killer t-shirt slogan to suit your brand.
What Exactly is a Slogan?
Let’s start with the dictionary definition:
a short and striking or memorable phrase.
If ever there was a formula for a money-making slogan, this is it. Short, catches your attention and stays in your mind.
The best slogans can be funny, witty, raise awareness, or express individuality or a belonging to a specific group. Slogans are often centered around key events, topics or interests such as:
- Birthdays, parties, celebrations
- Events, gathering, clubs
- Interests, hobbies, fan clubs, movies
- Humour across all spectrums, from light-hearted to dark and twisted
Coming Up With Winning T-Shirt Slogans That Will Sell Like Hot Cakes
Now no-one ever said this would be easy. In fact, such a simple thing can feel pretty difficult. There’s a very hit or miss nature of slogans which means you could be one word away from a dud or a goldmine! Here's how to put yourself into the best frame of mind to create a wicked t-shirt slogan.
1. Research & Know Your Market
The key to creating an awesome slogan is creating an emotional connection with the wearer. You need to understand their wants/needs/desires and the reason for buying a t-shirt like this. You can’t fly in blindly and fluke it, you’ve got to understand their interests and align your slogan with them.
It’s something that's almost impossible to pull off if you have no interest in the subject or target audience yourself. So try starting with something you or your friends would be interested in. If you are the target audience you'll be in a much better position to relate and understand them. To find the inspiration you’ve got to be enthusiastic yourself, otherwise, you’ll be taking shots in the dark.
It’s essential to identify and align yourself with a cause, interest, group or demographic of some kind. Make sure you know your audience well!
2. Brainstorm & Get Creative Juices Flowing
Once you have initial ideas of subjects or a target audience you’re trying to attract, it’s time to get the juices flowing. Get brainstorming by searching the internet, Facebook groups, forums and merchandise stores. You can use slogan generators to start you off, but don’t expect to find the million dollar slogan here (but who knows!).
Look for something that really resonates, then start refining these ideas into your own. By the end of this stage, you should have a list of potential slogans.
3. Get Feedback From Your Target Audience
It's essential that you test the waters with your slogans to see if you're on the right wavelength as your audience. You may even consider running a small private poll, or ask people within your target audience for feedback. You’ll very quickly know what works and what doesn’t!
Follow These 8 Top Tips For an Attractive T-Shirt Slogan
To get you well on the way to creating a catchy slogan, here are 8 top tips for you to follow:
1. Don’t Try Too Hard, Just Be Cool
If you can make your customers feel cool by wearing and owning your t-shirts, you’ll hit a goldmine. Unfortunately, there isn’t an exact formula to be “cool”, otherwise, it would be a license to print money!
2. Know the Trends, Surf Them!
If you ride on the wave of the moment and what’s trending, you can catapult yourself to success in no time. Get this right and you can leverage something that’s already blowing up.
Look at what’s trending, current events, sports, social conventions, popular so you can catch the wave.
3. Clever Mash-Up Parodies
Want to double or triple the market for your slogan t-shirts? Why not create a clever mash-up parody or cross-over? This way you can create something unique while attracting a wider variety of people.
4. Leverage Influencers & Celebrities
Another way to hack your way to the top selling t-shirt, celebrity (or micro-celebrity) endorsements. Anyone that stands as an authoritative figure in your target audience’s niche could power your traffic and sales for months!
5. Try Keeping it Short & Sweet
Remember, our attention spans are getting increasingly short in this day and age. Long slogans, no matter how clever or funny they are, are likely to get glazed over. If you really want to go for a longer slogan, make sure it’s easy to scan and make the keywords stand out.
On the whole, popular slogans targeting women tend to be shorter and snappier. Whereas men’s slogan t-shirts are often a little longer, more complex or geeky.
6. Bring People Together
If you can create a feeling of togetherness or unity you’ll be on to a winner. Sometimes people want to loudly and proudly display their beliefs, interests or opinions. Whereas others might get a kick out of being part of an exclusive club.
7. Consider Using Graphics
Just because your making a slogan t-shirt doesn’t mean you can’t consider enhancing it with an illustration. If plain and simple won’t cut it, try experimenting with pictograms.
8. Create a Strong Emotional Reaction
People often wear these slogan t-shirts to spark a reaction, so why not crank it up a notch? Humour is the biggest seller, raising smiles and sometimes combined with a little shock!
Just remember not to go too overboard. No matter how tempting it may be, try and stay on the right side of political correctness.
How to Protect Your Slogan With a Trademark
Let’s just say you happen to discover a slogan that’s going to change the face of the t-shirt market this year. You’ll be damned if others start to cash in on it too. If you’ve gone unique, bleed your heart and soul into your brand, then you should protect it as such.
If you’re selling in the UK or EU, you should send your application the IPO
If you’re selling in the US markets, head to the USPTO
The process is as follows:
- Once you’ve handled the online forms and payments, your application must be cleared by the official representatives.
- If it’s within the guidelines you will move to a consultation stage, where others can object if it encroaches upon their intellectual property
- After any objects and appeals have been resolved, you can then receive your Trademark – the slogan is yours and yours alone
- You’ll receive a load of spam letters from random Eastern European countries asking for phony registration fees. You can ignore all of these!
Did this article get your creative juices following? We’d love to hear about your personal experiences with t-shirt slogans. Please comment below and let us know!