The power OF YOUR pay off

Do we say: 'everything for a smile', then you say? Coolblue of course. Does the Q-Music tune play when you read: Q sounds better with you? And what do you think of when you hear 'Just do it'? Nike, without a doubt. The role of a pay off is huge when you want to build a strong brand. Because in a split second it says everything about a brand. But how do you capture that brand promise in a few powerful words? What is the key to success? Discover the power of a cast-iron pay off!

First things first: what is a pay off?

To understand the power of a pay off, it is first important to get a good feel for the concept. A pay off is a short, powerful slogan that goes with a brand or company name. It is part of the brand identity and supports brand awareness. Just like a logo and a house style do. Developing a good pay off is therefore a challenging process. A brand often uses a good pay off for years, because it is linked to the 'why' of an organisation. The core, the essence, the values. That makes a rock-solid pay-off immediately the most important sentence in the communication.


Tagline, slogan, pay off - these are the differences

In the world of communication, the terms are often used indiscriminately. In general, everyone understands what it means: a powerful slogan or sentence that says something about a brand. But if we zoom in a little more, all three terms have a different purpose. To understand the power of a pay off, let's take a closer look at these three marketing terms.

Pay off: as described earlier, a pay off is a catchy slogan that follows a brand name and strengthens the brand identity. A pay off is part of a positioning and therefore radiates the core values, mission and vision of a company or brand. But more importantly; it communicates the USP's and contributes to an unique position compared to the competition. For example: Red Bull gives you wings.

Tagline: a sentence which further explains the activities of a company or brand. Taglines are often found on websites, because it is then immediately clear what the visitor can expect on the site. For example: Efteling, a world of wonders.

Slogan: a powerful slogan that connects with a campaign. The lifespan of a slogan is often shorter than that of a payoff. It communicates the core message of a campaign and it contributes to a higher communication goal, such as informing or inciting action. For example: Not because you have to, but because you can - Tele2.


Checklist: how to create a powerful pay off

Developing a convincing pay off does not happen overnight. It is an interesting process in which an organisation is brought back to the core. Pay offs regularly come along that are too vague, very generic or simply boring. How do you make it touching? These 5 tips will get you started.

  1. Get to the core
    Many organisations know what they do. They also know how they do it. But why? That is often a more difficult question. Before you can develop a strong pay off, you first have to work on this question. Discover the added value of your company and what role a service or product fulfills

    A strong pay off conveys a brand promise in a short and powerful way. Therefore, first of all, get to the heart of the matter before running around with funny, catchy sentences. A good example of this is: Auping nights, better days. The concise words make it immediately clear what the brand promise is and what value it adds.

  2. Provide a clear story
    The trick is to translate the brand promise into clear language. Find the right words. Soak them up. Let it simmer for a while. And check again later whether it says what it needs to say. Many pay-offs remain vague or consist of empty words. A good payoff consists of clear language. For example, Apple, think different. Or: KFC, finger lickin' good.

  3. Be short, but powerful
    The most effective pay offs are concrete and simple. This ensures that consumers remember the message better. In addition, short sentences are clear. It ensures there is little noise and it gets to the point. Make sure, therefore, that the new pay-off for your brand is concise. That way, the slogan will stick better. It also has a practical advantage: sometimes you have limited space on a shop window, a flyer or a business card. In combination with the logo, you also don't want the payoff to be too small and therefore unreadable. Delete useless words and make it concise. Then you have the best chance of success. Think of it like this: Canon, you can. Or: Really Hema.

  4. Distinguish the brand
    What do other brands promise? And how does this make your brand different? Use a pay off to communicate the special benefits the brand has to offer. Also, make sure the payoff has a differentiating message. Choose mainly positive benefits and wording. Research shows that the best pay-offs use positive words or a creative twist. The result is a happy feeling with the target group and therefore a positive brand association.

  5. Make it music
    Good copywriting contains a rhythm. A melody. And this element is more important than ever when it comes to a pay off. The world's best-known pay offs are etched into your brain like a tune. This contributes to recognisability, but of course also to a cast-iron brain position. Experience the effect yourself.

    Een pay-off-karaoke:
    • I’m lovin’it - McDonald’s.
    • Kruidvat, always surprising, always advantageous.
    • Carglass repairs, Carglass replaces.


A pay-off creates momentum for the brand promise

The development of a pay off forces an organisation to concretise their identity. A pay off is in fact a kind of shadow for your brand name. A brand name alone often communicates insufficiently. That's why the pay-off is a bridge between the brand and the consumer; it provides that attraction. And hopefully, ultimately, a stable relationship or even a unique brain position. The result? A good pay-off is therefore enormously powerful for your brand.

Developing such a powerful slogan therefore requires attention. You need to ask a number of critical questions. Brainstorm. Making choices. SowiesoHelder regularly guides these kinds of processes with the THE BRAND ACCELERATOR®: a co-creation session. Here, we tackle interesting communication issues, such as creating a consistent brand experience, developing targeted campaigns or formulating a brand strategy. Curious about what we can do for you? Contact us without obligation.

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