Don't be fancy (if you're not rich)

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If someone asked me for my list of greatest brands and slogans, I'd go "Nike: Just do it", "Apple: Think Different.", "Lexus: The relentless pursuit of perfection.", "BMW: Sheer driving pleasure." and a few others.

And I love these slogans. They talk to me. To my ambitions. Some to my very soul (ok the last bit is going a bit too far).

But they're all crap.

Because only BMW actually made you a promise. The rest needed explaining. And now these slogans are GREAT and iconic, but only because billions of US$ were spent explaining, demonstrating, inspiring and m a k i n g s u r e we all understood what they meant.

But most of us don't have $1000,000,000 in our bank account.

So rather tell people what you do.

I made this mistake with my own business. Fresh out of advertising, I was thinking BEEEGG IDEA, and we called our business Earth Probiotic (because, you know, our products fed beneficial nutrients back to soil and were, like you know, a probiotic medicine for soil). And our slogan was "Enriching Earth" (because that's what our product physically did, was a call to action, a guide for our own behaviour, and met the idea of a what a great slogan should be).

So there!

(I spoke about this here).

But you know what? No-one gets our name right. We always have to spell it out (thrice).

But 10 years later it's too late to change.

Perhaps if we'd kept it simple and found a name that told people what we do, we'd be further ahead.

So when you're setting up your business, make your brand name easy to spell and memorable. And if you want a slogan -- and we all do -- then, rather than being fancy, just tell people what you do.

Like this one from Leatherman: The Pocket Survival Tool.