Does your slogan do what it says on the tin?

18 May 2006

Sometime in the 1990s, management gurus decided every company needed a mission statement. Something that said something about leadership and excellence and stuff. The statement would generally appear as the second or third foil in Powerpoint presentations. The exec would read it out, everybody would ignore it and life would proceed. Well, once the obligatory org-chart was out of the way.

Today, both the mission statement and the org-chart have gone the way of the executive desk toy and Filofax. Maybe companies spend so much time reorganising they dare not put up org-charts for fear of listing entire departments that got merged or were deleveraged or whatever only weeks before. Now, life is simpler, every company just needs a snappy slogan. A one-liner to slide neatly under the recently redesigned logo. Intel moved its famous dropped 'e' - in the early 1990s it was wicked, know what I mean - to let the company add the "Leap ahead" slogan. HP told us to invent. And AT&T told us it delivered the world. Now that's ambition.

Some other technology companies have not been so lucky with their slogans. They started off bravely enough but something went a bit wonky on the way.

Stretch logo
I assume that Stretch, a company that makes reconfigurable processors, was thinking of a slightly different phrase when it came up with "Extending the possibilites®." Maybe they felt the letter 'i' dominated the shape a bit too much and took one out. Yet, it has a catchy feel to it. It's hard not to try to set part of it to Desmond Dekker and the Aces' most famous song. All together now: "Aah, aah, the pos'bilites".

Radisys logoThen you have computer board maker Radisys and its call to togetherness that just, I don't know, evokes thoughts of something else. Or is it really arguing for the restorative power of micturition? A bit of attention to old-fashioned grammar might have solved the problem. It illustrates so well why you should distinguish between the nominative and accusative cases of pronouns.

Update - 27 June 2006

It looks as though Stretch finally got around to changing the logo on the website to add an extra letter. Judging by an entry in the referrer log, I'd guess it happened sometime last week. No more pos'bilites then. The company got some more money too - about $10m in Series A venture funding.


Just a general comment Chris. I always enjoy reading your really is laugh out loud (lol) funny. You should post more often!

Cheers. I was a bit surprised about how long the last gap was. I'm sure it was the end of April only a few days ago. But I have been saving this one up - Stretch had a change of CEO recently and I was half expecting the site to change.

Curiously, they did. The ® you see now was a ™ just three weeks ago. It used to look like this.

I wonder how long it will take for the slogan to change again...

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