The Power of a Good Slogan

I normally don’t care for most corporate slogans. It is true that some slogans are very creative, and a few are even memorable enough to remain in people’s minds many years after they are introduced. But in my humble opinion, many slogans are contrived, and appear to have been cobbled together by a slick marketing team. Add this to the fact that one of the major goals of any corporation is, or at least, should be, profit maximization, and one can’t help but feel slightly jaded when coming across corporate slogans. However, I recently stumbled upon a slogan whose message was as hard-hitting as a tank and as devastatingly efficient as a Roger Federer service game:

“The end of No. The beginning of Now.”

While I am not sure whether this is, or will be, the company’s trademarked official slogan, this memorable statement by ServiceNow, a cloud computing company, reached out to me in a way that few other slogans have been able to. It is simple, but not simplistic; it is direct, but not intrusive; it is flexible without veering off track; it communicates a message that any of its customers can relate to; and, as an added bonus, it is a play on words (containing part of the company name in it) that is indicative of the rise of this firm into the ranks of the top enterprise cloud computing firms.

But before I go any further, let me fully disclose the following: I have been a consultant to the organization, have used its products in my professional career, and a few of my former colleagues now work there. However, I won’t be focusing at all on the company’s products or solutions, but just on the slogan itself, since this blog entry isn’t a promotional piece for ServiceNow, but rather, a brief analysis of its corporate slogan (or message, in case it hasn’t yet become the firm’s official slogan).

So what separates this slogan from the rest and sets it above the pack? Firstly, it communicates directly to the customer and promises solutions to the myriad of problems that IT departments face, replacing the word “no” with the word “now”, destroying any and all excuses along the way. ServiceNow isn’t trying to be clever or fancy here; it’s coming right at the customer and telling them, “We have the solution to your problem right here.” Simply put, there’s no dillydallying here, and there are no clichéd statements or clever marketing jingles, just a direct message to the customer, promising to solve their IT issues.

However, I think what really did it for me was the idea that this slogan promises a future that is better than the present, which is a huge departure from the apathy that exists in our society today. Let me give you an example. Fifty or so years ago, we declared a war on cancer, and proclaimed that we would soon find a cure. However, we still have not found a cure, and no world leader today would dare claim that we will have a cure for cancer soon. But ServiceNow’s slogan sweeps away any apathy, and in no uncertain terms delivers its promise clearly and powerfully: you will be better off later than you are right now.

Nowhere is this more evident than in the words themselves: we see the words “end”, “no”, “beginning”, and “now” within the statement. Thus, it promises an “end” to “no”, and the “beginning” of “now”. You really can’t get any clearer than that if you’re looking to broadcast a message to your customer base. But, as I stated previously, the reason I am so impressed with this slogan is that I truly love technology and happen to be a positive person, focusing on solutions rather than problems, so the idea that the future should be better than the present really resonates with me.

And while I fully understand that most, if not all, companies are probably more concerned with their revenues than how the future will turn out from a technological perspective, it is refreshing to see a slogan that promises a vision of the future that is not only positive, but would both satisfy a company’s bottom line and address the operational concerns IT departments face every day better than how it is being done currently.

Now, some of you may accuse me of reading too much into all of this, because after all, it’s just a statement. To be fair, it is certainly possible that the company did not intend to broadcast with this slogan that the future will be any better than the present (even though I personally believe that it will be). In fact, just to be very cynical for a moment, it is also possible that the organization is looking at things purely from a business perspective and is just hoping to score more deals and customers with this message. Additionally, ServiceNow is one of many cloud computing firms, and it’s not as if the organization is promising something as colossal as a cure for cancer. So while there is no way to know for sure what ServiceNow’s ultimate goals were when releasing this statement, after checking out a corporate presentation in which this slogan was introduced, it seemed to me at least that this statement attempted to demonstrate that things would indeed be better in the future and that the company’s reason for bringing forth the slogan was not limited to just monetary gain.

Additionally, it’s rather difficult to come across a slogan as direct, practical, and optimistic as this one. Indeed, what better way to tackle challenges than with the confidence and conviction that no matter what comes your way, you will be ready for it, and will rise above it? And in conclusion, that’s why I think this slogan is so great– with one swift motion it knocks down excuses and obstacles like bowling pins en route to a glorious strike, and focuses on the solution, while delivering a vision of the future that is better than the present.

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