Astonishingly bad branding

Happened to drive beside a truck from CopySource today in Bellingham, WA.

The biggest thing on the truck was the name: CopySource. Immediately above that was the corporate slogan: “Imagination. Creation. Print Solutions.”


The first two parts of your slogan are “imagination” and “creation.” But your name is CopySource. CopySource.

Now I know we all want to have aspirational slogans that make us feel like we’re doing wonderful amazing things, as opposed to picking belly-lint or moving rocks or pumping gas. And that’s great.

But when your slogan and your name are moving in two different directions, you’ve got a problem. The company probably started out as just another a copy shop, and now it’s breaking out of that niche … just another example of how difficult growing beyond an established brand can be.

The same dichotomy is obvious in the company’s mission statement on their website (which, by the way, is on the first page of their website):

Copy Source is in business to bring imagination into print solutions. Our passion is to work with clients to enhance their professional image in the global neighbourhood by using our digital and offset printing, desktop publishing and IT solutions to help them realize their mission and accomplish their goals.

Notice that both in the slogan and the mission statement they’ve got the real business dead last.

I have to think that sometimes it’s a much better solution to break off a new business to enter a new market – or at least a new brand – and keep each brand that you’ve got both focused and authentic … two things that suffer when you try to bridge categories.

Why I think about these things when I just happen to see a truck driving beside me, I have no idea …