“Live Like You Mean It” – Branding Gone Wrong

Live like you Mean It.  

That is the new slogan for the state of Wisconsin.  Apparently “America’s Dairyland” was not good enough.  The new slogan cost $50,000 of taxpayer money and it wasn’t even original: Bacardi trademarked it and has used it as a slogan to sell rum.  Motivational speakers use it as book titles, marketers put it on baby bibs, and high-minded college kids use it to discuss what they would like to do after graduation.

Its boring, unoriginal and very debatable whether Wisconsinites “live like they mean it” or if tourists are supposed to come to Wisconsin with that goal in mind.  Either way, it is a weak effort.  Wisconsin could have crowd surfed its way to a better slogan; It probably would have been better than Live Like you Mean It and wouldn’t have cost $50,000.

It brings up three rules that should should make sure to follow when they are trying to brand themselves:

  1. Do your due diligence to make sure your brand does not evoke other, unrelated products. (If it were Wisconsin and beer or brandy rather than Wisconsin and rum it might make sense)
  2. Be creative, not boring
  3. Don’t waste cash on something you could do yourself

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