Logos and Slogans

For marketing purposes, you usually want to choose an appropriate slogan to go with your name, like “Twist and Shout” for a pretzel company, or “Ride the Wave” for a marine company, or “Just Do It” for a sports shoe company.

You also need a logo: a graphical representation of your brand like the famous Nike “swoosh” symbol or the default Coca-Cola lettering. FYI: a logo and slogan is “trademarkable” if it is unique but it is not “patentable” or “copyrightable”. In the case of Coca-Cola, their formula would be patentable and their literal wording would be copyrightable. Conversely, it is logos, slogans, lettering, and colors that get trademarks.

In the vetting process for your brand, each element of your logo, slogan, font and so on should be carefully considered with the help of marketing professionals, and then ultimately selected from as many options as you can afford from professional graphic designers.

You need to have a first class logo, and then ensure your logo has perpetual and extensive exposure in your target market, which in some cases are all the world’s Internet consumers.

Your marketing material preceded with your name, slogan, and logo (which may or may not include a graphical symbol to go with your style of text treatment) should be exposed in a wide variety of venues simultaneously: referrals, press articles, sales messages, affinity groups, and materials via fax, mail, newspaper ads, radio, on-line, and so forth. We like to use the expression “tag the world.”

Your brand is everything so don’t shortchange it. In the beginning, pay to build it by leveraging the right image and domain, and stick with it, because you will discover that branding reinforcement over a long term also pays out for the long term.

Now you are ready for your lawyer to compile and then file basic paperwork to get your business properly incorporated and legally operational in the marketplace.

Basic filings and documents you will require include:

  • A federal ID number from the IRS
  • Articles of Incorporation
  • A “fictitious name” filing (the name you would like to register in your state)
  • Shareholder Operating Agreements
  • Stock Subscription Agreements
  • Stock Option Agreements
  • Stock Certificates
  • A Corporate Seal

In fact, you should plan to have this additional material also:

For Marketing:

  • Name and slogan options
  • Domain names (your primary brand plus singulars, plurals, misspellings, “.net” version, subsidiary names, etc.)
  • Logo options
  • Web content
  • Business card templates
  • Contact management system and backups
  • Sales texts that can be copied and pasted between media
  • Proposal templates
  • Print flyers
  • Fax cover template/letterhead template
  • E-mail text templates and signature text

For Management:

  • Business model for internal purposes
  • Staff contact directory
  • Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs)
  • Mission statement
  • Backed up file systems including contact manager and PC configurations

For Investors:

  • Private Placement Memoranda (PPM)
  • Business plan or model
  • Business presentations in PowerPoint and Flash
  • Merger agreements
  • Asset purchase agreements

For Legal:

  • Nondisclosure and non-compete agreements
  • Proprietary inventions agreements
  • Legal agreement templates
  • Domain details and other intellectual property

For Financial:

  • QuickBooks backups
  • Monthly financial statements

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