A Collection of Three Word Brand Haikus

I’m not sure what is in the marketing water that has caused an explosion of brand haikus, but everyone is drinking it. Traditional “haikus” are poems with three lines and a 5–7–5 syllable pattern. However, “brand” haikus (which I just coined) are words that are tacked on to logos or wordmarks that companies use to concisely explain their mission. (Marketers appear to include this in the more general category of “taglines”)

There is a common pattern of using three words to do this job. This might be because of a need to cut through the clutter of full sentences, or perhaps to drive search engine hits by creating unique combinations of words. I interpret the trend as an emotional appeal, almost like poetry. The meaning remains strategically vague, avoiding an actual commitment to explaining what you mean. Because, I guess, who has time?

So without further ado, here is a collection of 45 three word logo-haikus that Bill Tomlinson, Jonathan Alexander, and I have been collecting. (If you want a proper rant about this trend from a professional, check out this screed.)

1. Educate. Inspire. Act.

Santa Barbara Earth Day: Community Festival

2. Provide. Prepare. Prevent

Teen Road to Safety: Advanced Driving School for Teens

3. Safety, Service, Security

California Highway Patrol

4. Pride, Protection, Prevention

City of Santa Barbara Fire Department

5. Faster. Smarter. Better.

Sit Means Sit: Dog Training

6. Verify, Store, Share

Verifiable: Digital Credential Verification (h/t Bill Tomlinson)

7. Life, Faith, Meaning

The Alpha Course: Introduction to Christianity Course (h/t Bill Tomlinson)

8. Switch. Ride. Save.

Verizon ad campaign

9. Hope. Care. Cure.

Seattle Children’s Hospital

10. Hospital. Research. Foundation.

Also Seattle Children’s Hospital (very fond of this they are)

11. Live | Work | Build

UC Irvine Informatics Department: University Department

12. Effect • Expand • Evolve

iConference 2017: Academic Conference

13. Technology, Safety, Community

CHI 2005: Academic Conference

14. Interact. Inform. Inspire

CHI 2006: Academic Conference

15. art.science.balance

ACM CHI 2008: Academic Conference

16. Explore Innovate Inspire

ACM CHI 2017: Academic Conference

17. Lead, Learn, Thrive

18. Question, Imagine Understand

Both are Marketing Materials for MIT Press

19. Reconnect. Reminisce. Relax

Cornell Club of New York: Alumni Club

20. Protection Detection Resolution

Marketing Materials for IdentityWorks from Experian: Credit Agency

There are better examples that do the 3 word thing better, but this is what I got.

21. Adapt. Evolve. Thrive.

Better Change Consulting: Not sure what they do actually — change things? (h/t Bill Tomlinson)

22. Pride. Commitment. Community.

Jordano’s: Food Service:

23. Improvise. Adapt. Overcome

meme inspired by the Man vs. Wild TV Show (h/t Bill Tomlinson)

24. Innovate. Integrate. Ignite.

Calit2: University Research Organization

25. smart. safe. sanitary

San Jamar, Commercial Sanitary Products

26. engage. discover. dialogue

SpeedFaithing interfaith event at UCI

27. Unite. Resist. Enlist

Human Rights Campaign Volunteer Drive: Activist Organization

28. Awareness. Advocacy. Activism

Human Rights Campaign Volunteer Drive: Activist Organization (they are into it)

29. Learn Lead Succeed

Claremont McKenna College admissions Materials

30. Create. Imagine. Discover.

Calvin College Marketing Materials

31. Learn. Connect. Lead.

American Enterprise Institute Connect App

32. Shoes. Style. Selection

Warehouse Shoe Sale Rewards Club

Image captured on the sly from the DMV worker’s desk

33. Rental — Leasing — Logistics

Penske Moving Truck Rental company

34. Run. Rock. Save.

Geico Car Insurance Marketing Materials for Running Races (e.g. 10K)

35. Survive. Shine. Resist

Bus Sign for The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center in NYC (h/t Jonathan Alexander)

36. dine. dwell. discover

Promotion for 100 Block Knoxville Development District (h/t Jonathan Alexander)

37. Live work enjoy

Santa Ana promo sign at train station

38. Energy Vision Commitment

Spotted on a bumper sticker in New Zealand (h/t Bill Tomlinson)

39. Respect. Recognition. Rewards

Veteran’s Advantage: Rewards Program

40. Watch. Share. Donate.

Imaginary Friend Society: Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation (h/t Bill Tomlinson)

41. Live. Laugh. Love.

Sign in a New Zealand Hardware store with a bit of a history (h/t Bill Tomlinson)

This is not from Bill but from the history linked above.

42. Learn, Live, Experience

USC College promotional materials

43. Inspiration, Innovation. Impact

UNLV Graduate College Sudent Research Celebration

44. Respect. Legacy. Revenge.

Power: TV Series

45. Scholarship.Inspiration. Leadership.

Mission College Preparatory Catholic High School

46. Technology | Innovation | Career

Source Lost…

47. Educate — Discover — Empower

Source Lost…


Please stick to just three words

Cape Code MOVES

Motion. Organize. Volunteer. Energize. Strong.