‘Live Exponentially’ – Close, But No Cigar

St. Louis, Mo.

Let me begin by saying I am not currently a Los Alamos resident. I’ve lived here in fits and spurts for over two decades. But I love this place. With all its cultural quirkiness, neighborly charm, off-the-charts natural beauty and an unusually high concentration of Ph.D.’s, Los Alamos reminds me of Mayberry on steroids.  

For years I noted the big rock on the outskirts of town with the words “Where Discoveries are Made.” A nice motto for LANL. But I’ve always believed Los Alamos offered so much more. Someone, I thought, needs to expand this town’s brand, make it attractive to a broader demographic.

This morning a friend called and told me Los Alamos has adopted a new slogan: “Live Exponentially.” Now that’s a nice sentiment. We all want to live exponentially. But how does that describe Los Alamos specifically? I applaud the movement to rebrand Los Alamos, perhaps making it more inclusive of people who aren’t scientists. But isn’t living exponentially something all of us want to do wherever we live?

As a marketer, I was once told to make sure the things I wrote could be understood by someone on an 8th grade reading level. I actually balked when a supervisor told me the word “exponential” was too high-falutin’ for the average reader. But whether you agree it’s accessible to the average Joe or not, the word “exponential” has a definite left-brain, somewhat narrow connotation.

I’d like to suggest the slogan be tweaked to: Los Alamos: Where Wonders Unfold. Or maybe Los Alamos: Where Vision Takes Flight. Both of these slogans will speak to people who may not be scientists or intellectuals, but also have unique visions for their lives. I mean really…who doesn’t want to experience wonder? Both of these phrases have a much broader appeal than “live exponentially.”

Just a thought from someone who thinks Los Alamos is totally “the bomb.” Now wait a minute…that’s really stating the obvious!


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