Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Ax the acronyms!

When it comes to company names, I am adamant: NO acronyms. Why? Because they are impossible to remember and impossible to brand.

Maybe I'm more sensitive to this problem because I grew up in the Washington area which is awash in acronyms. Over 140,000 people here work for Federal agencies, - DoD, CIA, FBI, FDA, FEMA, etc. - so many that George Washington University has put together a glossary! These agencies compound the problem by creating more and more acronyms within their organizations. Life is just one big can of alphabet soup. 

So if you're choosing a corporate or product name, skip the acronym. No one will remember which three letters you've chosen. Ever. Is it MBA  or MAB or AMB? Only the business owner knows for sure.

Another reason to avoid acronyms? Other organizations already have your three letters no matter which three letters they are. For example, take ATG. A quick Google search shows that ATG stands for:

  • ATG Stores
  • Oracle's Art Technology Group
  • ATG Rehab
  • Advanced Techology Group
  • Applied Technology Group
  • ATG Credit
  • ATG E-Commerce Platform
  • ATG Electronics
  • ATG Records
  • Attorney's Title Guaranty Fund
  • Attorney General of Washington State
  • And so on
This makes ATG - or any other acronym - impossible to brand. Branding is all about uniqueness. If your company name is the same as a gazillion other companies' names, you're not unique - and your company is difficult if not impossible to brand.

So do the right thing: ax the acronyms!

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