I have watched this for many years. People are always in a rush to choose a name and then they don't choose well. And then they tend to change the good ones. I think the name is a key element of any business. A friend sent me an article from adage.com about how companies just gloss over when it comes to their name.
The problem with initials
The latest marketing trend is the use of initials to make a brand seem "hip."
- JCP instead of JCPenney.
- DQ instead of Dairy Queen.
- RH instead of Restoration Hardware.
But just like diet and regular cola, an "initials" name is forever locked with a "name" name.
When consumers see initials, their first thought is, "What do those initials stand for?" JCP only had meaning because consumers associated the initials with JCPenney.
There are many successful brands known by their initials. "AT&T" for American Telephone & Telegraph. "IBM" for International Business Machines. "HP" for Hewlett-Packard. "AARP" for American Association of Retired Persons. "KFC" for Kentucky Fried Chicken.
But name one brand created from scratch with initials only that eventually became a big, successful brand? I can't think of any.
Then why in the world would Mark Zuckerberg, Bill Gates and Jack Dorsey, three of the most successful entrepreneurs in America, launch a Silicon Valley advocacy group called "FWD.us."
- Mark Zuckerberg founded Facebook.com. Not FB.com.
- Bill Gates founded Microsoft. Not MS.
- Jack Dorsey founded Twitter.com. Not TW.com.
Sure, "FWD" is slang for "Forward." But think about this: That's true for every set of initials. They stand for something else. Why not use that "something else" as your brand name?
That is just one of the points made in this article and it is a very good one indeed!