What’s In A (Nick) Name?

“I drove my Chevrolet to the Levrolet…!”

Will lunacy never cease?  General Motors was widely criticized last month for officially declaring that the car, formerly known as a Chevy, will now only be referred to by its given name,  a “Chevrolet.”

What all of the pundits have missed is that nicknames are a sign of endearment! We only bestow these names on brands that we know and love. And, smart marketers understand that nicknames such as Beemers, BevMo, FedEx, Bloomies, and Nordies mean we have such an intimate understanding of the brand that we have created a shortcut.

Want to read more about  naming missteps and the secrets to success?  See Chapter 3 entitled Name Dropping: How to Build a Brand That Sizzles in Red Fire Branding

YMCA officially changed its name to “The Y” this week.  Although I am typically not thrilled about just initials, this name change works for me because:

1) It embraces its long-used nickname

2) It removes the limiting nature of the words “Men” and “Christian”

3) It’s shorter which fits into our ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder) generation.

This name gets a YES!


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