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6 Reasons Acronyms Don’t Work as Brand Names

Boy Scouts Changing Its Names Doesn’t Earn a Merit Badge: 6 Real Reasons Why Acronyms Don’t Work as Brand Names

Perhaps you’ve heard the brouhaha about the Boy Scouts of America changing its signature program to the acronym BSA which will become Scouts BSA in February 2019.

Acronyms are technically letters that are turned into words. The most famous and logical one is MADD: Mothers Against Drunk Driving.

6 Reasons Acronyms Never Work as Brand Names

Let me be clear: Acronyms virtually never work. Why?

Acronyms virtually never work as #brand names. Click To Tweet 1. Consumer still Translate Your Acronym into Words – Every time I drive by a KFC, I keep on driving. Why? Because the brand is built upon the history of the “f” word – fried!

2. Customers Don’t Understand the Meaning of the Acronym – Just because you think your name is clever doesn’t mean your customer does. Yesterday, a newsletter flew by me announcing the company SMART. Oh, it’s so smart because it stands for Save Money And Reduce Taxes; who knew and who cares?

Before you start bombarding me with the success of AT&T, let me remind you that the company was started in 1885 so it has over 130 years of building mindshare!

3. Customers Turn Your Initials Into Pejoratives – IBM has morphed so many times (it is now a service company) that at one time employees called it I’ve Been Moved! Virtually every acronym can be turned into an unpleasant statement; remember SAP? Stand Up and Pay? Or even the derogatory definition of Ford: Fix Or Repair Daily?

4. Initials are Less Memorable Than Real Words – Research shows that in fact, acronyms have 33% lower recall rates.Acronyms are 33% lower in recall rates than words as #brand names. Click To Tweet

5. Initials Sound the Same Causing a Mix Up – If I’m on the phone, did you say ID? Or IC? Or IE? See the problem?Acronyms don’t work as #brand names because initials sound the same. Click To Tweet

6. Acronyms Stand for Many Things – In the Internet community, IP = Internet Protocol; in the legal world, IP = Intellectual Property. Avoid confusion by avoiding acronyms.

Have I made my case yet? I know naming and getting a domain is difficult, but this is not the place to compromise; your brand sets the foundation for your entire company? Need help finding your Brand Name? Schedule an intro phone appointment with me!

Ok, off my Acronym soap box. What do you think? Let me know below.

To your sizzling success,


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