Stop the acronym heaven!

Stop the acronym heaven!

I recently stumbled across this ad. I’m stuck.

  1. What are they selling?

  2. Why?

  3. What does SOBEWFF stand for?

  4. What’s the benefit?

  5. How much is it?

  6. Who sponsors it?

Help! In other words, this ad is a waste of dollars. The developers forgot the What’s-In-It-For-Me formula and wrote an ad that they understand, and we don’t.

I’ve talked before about having a “mom reviewer.” In other words, ensure that your copy makes sense by running it by someone not in your industry who will let you know if it passes the smell test. (My mom was great about informing me when my copywriting was suspect. 😊)

Acronyms are a sure-fire way to confuse your readers. Why? Because consumers are always looking to understand the initials. It’s as if we read KFC, but our minds still say aloud: Kentucky Fried Chicken. That type of thinking is one of the reasons that I thought the name change was a bad idea; it still contains the dreaded “f” word.

A great client of mine writes about ED. Of course, I always think the acronym stands for the male need for the little blue pill. In her world, the term stands for “Eating Disorder.”

Research shows that acronyms are 30% less memorable than real words. Your target market is thinking the company is called HIA or ITTA or something like that. Good naming deserves “flawless recall”— you remember the correct name each time and every time.

The bottom line: the next time you start to exclaim, “but everyone in my industry understands that term,” think again and spell out the words.

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