Shortening a brand name can be a very effective strategy, especially if your stakeholders know and refer to the brand that way. However, it is almost never advisable to shorten your brand’s name down to an acronym. There is often no equity in acronyms that don’t have a long and storied history that seared those letters into the mind of the consumer. It can seem like you’re making things easier, especially if that is how your internal culture references the company. But that shouldn’t dictate your external branding approaches.
And sometimes even the experts get it wrong. In this case, I nearly spit out my coffee. I saw a Facebook post by Branding Magazine promoting the July issue. In the status update, they refer to Branding Magazine as “BM,” followed by “regular” just one word away. I hope this will be one of the no-no’s they add to their brand identity standards.
If you’re looking to become a brand strategy/management guru, pick up a copy of my friend Laura Ries‘ book that she co-authored with her dad and branding giant, Al Ries, “The 22 Immutable Laws of Branding.” I have found no better or more clear guidebook to branding than that one. I’ve personally bought more than a dozen over the last dozen or so years and given most of them away. And we distributed hundreds to Make-A-Wish employees when Laura spoke at our national conference in 2010. If you don’t have a copy, get one – or buy two and give one away.