Attention Brands: If You're Not Adidas, PEZ or IKEA, Kindly Stop Unnecessarily Abbreviating Things


Some of the world's most loved brands — Adidas, IKEA, PEZ, Arby's — happen to be abbreviations. And certain companies are so iconic that they've embraced going by their initials — KFC being a famous example. It's when people unnecessarily complicate things with "abreeves" (only you fans of the dearly departed TV series "Happy Endings" will get that reference) that it gets ridiculous. I recently tuned into a webinar put together by a well-known ad agency in which the host repeatedly referred to the place by its initials. Not only had I never, in all my years covering this stuff, heard the agency referred to that way before, but as one of the letters was a "W," it actually took the presenter longer to say the abbreviation than it would have to say the actual name of the company. Generally, having "W" in a brand's identity is a horrible idea (unless you happen to be George W. Bush, aka "Dubya," which, love him or hate him, has to be one of the greatest abreeves ever). The most egregious example of such a brand fail is Weight Watchers, which changed its name a few years back to the perplexing WW. I'm still not quite getting Weight Watchers' reasoning for shortening a perfectly descriptive brand name brimming with consumer goodwill and recognizability. Of course, some acronyms are worse. Much worse. Just consider the one below. (Though having been to Sarasota myself, I'm thinking maybe it was done on purpose.)

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