I scratched my head long and hard the other day trying to remember if ‘custodian’ starts with a ‘c’ or a ‘q’. It’s ‘c’, by the way. But I understand, if like me, you too were confused for a second. Deliberately misspelling names, dropping vowels and adding unnecessary -fy, -me, -ly, etc is all part of modern-day “branding.”
There is nothing more annoying to me than reading about
BHLDN (pronounced beholden) or WROGN (pronounced God-knows-how) on social media. Part of creating a brand name is making the name stick in your audience’s minds. What’s a better way of doing that than to annoy them?
As a rule, I do my best to not provide my business to companies that do this. I have since abandoned Flickr, Scribd and Tumblr. For one thing, I cannot stand the red squiggly line that forms under these words as I type them. My word processor, like me, doesn’t accept this abomination….yet.
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We’ve been pushed to do this
Sohan Saini, a branding expert says, “Most words in the dictionary already have a domain name associated with them. So, if a client insists on their brand name matching closely with what they do, we have no choice but to drop the vowel.” Saini is right. Domain squatters are the real culprits here. Out to make quick money, they buy up domain names with every possible word or phrase their tiny brains can come up with.
Even Mark Zuckerberg had to deal with this problem.
Most users find these names “cute.” Napster, Feastly, Spotify, Shopify etc. have been around long enough that I can tolerate their existence. But God forbid, every Jack and Jill with the next world-changing idea wants to adopt the same trend of dropping the vowel, add an -ly to the end and possibly use the TLD .io.
Here’s a nice domain name for you – KssMass-ly.io
Because if you don’t do any of the above, you simply aren’t hip.
But there is another thing that brands are forgetting. Having a name that in no way relates to your niche is something that only the big players can afford to do. If you decide to go this way you better have a huge marketing budget. Huge enough that people simply cannot forget what your brand does.
This means brands should have an enormous budget for advertisements. Advertisement that aims to make people remember the cool, hip name they came up with instead of selling their products.
So called marketing experts would say that implanting the brand name into the minds of the consumer is half the work done. All the above are some strategies that brands use to make this happen. The next time he/she sees the brand store they are motivated to make a purchase simply because they feel familiar with the brand.
Nonsense. If people were really so stupid would they have elected a bankrupt, reality TV star to become the president of the USA?
Consumers are smarter than the average height of the bar graph that marketers group them into. Most of these hip ‘n trendy brand names will not make it past the next five years. Surely.io (Don’t bother. That domain name is already taken.)
Take Kodak for example. What exactly does ‘Kodak’ mean? I could google it now. But if you’re like me, I’m sure you have no idea what it means. Still, the company is so successful that ’90s kids will remember what “a Kodak moment” means. This is not because they spent an inordinate amount of time and resources to advertise their name. They built the brand by building the product. The recognition came soon after. The consumers themselves accepted the Kodak moment.
Whereas, all we see now are brands trying to shove their ‘Kodak moment’ down our throats. Kodak is still around, by the way.
Never a good idea
Granted. With each passing day it is becoming increasingly harder to come up with and trademark your own brand name. The good names are all gone. But please, just stop dropping vowels. Read around. Pick up a book or two. Chances are the word you’re looking for is expressed more elegantly in another language. Just don’t give up so easily.
I hope this trend doesn’t become cuotidian.
For every successful company with an intentionally misspelled name, or names with cute suffixes, there are hundreds that don’t make it past the boardroom simply because they chose to go with a name that has nothing to do with their business.
Be SMRT-ly, do the RGHTify THIGN.io
No one said it needs to make sense.
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