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I opened up my email inbox and there was a message from someone. The entire message was a sales letter for what I assume is a program they were selling.
The problem was I had no idea what they were talking about.
Throughout the whole letter, they used an acronym. They didn’t even define the acronym either!
I don’t remember exactly which letters they used, but to pick three random letters, let’s just say it was KBL.
What does “KBL” mean? When you hear “KBL” does that give you any kind of emotional response?
Of course not, because there haven’t been any impressions of KBL in the past for you to associate with. No one has marketed KBL to you.
Now, if I said “UPS”, that means something to you! “ABC” means something to you. GE—you’ve heard of that before.
For people to know, understand, and associate an emotional response with a set of letters, millions, if not billions, of dollars of marketing put into it.
That’s the reason large companies can get away with using acronyms. You can’t!
Unless you’re a huge conglomerate, you need more impressions of your brand and your name—not fewer. When you’re only using the first letter of each word of your product, business, or brand, you’re trying to shortcut being memorable way to soon.
You don’t have enough impressions for your random series of letters to mean anything.
Cory, our video producer at seanwes, has a series called Behind the Film. He’s abbreviated that to BTF before. But now he understands that BTF doesn’t mean anything to anyone. Nobody knows what that means.
A random series of letters can mean something different to different people—that’s the problem.
When you use acronyms in place of your product or brand’s full name, you’re thinking about yourself (not your audience).
When I’m reading the email I received that says, “KBL this,” and, “KBL that,” I have no idea what they’re talking about.
The author is assuming that I’ve been to their website and read all of the emails they’ve ever sent me prior to this day. They’re assuming I don’t have thousands of emails in my inbox.
People don’t know what your set of random letters mean. It means nothing to them and you’re doing yourself a great disservice.
Every time you use an acronym is an opportunity you have to put the full name of your brand or product in front of someone.
You need more impressions.
You’re nowhere near the number of impressions you need in order to be memorable, make a sale, or establish your brand as something people will carry with them.
The key: don’t make people do work—do the work for them. Don’t make them think.
You’re being lazy and foolish by using acronyms.
Acronyms are a bad idea for a business without a massive marketing budget. Use the full name of your product. Use the full name of your brand. Get more impressions.
I would even recommend against using acronyms internally with your team.
Instead, I would recommend using something like TextExpander to create snippets that will expand an acronym to the full name. That way, the full name is just as easy to type, but everyone is getting the full brand impression.
Becoming known, being remembered, building an audience, and building your brand is already an uphill battle for you—it’s already difficult.
Don’t make it more difficult by using a set of letters that don’t mean anything to anyone.