Thursday, April 22, 2010

What's in a (nick)name?

A lot.

If your brand has a widespread nickname then it's a good thing. It's means someone likes you and feels a special connection to the brand, just as significant others call each other "sweetie" and "honey."

Marketer's know this. Which is why their is a trend of marketers using nicknames in advertising and packaging. For instance, Burger King has been calling itself BK and infusing the initials in the names of some of its sandwiches. Recently, RadioShack tried to dub itself "The Shack" and Pizza Hut wanted to go by "The Hut." Even last week, Belvedere Vodka announced a new campaign to spread it's nickname "Belve." Even giant brands aren't immune to this trend as Bud Light introduced this nicknamed logo.

Also, we tend to give brands nicknames because we like to shorten names and titles.

Just think: Nickname's are almost always verbally equal or shorter than the official name. So count the syllables and compare.

For example: Target is Tar-Zhay; McDonald's is Mick-E-D's; Grey Goose is Goose; Coca-Cola is Co-ke; Federal Express is Fed-Ex (until they made it the official name).

In fact, I challenge to all my intelligent readers. Try to think of some nicknames with more syllables than the official brand name and submit them to the comments.

Finally, does the strategy of nicknaming oneself work or is it too inauthentic.

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