Most of us are familiar with acronyms. Using few letters, they can be powerful little messages, easy to understand, remember and meaningful. But how can they be effective in highlighting our company?
When our customers need a product/service or help in solving a problem, we want them to choose our company. To make that happen – we often need to differentiate ourselves. There are numerous ways of doing this, and communication is one of them.
We communicate with our customers daily. Chat, email, sms, video, LinkedIn etc. One of the reasons for communicating on several digital platforms is to create presence, customer relationships and ensure company visibility. This in turn results in our customers getting to know us better – who we are, what we do and how we can help them.
But can just a few letters represent all of that and in addition, inspire our customers and help them to remember us when they need a product, service or help?
Acronyms and acronym mnemonics
Research shows that targeted training, like the use of acronyms or what is also called acronym mnemonics, can improve memory. So, by using a company acronym again and again whenever communicating with our customers on digital platforms we can remind them of who we are.
Here are some examples:
#TGIF – Thank Goodness It’s Friday
Just by looking at those 4 letters, we smile, get the weekend feeling and even maybe dream about sleeping in tomorrow. At the same time, these 4 letters could have another effect.We could start visualizing juicy buffalo wings and perfectly salted fries or a big chocolate milkshake with whipped cream, served by waiters with red and white striped shirts. We can thank Alan Stilman for that visualization. In 1965 he started a new restaurant in New York and gave it a name using an acronym that gave most people a great weekend feeling – TGIFridays. According to Wikipedia, « his first restaurant and all future ones are focused on “casual dining” – restaurants that serve moderately-priced food in a casual atmosphere. » He wanted his customers to have that relaxed «Friday at home » feeling, even though they were eating out. Stilman not only thought of a company acronym that would capture his company’s values, he even implemented it into the company name he created.
#DFTBA – Don’t Forget To Be Amazing
Chris Marr at The Content Marketing Academy uses this well-known acronym whenever communicating to his customers. His use of DFTBA was influenced by seeing a MIM or a quote image and he thought it was cool. So, in 2014 he started using it in signing off his emails and then from there it just grew. A few years ago, after using it for a while, Ann Handley told Chris something he wasn’t aware of, that DFTBA was the rallying cry of Nerd Fighters (the Green brothers). So he contacted Nerd Fighters, told them why he was using this particular acronym and wrote a blog about it where he gave them credit. Today, this acronym is stuck on everything Chris does – podcasts, tweets, workshops, articles, presentations, emails, stickers, videos and anything else he produces and shows to his customers. Chris’s philosophy is to continuously educate and encourage his customers, so they can improve and be the best they can be – To Be Amazing. We know that using a company acronym has been effective for CMA in differentiating them from other voices in their industry, because we now think of Chris, CMA and Amazing, every time we see the acronym DFTBA!
The positive effects of a company acronym
By using a well-chosen acronym when communicating we create a positive consistency in our communication, regardless of the subject. Branding can help customers quickly identify our company, products, and services – using a company acronym, either an existing or custom one, can help others to quickly identify our values, who we are and the core attitude our company is based upon.
The “acronym process”
How can we find an acronym or create one that is positive, captures our company’s values and is easy to remember? One way is to ask some questions, create a list based on the answers and try to rate them.
What is the main value we want to share with our customers? What positives do we want them to think about when seeing our acronym and our company name? When seeing our acronym which words will inspire them in their workspace? Can we capture the core mission of our company in just a few words and create an acronym from these words?
At KOGGER we asked ourselves the above questions and here are some of our answers:
#BTCT – Be Transparent Create Trust!
We encourage our customers to be transparent and we show them how at our workshops. We believe that being transparent in everything we do, creates trust. One of the ways we can show our customers the importance of transparency, is by being transparent ourselves. To us that means, showing our prices on our website, educating and helping them by writing honest useful content on our website and sharing any documentation they need. In addition, we want to be transparent as to the challenges we as a company encounter and how we choose to solve them. This transparency will help us in gaining their trust in us as an honest, reliable source of help. We also hope that our acronym will inspire them to be transparent and create trust and will remind everyone, including ourselves, that this is at the core of everything KOGGER does.
This is how we ended up with BTCT – Be Transparent Create Trust.
A company acronym gives all your customers something in common
It also feels great to give your customers something they can have in common when doing business with you. Chris at CMA was surprised when he experienced that the use of his company acronym had a gathering effect on his customers. They often refer to DFTBA and CMA when they meet at various events or communicate with each other on digital platforms.
What will your company acronym be?
You might be new to the industry with just a few customers, or an “old timer” with numerous customers. Regardless of your company size, by using a positive acronym whenever you communicate with customers or vendors, you are giving them a positive boost and quickly reminding them of who you are and your company values.
So, what will your company acronym be?
We would love to hear from you about your acronym and the story behind it!