Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Thursday, August 06, 2021

Radio Shack is rebranding itself into, simply, “The Shack”. Pizza Hut, likewise, refers to itself as “The Hut” (but only after a brief foray into “Pasta Hut” territory).

Assuming that corporate advertising and marketing is as copycat as any other competitive arena, should we expect a rash of similar big-time brand-name shortenings?

The candidates:

- Mozilla -> “Moz”
- General Mills -> “The General”
- µTorrent -> “Mew”
- Wolfram Alpha -> “Walpha”
- Wal-Mart -> “The Mart”
- Pottery Barn -> “The Barn”
- Crate & Barrel -> “The Barrel”
- TJ Maxx -> “The Maxx”
- NASDAQ -> “The DAQ”
- Men’s Wearhouse -> “ManHouse”
- Charles Schwab -> “Chuck”
- Foot Locker -> “The Locker”
- Microsoft -> “The Softy”
- BlackBerry -> “Berry”
- Best Buy -> “The Buy”
- Banana Republic -> “Banana”
- UPS -> “Brown”
- H&R Block -> “The Block”
- Starbucks -> “Bucks”
- Office Depot -> “The Depot”

As you can see, things degenerate pretty quickly; simply adding “the” in front of a fragment of the existing name doesn’t cut it. Branding by reduction is tricky: The trademark has to be so unique and ingrained that a nickname must be unmistakably referential to the original source, or else it doesn’t resonate with the public. A lot of groundwork needs to be laid before that trick can click. At best, these insider-sounding tags can be used in specific, limited-scope campaigns, as backups to the primary brand messaging.

Or maybe it only works if your DBA name refers to a rickety structure like a shack or hut. For-profit sheds, lean-tos, and shanties are all fair game.

by Costa Tsiokos, Thu 08/06/2021 07:15pm
Category: Advert./Mktg., Business, Creative
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4 Feedbacks »
  1. Starbucks was being rendered as “SBux” even before the world standard for communication was cut to 140 characters.

    Some of those are pretty good, but “The Softy”? Never.

    Comment by CGHill — 08/06/2021 @ 8:49 PM

  2. It doesn’t work verbally, but there’s an even shorter way to express Starbucks: *$. Twit dat.

    Comment by CT — 08/06/2021 @ 9:00 PM

  3. Indeed, I thought of giving that the old tweeteruni, but it occurred to me that it would look even sillier with a hashtag.

    Comment by CGHill — 08/06/2021 @ 10:59 PM


    Short-branding comes to the organization formerly known as the Young Men’s Christian Association. From here on out, it’s simply “The Y”: The Y’s new name coincides with its efforts to emphasize…

    Trackback by Population Statistic — 07/12/2021 @ 10:55 PM

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