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The Pitfall of Confusing Acronyms


Acronyms as defined by Dictionary.com is “a word formed from the initial letters or groups of letters of words in a set phrase or series of words”

What a useful thing! Who wants to spell out National Aeronautics and Space Administration when you can simply say NASA? It’s even cooler when the word the acronym spells out has a meaning in itself. Like M.A.S.K. (Mobile Armored Strike Kommand for those unfamiliar with the 80s cartoon series).

Let’s take a short break to see the awesome intro from M.A.S.K.

NASA is a good acronym not because you immediately understand what it means it’s because the name rolls off the tongue like a word that you can actually say. And M.A.S.K. is cool because, well, the special force was about masters of illusion, like a “mask”.

Then you have BOMC2.

This email I received a few months ago from BOMC2 is full of three huge buckets of FAIL.

Confused? I was.

First off, I have never been a customer of Book-of-the-Month Club so I am not sure why you are asking for me to come back. Secondly and most importantly, I just spent the last 20 minutes reading every word of this email to try to figure out what the “2? means in “BOMC2?.

Is it because it’s the sequel to the original BOMC?
Is it a club for 2 books a month?
Your guess is as good as mine. I went on their website to try to figure it out and left with no answers.

A common pitfall when marketing to prospects is assuming they know what you are talking about. Sometimes we get so caught up in our internal acronyms and abbreviations and your potential customer is left asking, “What the heck s Bomck? And what as wrong with the first one?”

Acronyms should have meaning. They should have lasting power. And if they are difficult to remember, they should have a tremendous amount of branding dollars behind it so you can remember what it is. You know, like NKOTB.

What do you think BOMC2 stands for? Put your guesses in the comments section.