Generally, when communicating, using fewer words and images demonstrates focus and clarity. Using lots of text and visuals demonstrates the opposite. Being succinct is not just a more effective technique. It claims category domination. It says game-over.
Example: Ever notice that the more famous someone or something is, the fewer words are needed to identify them?
Consider the one-name celebrities: Cher, Elvis, Marilyn, Sting, Bono, Ringo, Beyonce, Eminem, Liberace, Madonna, Oprah, Pele, Prince and Shaq. One word is all they need. Same with the monogram celebrities: JFK, YSL, FDR, LV, OJ and LBJ.
The stronger the brand, the fewer letters needed to conjure the image.
Same with companies. Most names follow this formula: (brand name) followed by (category). Example: Campbell’s Soup, “Campbell’s” being the brand and “Soup” being the category.
Once brands are household names, they can drop the category designation. “Ford” doesn’t need to be followed by “Automobiles.” The name “Ford” says it all. Any doubt as to which category the following brands compete in–Kellogg’s, Nikon, McDonald’s, Disney, Gucci, Yahoo!, Rolex, Ben & Jerry’s, Visa and FedEx?
As brands grow stronger, they may go by even shorter nicknames: Coca-Cola by Coke, Kentucky Fried Chicken by KFC, Budweiser by Bud, Caterpillar by Cat, and Giorgio Armani by Armani. Lengthy law-firm names are shrinking nationally, usually to the first name on the letterhead. Example: San Francisco’s Orrick, Herrington and Sutcliffe goes by Orrick and markets itself using the letter “O.”)
Acronyms are essentially nicknames. Generally they are a bad idea because they are difficult to remember. However, once a company is well known and long established, consumers tend to accept them, such as IBM, GE, AT&T, BMW, UPS, BP and KFC.
The ultimate swagger is to forgo letters and words completely and use symbols to communicate. Who doesn’t recognize the ubiquitous Nike, Apple, and Shell logos? The Superman “S” and the McDonald’s “M?” And the Red Cross’ logo is reportedly the best known brand symbol in the world — a simple red cross.
Say less. Be more. Agree?