Isn't your healthcare brand worthy of more than an acronym?

By Brad Dodge on February 7th, 2011

We spend a lot of time discussing the lack of merit of TLAs (three-letter-acronyms) for the corporate names of our healthcare clients, but it's an uphill battle. It seems healthcare wants the simplicity of an "IBM" as long as it has the mega power of the brand like IBM has. The most common argument is to have some descriptive words in the name, but go to the acronym right away so you can still actually say the name of your company without tripping all over your tongue. In a post from last January, I talked about a company that wanted to rename itself (a variation of) “Revenue Cycle Management Solutions, Inc.,” suggesting that because the name was long, they could just use the acronym RCMSI.In the latest B2C version of this phenomenon, I recently drove by a Rooms-To-Go store and saw a giant RTG logo plastered on the front of the store. Now, what could possibly be the motivation to try to leverage a brand that has unquestionably high awareness (do you know anyone that's never heard of Rooms-To-Go?) and move it to an acronym that has no association to the real brand, whose URL does not point to the store, and is confused with dozens of other versions of the same acronym?

Once you find that this URL points to RTG, Inc., the integrated circuit company, wouldn't that be enough of a reason for the company to realize RTG is a bad idea, and to throw the whole idea of acronymizing (New verb. You saw it first here.) the Rooms-To-Go brand into the dumpster? Apparently not.Then, once you realize that you're not at the furniture store's website, you might be inclined to search for RTG to find it. Well, the first listing is "radioisotope thermoelectric generator." The next RTG is a flexible, scalable, high-performance SNMP statistics monitoring system. Next RTG is an international supplier of surplus gun parts. And so on down the first page of search results. Rural Telecommunications Group. Real Time Gaming. Legal time and billing software. Recipes on the Go.I gave up. Couldn't find the Rooms-To-Go acronym anywhere. So, is it possible that the company is not trying to integrate the acronym into the Web, and they just figure their shoppers will make the connection between the name and the acronym? Then why do it at all? Why take the chance that a shopper is going to go through the process that I just did and give up? Or go to, acronyms are short, very easy to say, and easy to type. But that's where the benefits end. All other aspects of building a brand are compromised by using an acronym. So, for our B2B clients, prospects, followers and friends, please resist the temptation to turn your name into an acronym. It can't help. It can only hurt. And with all the noise and clutter in the healthcare industry today, companies need to take every last opportunity to move their brand forward.By the way, Haverty's is having a big sale.