August 15, 2022

Volume XII, Number 227


August 12, 2022

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Why Do CPA Firms Use Initials Instead of Names? Part 2

Initials aren’t helpful. Words are. Names are.

We know that for many professional-services firms (e.g. law, accounting, consulting, etc.), using initials is simply a necessary compromise — a less-controversial way to abbreviate the firm’s name.  You get to shorten a cumbersome name without seeming to favor the first one or two people over the others whose names come later on the door.  (More here.)  It seems like a reasonable solution, but it’s actually a big step backwards, as we discussed in our previous “Don’t Use Initials” blog post.

Some of our valued blog readers wanted more supporting evidence, another way to explain it to their firm’s own professionals.  This post shows how I explain this issue to the marketing committees, to help them make a good decision:

1. Look at this random collection of accounting firm logos I found on Google. (Disclosure: We don’t work with any of these firms.)

Look carefully:

Initials Accounting firm Bad Logos Page One copy


2. OK?  Got it?
Now I’ll shuffle them around and change just one of the logos.

See the group below?
Can you tell which of the following logos is different?


Initials Accounting firm Bad Logos Page TWO copy


You couldn’t tell, could you?  Of course not.

3.  OK, now I’m going to shuffle them around again and insert a new logo we designed recently.

Can you tell which of these logos, below, was added to the mix?

Initials Accounting firm Bad Logos Page THREE copy


It’s pretty obvious, right? 

Here’s the true test of marketing:

If you needed to find one of those companies on Google tomorrow, which one of them would you remember?

So, before changing a perfectly good name to a random collection of forgettable initials, think whether you’re advancing the firm’s strategic goals, or actually making your existing marketing challenges even harder to achieve.  Most of the time, a name, even a challenging one, is a better option than the firm’s initials.

© 2022 Fishman MarketingNational Law Review, Volume XII, Number 193

About this Author

Ross Fishman legal marketing expert  Fishman Marketing

National Law Review Thought Leader 2018

Of Counsel magazine wrote: “Many people consider Ross to be the nation’s foremost expert on professional services marketing.” He uses powerful brands, websites, and marketing training to help lawyers and law firms dominate their markets and dramatically increase profits.

A former...