I know it sounds slightly silly but how do you spell J.P. Morgan?
Why am I asking this apparently meaningless question?
Well, you could be forgiven for thinking there were several firms masquerading as J.P. Morgan if you searched the web recently.
- J.P. Morgan
- JP Morgan and
Is any of this important?
No, not really.
Unless you want others to spell your name correctly. For example, in the news, in publications, when your CEO is quoted, or on the stock exchange.
The problem here isn’t how others spell your company. Rather, it’s how you value your own identify and, as a result, how others respond to this.
Here’s another way of looking at it.
We all know what’s it’s to be introduced to someone else… by the wrong name.
“Sorry, it’s Ivan, not Ian.“
“Excuse me, it’s Alejandro…. not Alexander.“
“By the way, it’s pronounced ‘Huan’ not Guan.“
You get the idea.
We’re super quick to correct others if they get our name wrong.
So, why do firms like J.P. Morgan let others misspell their own name?
A few reasons:
- Controls – it’s difficult (read: impossible) to control real time information feeds, social media, and other channels. See Designing Brand Identity.
- Interpretations – when your name includes initials, eg JP, different editors will spell it differently based on THEIR style guides.
- Design – if your visual brand does not highlight how your name should be written, then you’ve given others the opportunity to get creative. Something you don’t want, I’m sure.
How to cure this?
- Provide examples in your press kit.
- Contact the most influential editors and ask them (very nicely) if they could use the correct spelling from now on. Be super careful here as you don’t want to make them look silly. Keep it light.
- Include logos with the correct spelling as examples.
- Share this information with your own staff. If they get it wrong, what chance will others have?
Did you know… Microsoft used to be written as MicroSoft.
Any idea why it changed this?
Can you think of other examples of companies changing how their names were spelt.