Nicknames for brand names: the trend continues

My Friday blog was concerned with companies adopting nicknames when, apprarently, the original brand name wasn’t “catchy” enough.

Here’s another example of branding a nickname: Southern Comfort, a flavored whiskey with rich traditions and associations, has taken to calling itself “SoCo” in their commercials and on their web site. Now you do save two syllables, but I believe you lose any cachet, any equity built over the years. SoCo sounds industrial to me. It doesn’t connote any feelings or associations. It has no passion, no verve, no history.Over time, say five-plus years perhaps, with consistent and frequent promotion, SoCo may have its own set of associations that resonate with a next generation. I wouldn’t guarantee that, though.

Unless there are negative asssociations to this whiskey I’m not aware of, I’d recommend again promoting Southern Comfort and dropping the SoCo nickname. If sales are down, look for other tactics to reverse that trend, but leave the brand name alone.

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