November 17, 2008
The Difficulty of Brand Naming Punctuation
Buffalo, NY has a great new museum: The Burchfield-Penney Art Center. Or is it the Burchfield Penney Art Center?
A recent Buffalo News article spells it with hyphen as does the Burchfield-Penny Art Center website, while an article published one day earlier noted that the actual sign did away with the hyphen. The museum's head of marketing and PR says the hyphen "sort of went away through the process" as the museum rebranded itself.
Ironically, the museum has actually had an exhibition called "Art On the Hyphen: Cuban-American Artists of Western New York State."
Far be it for me to suggest that this is more of a mistake than a rebranding effort. The hyphen can be a very pesky piece of punctuation to handle in any naming process and is easily forgotten.
Too bad nobody warned the poor kid who changed his name to "Captain Fantastic Faster Than Superman Spiderman Batman Wolverine Hulk and The Flash Combined." Neat name, but "Spiderman" is technically spelled "Spider-Man," a fact that was not forgotten by the movies.
In reality, the hyphen is often misused by the press and it's no surprise that this slip-up also crosses over into brand naming.
Hyphens are especially difficult to incorporate into domain names since consumers frequently forget about it.
Keeping track of little things like punctuation is what being in name development is all about. For those of you who think you have the apostrophe under control, take this test to see if you are really "apostrophe proof."
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