Wisely vs Correctly


I saw a post recently in one of the online forums asking optical people to weigh in as “grammar police” as to how to spell eye care in the naming of a practice. This person created a poll in which hundreds of optical professionals participated. Unless your entire store or practice will be devoted to the staff at a university English department or major publishing company, why would it ever matter?

Considering the “Grammar Police” should have almost no place in marketing. Marketing is often about clever wordplay and that frequently ends up at odds with proper spelling and grammar. One of the most successful marketing slogans of all time was “Winston Tastes Good Like A Cigarette Should”. Of course, the grammar police was incensed for years, writing notes about correct English. It even prompted the RJ Reynolds to create a campaign slogan for a while that said: “What do you want, good grammar or good taste?”

One of the easiest ways to trademark a name is by deliberately misspelling it. Chick-fil-A, Publix, Froot Loops, Pak Mail, Carl’s Jr., and CheezWhiz come to mind. If the grammar police were in charge, of course, none of these brands would be known by these names.

How about in our own industry? Ever heard of ClearVision Optical? Fysh? Kliik? Mad in Italy? How about Acuvue Contact Lenses? While we are on the subject of contact lenses, how about Oasys, Dailies, AquaComfort, or Air Optix? Ever notice how ic! berlin or theo are always lower case? Or the brand LOWERCASE is spelled in upper case?

Think of the social media companies we frequent, Snapchat, Tumblr, Flickr. How about most people’s default search engine? The correct spelling for Google is googol.

Ever heard of the bands, U2, the Byrds, Led Zeppelin, or the Beatles?

Good grammar and good spelling are important in how you market your business, but almost never in how you name it. The name for your practice is your brand, the 1st thing people will see (pardon the pun) about you and thing that should help them remember you (in addition to your wonderful location, décor, demeanor, expertise, style, and selection). Choose wisely and not necessarily “correctly” according to your 5th grade English teacher.

image from Indiana Jones And The Last Crusade – courtesy of Paramount Pictures
Kala Mid Page