Vwls R so ystrdy.

Vowel free, apparently, connotes cool and modern.

The race to capture that Zeitgeist spawned Motorola’s SLVR in an attempt to emulate the success of its RAZR phone.  There’s Flickr, the image hosting and video hosting website, and MBLM, the self-styled brand intimacy company, and numerous others.

The latest is MVMT, a watch company that combines “classic design, quality construction, and styled minimalism”. The name is Movement, as in Swiss watch, the brand is MVMT. I saw MVMT and read ‘Movement’, so I suppose it works.

It’s a naming trend referenced by Fritinancy in her blog post Vowel Obstruction‘. and stems, in my view, from the growing acceptance of shorthand in text-messaging and instant messaging, communication that encourages users to get as much said in as little time and space possible.


“We’re in a hurry, so who needs the vowels?” says James Gleick (or, as the book jacket has him, ‘Jms Glck’) in his book “Faster: The Acceleration of Just About Everything”.

The popularity of the vowel evisceration approach to names may be that it eases somewhat the practical problem of URL availability, but unfortunately for MVMT, MVMT.com belongs to a media production house, and movement.com is a mortgage company. MVMT the watch company has to make do with http://www.mvmtwatches.com, which is less than optimal. 

This phenomenon was previewed a few years ago in this Internet post that did the rounds:

Aoccdrnig to a rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it dseno’t mtaetr in waht oerdr theltteres in a wrod are, the olny iproamtnt tihng is taht the frsit and lsat ltteer be in the rghit pclae. The rset can be a taotl mses and you can sitll raed it whotuit a pboerlm. Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe. Azanmig huh? yaeh and I awlyas tghuhot slpeling was ipmorantt!



Tck tck.

EVRY good name deserves favor

What does EVRY mean to you?

Do you see a word? Or do you see four letters just strung together like a row of initials – E, V, R, Y?

Norway’s largest IT company is counting on you reading ‘EVRY’ as a word.

EVRY is the new name for EDB ErgoGroup, which was created out of the 2010 merger of Norway’s two largest IT companies, EDB and ErgoGroup.

“By changing to a completely new and unfamiliar name, we are nullifying people’s awareness of a business with almost NOK 13 billion of annual turnover”, says CEO Terje Mjøs in a press release.

He goes on:  “This makes it crucial that we quickly build a strong market awareness of our new name, EVRY. However, we could not ask for a better starting point. The new name suits us perfectly!

It does!? Then do tell us: what is the name, and why is it perfect?

I assume EVRY is meant to be read as ‘Every’, but EVRY is not being very helpful in this. Just seeing it written as EVRY, and all in caps, can be misleading. It looks like an acronym. The problem with EVRY is that you have to hear it spoken to get the name. And even then, why EVRY?

The press release attempts to explain:

“We were keen to develop a name that has only a few characters, that will work in different combinations and that can stand on its own and convey our message without the need for any additional logos – and of course we wanted a name that will represent the company in the best possible way”. Of course. That’s good.

“At the same time, the name EVRY does give the sense that our business has its roots in Norway, Sweden and the Nordic region, in terms of both its ownership and its activities”. Sorry, lost me again. Why EVRY exactly?

“The name also represents what we stand for, and we are committed to ensuring that the company creates value for our customers and society as a whole through:

– Each and every employee, every single day
– Every customer for which EVRY creates value
– Every critical system for which EVRY plays a role
– Every colleague who takes responsibility and inspires others
– Every person who is affected by EVRY through the benefits for society in which we play a role
– Every opportunity that EVRY recognizes and takes up”.

So, there it is: EVRY wants to be everything to everybody, in a uniquely Nordic way.

EVRY is, potentially, a great idea. But it has to be at the core of a deeper brand idea that means something to customers and employees. It’s just not coming through in this turgid press release that assumes the name and the idea are so brilliantly self-evident they need no explanation at all.

They do. EVRY new name does. Just ask my good friends at MBLM.