A New Champion: The (New) Longest Name

By Mark Skoultchi

June 3, 2009

As I perused my New York Times yesterday, I saw a full page ad (three full pages ads, to be precise) announcing the name of the recently “merged” Morgan Stanley and Smith Barney. Of course, being bankers, these guys didn’t bother working with a brand name development firm like Catchword. So the result? Yep, you guessed it: MorganStanleySmithBarney (.com). And so it is with great joy that I announce the newest champion in the “World’s Longest Name” category. All those brilliant consultants and PriceWaterhouseCoopers can rest easy. Their 22-letter gem doesn’t even come close to the 24-letter monster created in the hear of Wall Street.

Small wonder they needed three full page ads to introduce the name. If they only paid for one page, they’d have to shrink the font to fit, and no one would be able to read the name. Alas! This is a problem that money can fix. But, instead of paying for a better name (too risky?), they decided to pay for more ad pages. I pity the poor fools who work for this company. Can you imagine typing that … novella … of a brand name into every email address? Strong fingers.

No doubt this brand is destined for the land of initials. But for you morganstanleysmithbarney folks who might be reading, I have good news! It appears the MSSB.com is for sale. Might I suggest you grab it ASAP using your TARP funds. Ah … just what the world needs … MORE INITIALS! I just love alphabet soup.

Well, let’s all hope these guys are better at finance than they are at branding. Or maybe they found a new kind of naming consultant–one who gets paid by the letter. Now why didn’t I think of that?

And lest we forget … these guys have made this same mistake before. What ever happened to MorganStanleyDeanWitter? Still not in contention for the Longest Name title, but if we allow a little poetic license, we can really have some fun. How about morganstanleydeanwittersmithbarney (.com)? Now that would be a real champion. Some folks never learn.

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