Please don’t use acronyms when talking about your practice. It’s bad for brand recognition.

Does AFP mean anything to you? Me either. So, why would Austin Family Practice use it? How about EPD? Eye Physicians of Dallas. FMSD? Functional Medicine of San Diego. CCC? Coppell Cardiovascular Center. VBI? Vitality Bariatric Institute. See the point? When it is your practice, it makes sense. But it makes zero sense to the rest of the world.

If you are using them already, just stop. Start writing out your practice name and make this part of your Brand Guidelines so others do the same. And, don’t use acronyms internally. If you use them inside the practice, you’ll eventually make the mistake of using it elsewhere. Update your forms, website, social media, and internal systems to reflect your full practice name. It’s been for consumers and it’s better for search engines.

You can have an abbreviated version of your name that you use in casual communications and that is part of your Brand Guidelines. For instance, Vitality Bariatric Institute can certainly be Vitality. For example, “Vitality Bariatric Institute welcomes Dr. Susan Patel to our practice. We are so happy to have her in the Vitality family.” But, still use the full name as much as possible. And, never use partial works like VitBari.

The only exception with acronyms is if it is well branded into your entire marketing plan. For instance, say your logo is 20 years old and is simply the letters AOA for Asheville Ophthalmology Associates. If people have been looking at an AOA logo for 20 years, they’ve probably figured out what it means. Maybe freshen up that logo and use an eye for the “O” and work the full name into it as a subscript. But, even in this situation, use the acronym sparingly.