This one reminds me of the “Cheers” theme song, which has a line about sometimes wanting to go where everybody knows your name.
And when you’re sitting in a Boston bar for a couple of hours, a bit more than half in the bag, how you pronounce that name becomes less and less meaningful.
But in branding, it’s very important. Isn’t that the first law of branding — having a name people can pronounce and therefore remember? I think it is. But if isn’t it should be.
Anyway, five years after hanging out its shingle, ad shop Figliulo&Partners has come to the realization that a lot of people struggle pronouncing the name of the agency.
How on earth it took five years to figure that out is beyond me.
Don’t get me wrong. It’s fine, beautiful, in fact, a name of Italian origin. According to pronoucenames.com, it means son, and is pronounced feel-ee-oh, presumably with the accent on the first syllable, though the website doesn’t say.
But there’s a lot of room to err when pronouncing it. Let’s be real, this is not your basic Smith or Jones-type moniker (not that there’s anything wrong with those quite common names).
Just looking at it, you might think it’s pronounced Fig-li-oo-lo, with the accent on the oo. Or assuming a silent letter or two, you might take a stab that it’s “Fi-joo-lo.”
One website I gave a peek at said the name warranted four out of five stars on the hard-to-pronounce scale.
But the agency has come up with an elegant solution. It’s new name is simply FIG. Like the fruit. And if that makes you hungry, now’s a good time to point out this rebranding comes not long after the agency acquired digital agency Hungry Inc.
Also, another news flash from the agency — a major management reshuffling.
Longtime president Judith Carr-Rodriguez is promoted to CEO, succeeding founder Mark Figliulo. The guy who’s name is hard to pronounce. He will remain active with the agency, focused more on its product offerings, while Carr-Rodriguez will concentrate on the day-to-day operations.
Carr-Rodriguez's new role will have her leading the agency team internally, as well as partnering with clients and adding responsibility for the commercial and operational direction of the firm.
“Judith has the perfect skill set to be CEO of FIG," says Figliulo. "As president for the past five years, she has driven growth through new business, acquisitions and starting our media practice. It just feels right to have her step up and take the lead as we scale.” The agency will not fill her president role at this time.
Of the branding overhaul, the agency issued this statement: "We just want people to be able to pronounce our name, spell our name, enjoy saying it a little more. Now, when someone asks, 'Do you want to go to FIG?' you’d be more inclined to say, “Sure, I’d love to!”
Figs are good, no doubt.