How Under Armour Changed Its Name to Shape Its Number

Building a brand is no small task. It involves combining hundreds of elements into your unique product range or services and communicating that value in sharp, clear marketing messages. At the heart of that branding effort are two ever present elements: your business name and logo. Both form the shorthand for your brand across different marketing materials and advertising, so that with even the merest mention the imagery and emotion you want to evoke in consumers is communicated. This means it's a big deal when a business decides to alter its name even a little bit, and when they do so you know there's a solid reason behind it. And that's what happened with Under Armour. [caption id="attachment_3205" align="aligncenter" width="322"]Kevin Plan - Under Armour logo "Kevin Plank - UA photo" by Dcavalli - Own work. Licensed under CC 3.0[/caption]

Why Under Armour Added the 'U'

It may seem a small thing, but the deviation from the standard spelling of  armor was a big shift for American owner Kevin Plank. In a wide-ranging interview with the Washington Post he reveals that his desire for a compelling vanity number was what made him take the plunge into the adjusted brand name. With no 'u' the company's toll free vanity number would have been 1-888-44ARMOR, which is tougher to convert into calls than the altered 1-888-4ARMOUR. As well as distinguishing the brand from subsequent copycats, Plank's gut decision made it easier for customers to remember who to call when they required his company's signature protective sports gear. That was almost twenty years ago and he clearly made the right decision, with an international brand now valued at around $1.5 billion and some 7,800 employees. Though there are many more marketing platforms now than when Plank set out to build his brand in 1996, the value of a memorable marketing tool that can cross all media and advertising channels has never been greater. Think about your own business brand for a second... are your contact points memorable enough to simultaneously develop the brand and get customers calling?    

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