Procter & Gamble is trying to own some of the increasingly popular millennial-friendly terms that are used all over social media and texting-apps.
The company is attempting to attract younger shoppers by using acronyms such as LOL, NBD, FML, WTF in its latest cleaning and air freshening products. In order to use the acronyms, P&G has applied to trademark the terms to stop other companies profiting from their ideas.
However, the US Patent and Trademark Office database shows 483 records for word marks contains the abbreviation “OMG”, while the EU equivalent database has some 177. That’s not to say P&G couldn’t take the trademark from a smaller company, it just won’t be as easy as just owning the rights.
Chief Executive Officer David Taylor has said P&G already does well with millennials. But a new board member, Nelson Peltz, has faulted the company for being slow to respond to rapidly changing preferences. Upstart products are increasingly eroding market share from established brands, and consumer-products companies have turned to buying smaller rivals to capture their growth.
The big question, really, is will trademarking the terms attract the younger buyers they’re hoping for?