We go about our daily lives and sometimes encounter advertisements from various businesses that display phrases such as “call 1-800-DELIVER now”. Some might think that this is a different way by which a business would market itself and show its contact number, but believe it or not, this is a trend among businesses, a branding style known as vanity numbering.
As it is well-known, standard telephones have sets of letters associated with every number that can be dialed in – the letters A to C for 2, D to F for 3, and so on. If you are a phone user that does not involve a QWERTY keypad, then you should be able to see this letter-to-number analogy. Many companies have ingeniously applied this concept to subtly express their business through their 800 number. Not only does this help them be more marketable but it also helps customers remember their contact information more easily. It’s easier to remember 1-800-DELIVER than instead of 1-800-335-4837, isn’t it?
Using vanity numbers have been known to increase marketing response times among businesses. Studies have shown that using vanity numbers in their advertising media such as television, radio, and even the Internet, have shown an increase in response times as much as 30 – 60%. Customer turnabout has also proven to increase with this method, with customers claiming that it is easier to remember and make associations to the business just by knowing their vanity number.
Vanity numbers have also crept their way as names for some websites. Turning typical contact numbers to descriptive text means that they can even be incorporated as entire website domain names, making it easier for customers to remember the business – through its website as well as through its vanity number!
With recent technology in mind, many mobile phones have sported the use of QWERTY or alphanumeric keypads which almost resemble computer keyboards. This has made vanity numbering somewhat difficult for these types of phones as they can no longer associate the numbers to their corresponding letters in the old-fashioned phone. However, other modern phones – particularly those with touch-screen technology – still show no danger to this risk as they still sport the familiar keypad as their main interface when the phone is on call mode.
Also, the emergence of this trend has made it difficult for businesses to establish proper keywords or associative terms with their numbers should they possess one already. Getting a good name for your vanity number is also difficult as there are only so much combinations one can have with the number-letter associations with phone numbers, and there is even a good chance that the number has already been taken. However, most businesses easily overcome this hurdle either by customizing their own numbers to suit their vanity terms or coming up with really creative terms for their vanity numbers, increasing the uniqueness and innovation of their business model.
Getting a vanity number is almost a requirement now for emerging businesses. Not only does it place you in the perfect position to better reach out to your customers but also gives flair and art to an otherwise boring and dull series of numbers that represent how your customers can reach you.