What is an initialism?
Initialisms are very similar to acronyms in that they are formed from the first letter of the words in a name or phrase. But here, the letters are not pronounced as words. The individual letters are expressed as in FBI (Federal Bureau of Investigation) and UFO (Unidentified Flying Object).
Initialisms are often utilised to create simple and memorable brand names which lend themselves to a global audience. Bayerische Motoren Werke would be a bit of a mouthful, but BMW is a different matter. Kentucky Fried Chicken quickly became KFC. While few would remember the launch of International Business Machines, we are all familiar with IBM.
Initialisms can have a useful modernizing effect. They enable businesses to honour their heritage in their names but to boast a brand which sounds contemporary. American Telephone and Telegraph was the very first telecoms company and was founded by Alexander Graham Bell. But telegraphs are rarely used these days. AT&T is a far more effective brand name for the digital age.