SME brand names can often be inspired … but, they’re often just funny
Our recent blog about honest advertising prompted something of a discussion in the office: what are the daftest SME brand names around? As a result, we thought we’d take a look at some of the most brilliant (and some not so brilliant, but decidedly funny, anyway) SME brand names that exist, in the UK and beyond.
This begged the question:
Are punny company names a good idea for small to medium businesses?
An article from the Independent, cites a study carried out by Dr Jaywant Singh, of Kingston Univeristy, which discovered an overwhelming majority of people surveyed would strike up a conversation about a local business if it had a pun in its name. Whereas, only a small number of people would have a conversation about a local business if it had a more generic brand name.
Dr Singh says, “Quirky or idiosyncratic brand names are highly suggestive and are capable of leaving strong memory traces. Customer associations with such brand names are often instrumental in generating recommendations.”
As a brand name is central to a business’ identity, whether it’s a multinational or an SME, it follows that unusual and amusing names give better brand awareness and recognition than standard names.
Whether or not that impacts on sales, of course, depends on many other factors, but it’s made for an entertaining time researching and compiling this post.
So with no further dissembling, here are a few of our favourites.
Straight in at number one (because we’re cultured, literary types, you know…) has to be, Toronto’s; The Merchant of Tennis.
Closely followed by Alan Cartridge, of Leeds. @alancartridge
Grate Expectations, of Wimbledon.
Tequila Mockingbird, we’re not sure where this shop is. Great name, nonetheless!
There are numerous places bearing this name, but for the sake of this article we’re going with the coffee shop in Canonbury, London; Maison D’être.
Cash 22. This pawnbroker in London has obviously got a soft spot for Joseph Heller’s seminal work.
This 80’s sci-fi-loving florist in Milton-Keynes is pretty punny, too!
Surelock Homes, London locksmiths who never miss a detail!
Have we been here before? Deja Brew, coffee shop.
Florist Gump, in Glasgow, is another of our favourites.
The London Wine Merchant, Planet of the Grapes, is truly inspired!
Widely believed to be the best fish and chips in Wembley, The Codfather.
Great haircuts, just don’t piss them off. The Godbarber, of Queensland, Australia.
If you need your chimney sweeping, or indeed, actually have a chimney to be swept, how could you not use Ash Wipe of Chicago?
And if you’re a music junky, with a taste for vinyl, Manchester’s very own Vinyl Resting Place, located in Affleck’s is a must visit!
Of course, for every excellent pun turned small business brand name, there is another which was probably, to say the least, a little ill-conceived. So for your for your delight and delectation…
First up, and with the award for simple hilarity, is New Zealand’s, Butt Drilling. I mean, come on…
The owners of this liquor store in the US, have a brilliant sense of humour. They boast the slogan, ‘we’re not number one, butt we’re right up there’ and even provide a range of comedy t-shirts with phrases such as, ‘turn the other cheek’ and ‘the bunghole: it’s a special place’. However, perhaps not a company that’s destined to go global.
We’re pretty sure you wouldn’t want to be serviced by this lot…
The name of this barbershop in America has a sinister edge; echoes of Sweeney Todd, anyone?
Next up are a couple of law firms, so for legal reasons, we should probably state that we’re absolutely sure they’re excellent solicitors, and their names are not even slightly implicative of anything: Dumas & McPhail and MILF.
This burial firm are clearly aware of their target audience’s finances. But, how much would you have to hate someone?
And this butcher, perfectly sensible name. Horrendous slogan!
Turd Baby, in Taiwan, should maybe have asked somebody English what the word they chose meant before picking it.
Food might not be all you get at this restaurant…
I have to confess, I’m not sure what the people at this church were thinking when they chose its name.
If you’ve got any more to add to this list, let us know. We’re always on the look-out for a good (or terrible) pun!