Research by Nectar Business has suggested you’re more likely to talk about quirkily-named small firms than ones with anonymous, descriptive names. Some 44 per cent of people in the UK said they would strike up a conversation over a pun in a business name, compared to 19 per cent for ordinary names more often used for solicitors, accountants and advertising agencies.
Furthermore, one in five of us admit to avoiding a business just because of its name – and that jumps to nearly a third among 16-24 year olds.
Of the 2,000 surveyed, 24 per cent chose The Codfather, a fish and chip shop, as the business with the best quirky name. Curl Up and Dye, a hairdressers, and Back to the Fuchsia, a florists, were both picked by 23 per cent of people.
Other high-ranking names included a sandwich shop called Arnie’s Sarnies – You’ll Be Back, a florists called Florist Gump and a Welsh fish and chip shop called A Fish Called Rhondda.
According to Jaywant Singh, a professor of marketing at Kingston University, brand names are central to a business’s identity. He said: “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.
“The quirky British sense of humour is key to the success of these clever and memorable business names, and this is something we excel at as a nation.”
As such, we were excited to stumble across The Punning Man blog. It’s the work of Sean Leahy, who explained: “I’ve always loved words. I used to play Scrabble and watch Countdown at my gran’s house after school. Anagrams and jokes fascinated me from an early age. As a result, I have this weird affliction whereby I’m constantly thinking of alternative meanings for almost everything in conversation. I can’t help myself.
“In my old job, a manager was reading a postcode, which ended ‘2YY’ – to which I sang, ‘Hush hush, eye to eye’. I was made redundant not long after that. I’m sure the two things are unrelated, though.”
Here’s 31 of the funniest names we found on Leahy’s site.
(1) Jean-Claude Van Man – A moving van
(2) Alan Cartridge – A company in the business of refilling ink
(3) Loft in Space – Loft conversion
(4) He-Van, “Movers of the Universe” – pretty self explanatory
(5) Bap Man, “Dinner, Dinner, Dinner, Dinner” – there’s no chance of seeing this sign and not walking away singing the Bat Man tune
(6) Mows Art – Garden maintenance
(7) Mission Inflatable – Tyre repairs
(8) Bits & PCs – Computer repair
(9) Cash22 – Bureau de change
(10) Jason Donvervan – Kebab shop
(11) Feast Enders – Sandwich shop
(12) Temple of Vroom – Driving school
(13) Bonnie Tiler – Wall and floor tiling
(14) Plaice Station – Fish and chips
(15) Spruce Springclean – Cleaners
(16) Barber Blacksheep – Hairdressers
(17) Doggy Style – Dog grooming
(18) Beauty and the Beach – Spray tan
(19) Gate Expectations – Gate repairs
(20) Iron Maiden – An ironing service with an apparent love for rock music
(21) Jack the Clipper – Barber shop
(22) Planet of the Grapes – Wine shop
(23) Ryan Hair – Hair stylist trying to give off a budget airline theme
(24) Sellfridges – They do exactly that
(25) Lawn & Order – Lawn maintenance
(26) World of Woolcraft – Wool shop
(27) Frying Nemo – Fish and chips… someone obviously found Nemo
(28) Tequila Mockingbird – Spirits shop
(29) Wok this way – Oriental foods
(30) Thai Tanic – Thai restaurant
(31) Yahpoo! Plumbing – Plumbing
By Shané Schutte
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