The world’s best and worst SME brand names

Posted on Aug 19, 2016

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.

Merchant of tennis is one of the most fantastic SME brand names ever

Closely followed by Alan Cartridge, of Leeds. @alancartridge

Alan Cartrige is Leeds' most ingenious SME brand names start here

Grate Expectations, of Wimbledon.

SME business name with excellent pun

Tequila Mockingbird, we’re not sure where this shop is. Great name, nonetheless!

Another excellently brand-named small business

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.

Maison D'etre amusing brnad name for a small business

Cash 22. This pawnbroker in London has obviously got a soft spot for Joseph Heller’s seminal work.

an amusing and ironic brand name for a pawnbroker

This 80’s sci-fi-loving florist in Milton-Keynes is pretty punny, too!

Sci-fi inspired small business brand name

Surelock Homes, London locksmiths who never miss a detail!

Excellent and amusing brand name for a small locksmith

Have we been here before? Deja Brew, coffee shop.

Small coffee shop with a pun as a brand name

Florist Gump, in Glasgow, is another of our favourites.

Small florist, Florist Gump has an excellent pun for their company name

The London Wine Merchant, Planet of the Grapes, is truly inspired!

An inspired company name for this small wine merchant

Widely believed to be the best fish and chips in Wembley, The Codfather.

The codfather plays on a popular film name for the name of this small business

Great haircuts, just don’t piss them off. The Godbarber, of Queensland, Australia.

Don't annoy this barber with the brilliant brand name

If you need your chimney sweeping, or indeed, actually have a chimney to be swept, how could you not use Ash Wipe of Chicago?

Ash wipe the punniest small business chimney sweep name

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!

Vinyl Resting Place, the best name for a small vinyl business in Manchester

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…

Not the best small business brand name

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.

awful yet amusingly named small business

We’re pretty sure you wouldn’t want to be serviced by this lot…

Don't catch anything from this company with the weirdest of SME brand names

The name of this barbershop in America has a sinister edge; echoes of Sweeney Todd, anyone?

Sweeney Todd inspired small business brand name

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.

these two small solicitors have very amusing SME brand names

This burial firm are clearly aware of their target audience’s finances. But, how much would you have to hate someone?

Budget burials with the budget SME brand names and interesting small business logo

And this butcher, perfectly sensible name. Horrendous slogan!

this SME brand names reasonably but an interesting slogan

Turd Baby, in Taiwan, should maybe have asked somebody English what the word they chose meant before picking it.

One of the most interesting small business SME brand names I have ever seen

Food might not be all you get at this restaurant…

This small restaurant has chosen the oddest of SME brand names

I have to confess, I’m not sure what the people at this church were thinking when they chose its name.

glory hole

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!