We’ve mentioned before in earlier blogs that it is normally best to avoid using humor naming your business or indeed company branding unless you are absolutely sure it will appeal to your prospective customer base.  The reasons for this should be obvious to most entrepreneurs – you are in the business of business and not of comedy.  Having said that, sometimes just sometimes the use of humor is justified and let’s face it, everyone likes a good pun.

The real trick with using humor in business names is knowing when and where to draw the line.  You don’t want to go from using your company name to help stick in the memories of your customer base to being remembered for becoming a laughing stock.

Will you use clever, funny or abstract humor?  Making the right choice could be the difference between become the hottest ticket in town or having everyone slam down the phone every time you make a call.


Puns from Popular Culture

A popular method of using humor in your new business name is by involving puns from movies, music or television.  These are often particularly popular if a business is in the retail sector.

The Blue Legume or The Codfather are perfect choices for seafood and restaurant related businesses.  Spex in The City has been used more than by Eye-doctors and if a customer at a deli bar doesn’t think License to Fill is a good name he or she probably haven’t heard of James Bond.

An alternative technique would be to create a small sentence out of the products that your proposed business might sell.  For example a Caribbean restaurant could call itself Jamaican Me Hungry or a plumber could play with words and have a business such as Lee-King.


When Humor Gets Bad for Business

When things go bad with business names though, they go very bad.  It is possible that a business name itself can be very funny but that doesn’t make it any less a bad choice for business names.  There are countless examples of bad business names that are just too rude or inappropriate for us to list.  It’s hard to believe that anyone would pay to eat at the Taliban Food Center or Poisons Bakery for example.

When naming your business in a naming competition, always be clear what sort of name you’re are looking for and what sort of image that you want to present to your customers. Make sure that the humor you use in your company name attracts customers rather than repels or offends them.

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