High Streets Initiative · 5 July 2017

Britain’s best small business names attracting high street shoppers

Dublin, IrelandD - May 7, 2016: People walking on the Grafton Street.
Some 40 per cent of shoppers would choose to shop in a store with an imaginative name over a generic one

What’s in a name? The long-term success of a high street store, according to a new study revealing the UK’s best small business names.

As a new founder, key early decisions might include a viable growth plan, a thorough understanding of your target market as well as an idea of potential clients and customers. However, research from marketing supplier Vistaprint has now put the name of a business among those essential considerations.

The study surveyed the shopping habits and opinions of 2,000 UK consumers to not only reveal the 20 most unique names, but also highlight the more subtle effects of an unforgettable brand.

How do you think the UK high street can future-proof itself? Have your say by taking our quick two-minute survey.

Some 40 per cent of respondents said a memorable name would encourage them to enter a shop ahead of a more traditional title. Further, a third of shoppers were likely to recommend a business to a friend if its name left a good impression.

The long-term effect of a uniquely titled store was also confirmed, as one in ten said they could recall a striking name from over a decade ago.

Overall, six in ten high street shoppers favoured creative names over more generic ones.

The 20 best small business names on UK high streets

  1. Spruce Springclean, carpet cleaners, Lostwithiel, Cornwall
  2. Surelock Homes, locksmith, Portsmouth
  3. Planet of the Grapes, wine bar and restaurant, London
  4. Floral and Hardy, florists, Hertfordshire
  5. A Fish Called Rhondda, fish and chip shop, Pentre, Wales
  6. Wright Hassall, solicitors, Leamington Spa
  7. Jean Claude Van Man, removal company, Merseyside
  8. Sellfridges, white goods outlet, Stoke Newington
  9. Grate Expectations, fireplace specialists, Wimbledon
  10. Bonnie Tiler, tiling and plumbing, Gateshead
  11. Deja Brew, coffee house, Denton
  12. The Chopfather, barbers, Bristol
  13. Barnie’s Rubble, DIY shop, Bolton
  14. Facial Attraction, beauty salon, Pontypool, Wales
  15. Samuel ‘L’ Jackson, driving instructor, Southport
  16. Hair Raid Shelter, hairdressers, Downham Market, Norfork
  17. Alan Cartridge, office supplies, Leeds
  18. Jason Donervan, food truck, Bristol
  19. Frying Nemo, fish and chip shop, Yorkshire
  20. PG Trips, bus charter, Houghton le Spring

Commenting on the best small business names, Oliver Harcourt, head of Vistaprint UK, said innovation and imagination were central characteristics of Britain’s entrepreneurs and should be drawn upon from day one.

“Having a creative business name is one example of how you can be more memorable to your customers and stand out from the crowd,” he said.

“Some of the shops from our poll are businesses that are generations old, showing that a catchy name can stand the test of time.”

Looking more closely into the value of original and memorable branding on the high street, two-thirds of consumers said a shop was more appealing if it raised a smile. Meanwhile, half said it made the business easier to remember.

The subconscious impact went further. A quarter of respondents believed they received better service from a store with a unique name.

“Our survey also found that eight in ten Brits like to try and shop locally where possible,” Harcourt added.

“We’re happy to see local stores keeping up the tradition of having creative and witty names as a way to stand out in their communities. We look forward to seeing many more to come in the future – and we’ve even created a guide to help new businesses come up with a memorable name for themselves.”

Think you’ve got one of the UK’s best small business names? Email us at editors@businessadvice.co.uk and we’ll publish the most creative submissions

Small Business Saturday’s Michelle Ovens reveals what’s holding back the UK high street

Read more from the Business Advice High Streets Initiative

This article is part of a wider campaign called the High Streets Initiative, a new section of Business Advice championing independent and small retailers by identifying the issues that put Britain’s high streets under pressure. Visit our High Streets Initiative section to find out more.

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ABOUT THE EXPERT

Simon Caldwell is a reporter for Business Advice. He has a BA in politics and communications from the University of Liverpool, and previously worked as a content editor in the ecommerce industry.

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