Laughing all the way to the bank: research shows small businesses with funny names get more sales

Are you an entrepreneur with a passion for puns? It’s no laughing matter, as a new report shows that funnier or wittier names attract more custom.

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Written and reviewed by:
Helena Young

Almost a third of people would be more likely to shop at a small or local business with a funny or witty business name compared to those without, according to a survey by Simply Business.

The insurance provider surveyed 2,003 UK adults to calculate the influence that a catchy company name has on its audience.

Choosing a business name that is witty or funny has also been revealed to play a huge part in building a successful brand. 64% of respondents said they would be more likely to notice a company with a humorous handle.

Simply Business conducted the research to support its annual campaign to find the best small business name in the UK. It says the hunt will celebrate the creativity and personality of SMEs across the country.

What is the best business name in the UK?

Entries are now open for the competition, which will honour one standout small or local business with the title of ‘Britain’s Best Small Business Name’.

Interested applicants should get their pens (and puns) at the ready – the overall victor will be decided by a public vote next month, with the winner receiving a trophy and a £2,500 cash prize.

The gold medallist will also receive significant publicity through the Simply Business ‘You Name It. We Insure It.’ campaign, potentially introducing them to thousands of new customers.

Last year’s witty winner was Perky Blenders, a London-based specialty coffee roaster. It beat over 1,500 punny-named small businesses to take the hotly-contested accolade.

Adam Cozens, managing director and co-founder of Perky Blenders says, “The money from Simply Business allowed us to invest in taking our offering up to another level but just as importantly, it was a great way of exposing the public to our business.”

Perky Blenders coffee shop in London

Adam Cozens, cofounder of last year's winner, Perky Blenders

How do I enter?

Applicants can submit an entry to be crowned ‘Britain’s Best Small Business Name’ via the online webform.

Any Tom, Dick, or Harry can take part so long as your business name draws out a chuckle from the crowd. Entries close February 20 2023.

The shortlist of top 10 entries will be revealed on February 24 2023 with the winner being announced in March.

What’s in a name?

Having worked with small business owners for more than twenty years, we’ve come across plenty of memorable monikers, clever plays-on-words, and double entendres in our time.

We surveyed the Startups office to gather some of the team’s favourites. They include:

  • DeadHappy for a life insurance provider
  • Planet of the Grapes for a London wine bar
  • Hail Seitan for a vegan food wholesaler
  • Sellfridges for a fridge supplier
  • Jack the Chipper for a fish and chip shop

Credit must also be given to For Peat’s Sake!, an environmental startup selling a dry alternative to peat compost, which came 70th in our Startups 100 Index 2023. Who’d have thought compost could be such a riot? 

Have you got a brilliant business name in your back pocket? Read our full guide on how to register a company name to find out how to secure it.

Written by:
Helena Young
Helena is Lead Writer at Startups. As resident people and premises expert, she's an authority on topics such as business energy, office and coworking spaces, and project management software. With a background in PR and marketing, Helena also manages the Startups 100 Index and is passionate about giving early-stage startups a platform to boost their brands. From interviewing Wetherspoon's boss Tim Martin to spotting data-led working from home trends, her insight has been featured by major trade publications including the ICAEW, and news outlets like the BBC, ITV News, Daily Express, and HuffPost UK.

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