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October 1, 2007

Company Naming That Is As Funny as It Wants to Be

STDContractors.gifThere are many company names that are funny without really meaning to be, for example STD Contractors, the WTF Group, or Phag.

Some restaurants also just seem to create unintentionally memorable names, such as the House of Hung or Yuki Sushi. Boring Business Systems is another name that is kind of, you know, boring.

The fact that these names are funny works against the brand. Yes, they are memorable, but they are not doing much for the business - who really wants to eat "Yuki Sushi," even if it is easy to remember?

CollegeHunks.gifOn the other hand, Raymond Lawrence has an excellent post up about funny business names that work. Nerds ToGo, Pet Butler, Boneheads and College Hunks Hauling Junk are all on the crazy side but they get the service message across. Brick Kicker gives pizzazz to a home inspection business, and FunBus is a better service offering than "livery service."

The point is that these company names are funny because they want to be: they're laughing with the customer and not being laughed at. Walking that line, however, is no small feat.

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Posted by William Lozito at October 1, 2007 10:06 AM
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The moving industry seems to capitalize on these humorous names like - "Man with A Van," and "Starving Students Movers." A name that is accidentally humorous even when due to a language barrier rarely brings costumers. You can go into any Chinatown across America and find restaurants with the name "Fat" in it. I saw one named Hung Fat. Not appetizing. In Los Angeles we have a burger joint called Fat Burger - clearly a name that did not stand the test of time. In an email age we have all learned just how hard it is for humor to reach an audience that can’t hear your intonation. Humorous names are perhaps the most difficult to pull off but that’s what makes them stand out in a crowd.

I agree. The payoff is that it is easy to remember funny names. I see that funny names for boring services are often a good match. Moving is boring, as is computer fixing, as is pet grooming and pooper scooping. The idea seems to be to add pizzazz to aa needed but dull service.

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