Everyone loves a good pun.
There’s nothing better than making your audience and consumer instantly smile, or even chuckle, just by hearing or seeing your business’ name. It is an instant icebreaker, and lets the consumer know that you are a down-to-earth, approachable business.
However, we realise that not everyone feels the same way about the idea of turning a business or brand name into a pun. They might not work for everyone, and instead of attracting a consumer, it may well put them off a business altogether. Also, there is the possibility of causing confusion as far as different cultures and translations: if you want to appeal to a more international market, it is probably best to stay away from a brand pun.
Most adversity to business and brand puns is quite unfair though. Many businesses are thriving with business puns, and it makes some businesses reputable solely based on their name. So, if you are a non-believer of the power and attraction of puns, we hope to bring you round to our appreciation after reading this!
The promotion, reputability and publicity that all come from simply having a business name pun is undeniable, as well as ridiculously under-appreciated.
When your business has a funny (or punny!) name, people will definitely take pictures and share those images with their friends. Nowadays, that image will certainly end up online, on social media and possibly in a trending list article about epic puns from the UK.
Since all business goals revolve around gaining reputability and getting their business well known, this is definitely one way to do it. This is free promotion; you just have to make sure your phone number and business information is closely linked to your business name pun. For every person who clicks onto that image of your business name pun, there will be someone looking for what you do who will take note of your number.
However, in order to gain promotion and publicity from your punning name, you don’t have to wait and rely on others to draw attention to your business. For example, it can be a selling point for a promotion or competition on social media. You can offer incentives for everyone who has a picture taken with your funny sign, or use it as a way to encourage other puns or funny business names in another campaign.
Make it Memorable
Perhaps the most important, and valuable, fact of utilising a witty pun as your business name is that it is bound to be memorable. A pun makes everyone smile, laugh, or even groan (in a good way!), and this humour helps people remember. However, be careful, as one of the worst things to do for your business is choose a name that is spelt wrong in some way – even if it has been adjusted to fit a pun.
For example, you may remember an optometrist called “OptimEyes”, but would you necessarily remember how to spell it? It wouldn’t be harmful as a store, in order to gain attention on the street, however if people tried to Google the name, they may be searching many wrong spellings.
Alternately, spelling and having to explain your business names are always obstacles in naming your business or brand. Even if you name your business a relatively normal, plain name, you will get questioned on your choice. At least if you are explaining a punny business name, there is a story to go behind your decision. It is easier to explain “OptimEyes – eyes as in the ones we specialise in!”, rather than explaining how you came up with “Eyesify” and how exactly you spell that, or worse.
Asides from spelling, a main advantage of a punning name, rather than a made up or plain name, is that there will be a story that people will enjoy hearing, and undoubtedly remember. The funnier, and more unique, the pun and the story behind it: the better! Plus, even if there isn’t more of a story than “it rhymes / made us laugh”, your name will still be far more memorable as a pun.
One useful advantage of utilising puns in your business name, or even tagline, is that you can be quite clever with it. You can use your business pun to mean many different things, and add different facets to your business and what you provide.
Of course, this isn’t possible for all puns, but there are a few gems that can get away with multiple meanings that can be attributed to your brand in a positive way. For example, there’s a cheese cake supplier (and we literally mean a cake – made out of cheese), who mainly supply stacks of cheese for weddings and special occasions, called C’est Cheese.
This is a great example of a pun with multiple layers of meaning that can all be attributed to the supplier in a positive way. Firstly, their name is cleverly chosen in French, meaning literally “it is cheese”, which is true, but they are also playing on the fact that they are being cheesy in our British associations of the word. Also, they’re playing on the fact that the French line rhymes with “say cheese”, as well as playing on the well-known French term “c’est chic”, meaning “it is stylish”. There are so many positive associations with the name, as well as the fact that you will remember it, making it a perfect pun.
Plus, even if the meanings are simple to understand, a pun will usually add an extra layer of meaning for your business. For example, we discovered a tile-laying business, simply called Bonnie Tiler. This is a perfect example of an easy pun that makes you smile with its simplicity. Of course, it plays on the famous singer Bonnie Tyler, whilst adding the extra facet of the business being bonny tilers (bonny or bonnie as in attractive and happy), which is an association you’d like to be known for as a business.
Overall, we think these positives and advantages of puns far outweigh any negative associations. Of course, brand and business name puns tend to work better for smaller businesses, mainly on a national level. However, there are many examples of bigger brands utilising puns in taglines or advertising slogans, rather than keeping them as permanently in their name.
Plus, some are so subtle that you may not even notice them at first: for example, Absolut vodka is infamous for its advertising campaign revolving around their name, such as “Absolut magic”. This is clever, as you don’t notice it at first, but they are using their name in order to describe their product and add positive attributes to it, playing easily on “Absolut/absolute”.
Therefore, no one can deny that puns are effective, and a good way to market your business or product. There is an acknowledgement that puns are cheesy, and they exist in a clever, ironic, self-aware comedic form as business and brand puns often. So, what’s not to like?