Smart people don’t just suddenly jump into business with both feet. They spend a great deal of time determining their list of products or services to offer, compute potential overhead costs, examine the local labor market, and research their chances at success in their chosen industry. They also put some thought into their business name – at least in theory.
Sadly, there are some business owners who either don’t think enough about their name or “overthink” it and wind up being too clever. It’s even worse when a potential customer sees this name in a phone book, on a storefront sign, or on a logo floor mat as he or she walks into the business.
Here are a dozen examples of some real-life business names that are so bad, you may just turn around and walk out the front door upon seeing them. (Note: this list is G-rated. For saucier bad business names, go here.)
“You named your business WHAT?”
- Things Over $1.00. Fine. It’s supposed to be a play on the names of different “dollar store” chains. But after the millisecond your customers spend laughing, they really don’t have any clue about what this store sells, do they?
- Larger Than Life. It’s a plus-sized women’s clothing store. And this name may be truly funny to many groups of people – just not the ones who will be frequenting this store.
- Chowking. This Chinese restaurant name at first glance is like many others. Until you take a second look and ignore the ‘W.’ Do you really want to take a chance on eating at this place?
- Ancient Grounds. It’s a Seattle coffee shop that features art by native Pacific Islanders who value their ancestry and history. Nice idea. But the name implies that the beverages are brewed using the same coffee grounds since 1974.
- Backfire. The owner of this chiropractic company evidently wanted a catchy name that involved the word back. Problem is, the imagery that the full name evokes is not complimentary to the business. At all.
- Fiddler on the Tooth. This dentist must be a friend of the Backfire guy. The name is too clever by half and makes people envision some quack just rooting around in their mouths. Then they’ll go somewhere else for their dental care.
- Unsocial. It’s a social networking app. Really! The company wants to stress its unorthodox approach to social media connections, but instead makes the app sound like a product for hermits, introverts, and paranoid off-the-grid types.
- Egnyte. It’s one of those names that people come up with by purposely misspelling a name. This cloud-based file server tried to creatively spell “ignite,” but didn’t really hit the mark in terms of cleverness or humor.
- Noomii. This one’s even worse. The life-coaching directory service was apparently trying for a different spelling of “new me.” But the result sounds more like a sushi ingredient or an Eskimo tribe in Scandinavia.
- Thuuz. The sporting event app was supposedly trying to shorten and misspell “enthuse,” as in being enthusiastic about something, like people tend to be with sports… and, your head just exploded. Name fail!
- Weird surnames. People can’t help their surname, but they can keep it out of their business name if it’s unsettling. Like Boring Business Services. Or Haart Removals moving service. Or Boxwell Brothers funeral parlor. Or Gottfried Electric. Think, people!
- Names with “ify” at the end. Spotify got away with it, but latecomers like Rockify, Voiceify, Cardify, and Bugify swing and miss. So don’t attemptify to thinkify about puttifying a verb with “ify” in your name. Just trashify the idea.
“Dude. What were you thinking?”
Ultimate Mats can’t help you with creating a name for your business. But if you want an attractive logo mat on which to display it, then check out Ultimate Mats’ line of high-quality floor mats on which you can digitally print your name, logo, and/or image. Just be sure and run your business name by a few people who will tell you the truth about whether it’s a good choice, or a horrifying concept that should be deleted from your memory and never spoken of again.
Written by Chris Martin