by | Apr 24, 2014 | Branding, Perception | 0 comments

By Deborah Wroe

I’ve been searching in vain for the name of a local restaurant I briefly worked in way back when. I’ve asked on Twitter and Facebook, my mum has been in the library and the local archives place, and so far nothing nada, nish, except there are now a fair few people equally as perplexed as me at not being able to remember the flipping name. Now one could mention age and memory loss here, or one could consider the importance of a business/brand name. If the name was memorable it would slip off the tongue right? Right!

Brand names matter, some more than others, and I’d argue that for restaurants bars and cafés they really matter. People talk about new places, where they’ve been, where they are going and make arrangements to meet up at places. You can’t say I’ll meet you at that bar in the middle of that street, the one with the blue door. Which reminds me, way before the internet I was organising a study tour to Italy – Como to be precise – and I needed to choose and pre-book restaurants for our party of 30. It was not that easy pre internet, no Google, no Trip Advisor – imagine?! My CEO very helpfully told me he had visited a lovely restaurant in Como a few years earlier, but all he could recall was that it was down a side street, did great swordfish and had pink table cloths. Gosh that was useful. Needless to say I couldn’t find it based on that scant information.

Anyway, names, my last business – Owl Marketing – O for Oldham, W for Wroe (me), and L for Lancashire (Liz) – simples. Actually not so, we didn’t even realise it was an acronym until someone else pointed it out a year in. It was actually down to owls being the emblem of Oldham, our home town and launch pad of our business. Now if the emblem of Oldham had been something less cute, adaptable and less ‘now’, we might have chosen something else. And FYI, when we started, owls were not omnipresent, the owl fad came later, honest.

And similarly Dead Good With Words – does what it says on the tin, and also contains my initials so I get to have a big D and a big W in my logo.

Does my business name matter that much? Hmm, yes and no. It needs to be easy to recall, and easy to spell, but is it a deciding factor for prospects as to whether to choose me over someone else doing the same thing? I’d say no.

In a restaurant or café though, I’d say yes, it matters hugely. If you are going away somewhere and looking for a restaurant, you’d have a look on Trip Advisor and say ooooh that sounds nice, or not. Carnivores will be overjoyed at finding ‘steaks r us’ and vegans with ‘no meat today café’.

That restaurant behind Blue Coat School clearly had a forgettable name. But … in case anyone reading this might just have the answer to the restaurant question…it was behind Blue Coat School, it was at one time definitely called The Warehouse, but it’s what it was called after that that I want to know, around 1990/1991 I think. Please put me out of my misery.