Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Quirky Shop Names

One of the things that strikes me about these little villages is that they're one of the few places where store owners can get away with the cutesy little names. You know the ones, where the name makes use of a pun or some other little quirky twist of language. They can be lots of fun, but they're the kind of name that would be laughed out of the mall. Which is probably why they aren't in the mall in the first place.

Sometimes they can go over the top. I think a good name for a little shop like that should be something that makes you smile without making you groan out loud and how bad the pun was. In a mall, of course, they get squeezed out just by the cost of rent, but even in the village they're often competing alongside the big brand names. (What village doesn't have a Starbucks, after all? Heck, they're everywhere.) So this little cutesy, punny names help them stand out, I think, and breed a certain amount of brand loyalty.

Though you have to wonder if the owners are ever self-conscious about it. On the one hand, there's only so many ways to say "shoe store" without resorting to "Sal's Shoes" or something similar. Beyond that, a certain creativity becomes a must if you're going to stand out. Hence the "Mad About Shoes" I saw the other day, which I thought was kind of clever. The "French Lessons" shop, which was a fashion boutique, struck me as a tad pretentious, though given the generally upscale nature of the cars parked on the street, perhaps not.

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