In our “Get Back in the Box” creativity presentation, we constantly remind attendees to be on the look out for examples of creativity everywhere they go. They’re all around us. We pass many of them daily but seldom recognize or acknowledge them … kind of a “functional blindness.” The reason is simple. We don’t respond or appreciate these examples because they’ve become part of our daily environment and simply blend into our subconscious rather than inspiring us as examples of what can be achieved if we’ll simply re-frame on occasion.
Let’s narrow a category to demonstrate this point. Focus on your local mall or shopping center and the many stores you walk by every day. The majority will utilize a storefront sign in hope of enticing those passing by to enter, shop, remember and return … maybe even tell others about their discovery.
The signs themselves may be large, small, oddly-shaped, colorful, or maybe even flashing neon. It must communicate what the store offers as far as products or services and then lure you to explore further. An even more subtle way to capture our attention lies in the name chosen to represent the business. Many choose to use a play on words to sell everything from pet supplies to coffee to lawn care. Many are clever, others not so much. The key lies in whether we remember that name. If we laugh—fine. If we groan—not so bad either as long as we’re curious, interested and will remember that unique name.
During one of our recent seminars, participants decided to test this theory without leaving the building. Since we were in New York City, they found a great resource in the yellow pages section of an obviously large phone book. Their efforts generated a very interesting list, and I have added to that list during my visits to other cities of various population.
Take a look and appreciate the creative juices which flow across our country.
- PIZZA MY HEART
- THE LAWN RANGER (lawn care)
- LOAD & LOCK (public storage)
- UNBE-WEAVE-ABLE (wig & hair pieces shop)
- TITLE WAVE (bookstore)
- THE SPOKESMAN (bike shop)
- LORD of the FRIES (hand cut fries)
- DUKE of OIL (oil change shop)
- SOFA SO GOOD (furniture store)
- THE MERCHANT OF TENNIS SOLE- MAN (shoe store)
- WILLIAM the CONCRETER TWICE-SOLD TALES (used book store)
- WRAPSODY (professional gift wrapping service)
- CARDIOLOGY (card shop)
- PRINTS CHARMING (copy shop)
- JAMAICAN ME TAN (tanning salon)
- BIN THERE DUMP THAT (disposal system)
- SPEX IN THE CITY (optometry store)
- SPECS APPEAL (optometry)
- BRIEF ENCOUNTERS (underwear)
- NEW YORK STOCKING EXCHANGE (lingerie)
- LUV2SHOOTU (photographer)
- DEEPLY KNEADED (therapeutic massage)
- THE JOINT (a chiropractic place)
- LUMBAR YARD (chiropractor)
- CANE & ABLE (mobility healthcare)
- CARL’S PANE in the GLASS (window repair)
- COUNTER REVOLUTIONS (cabinet maker)
- FLORIST GUMP (florist)
- MRS. SIPPY’s COFFEE LICKITY SPLIT (ice cream shop)
- COMBING ATTRACTIONS (hair salon)
- PETS AND THE CITY (pet store)
- INDIANA BONES and the TEMPLE of GROOM (pet care salon)
We’re going to keep searching for additional creative business names and will post them when we get a good list. You do the same and send us anything you find interesting. This is an excellent creative exercise for your staff as well. Give it a shot.