Play a blinder or play it safe? How to name your gift shop

what to name a gift shop

Naming your gift shop is probably one of the more fun tasks when you finally decide to go for it and open a gift shop. But it’s also an important task. After all, you are going to need to promote it, entice people to it, and if you get it wrong – well, it’s going to cost you more than it would to change your name by deed poll.

So, before you make a quick snap decision on how to name your gift shop, make sure you read our top tips for choosing the perfect name for you. Luckily, there are lots of different directions you can go in, so you can make sure your chosen name gives you a head start, not a headache.

Tip#1 – Give your gift shop a straight to the point name

Whether you decide to go full out crazy or stay simple and classic, one piece of advice is worth heeding: it pays to include the word ‘cards’ or ‘gifts’ in the name. Your shop name is sometimes going to appear out of context – perhaps in a list of shops in a town – and you want potential customers to know exactly what you sell so they can make a beeline for you.

Tip#2 – Get clear on who your customer base is

Knowing who you are selling to can help you decide what to name your gift shop. Knowing what appeals to your customer base and what types of gifts or cards they are interested in could bring some inspiration your way. However beware of following a trend too closely because you could end up down the line with a name that seems dated. Flamingos are fun and on-trend right now, but in ten years’ time they could either be irrelevant or ‘so 2010s’.

Tip #3 – Consider a gift shop name at the beginning of the alphabet

Yes, there was a strategic decision behind Barley Bay Greetings Cards name! Picking a name at the beginning of the alphabet can bring benefits if you are listed online or in marketing material along with other shops. For example, if your town holds a festival and a list of local shops is put together for visitors, your shop will be nearer the top of the list.

what to name a gift shop
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Tip#4 – Check the domain name for your chosen gift shop name is available

Even if you do not expect to sell online in the foreseeable future, it is a good idea to check and register the domain name. More and more business is moving online and the time may come to move from a bricks-and-mortar shop to a digital one. You do not need to create a website, but registering the name means no one else will nab it first. If the .com or co.uk aren’t available, there are a whole host of alternatives.  

Tip#5 – Check the abbreviation of your chosen gift shop name

It can be easy to overlook unfortunate abbreviations when coming up with gift shop names. If you use a phrase as your name, then make sure you check what it spells. Checking the abbreviation could work in your favour if your chosen name spells something clever!

Tip #6 – Pick something unique to your local area

When you have settled on your perfect name, you need to make sure it is unique within your local area. Are there any other shops with the same name within a significant radius (the size of this radius is up to you – in the countryside it would likely be wider than in the town). You don’t want to risk being confused with another shop – you will also need to have a unique name when you register with the tax man.

So we’ve heard some practical tips – now we want inspiration! There are few different directions you can take to find your perfect gift shop name.

Option #1 – Give your gift shop a wild and wacky name

There’s nothing like piquing interest with a wild and wacky name. Sometimes customers don’t have that card or gift they need to be at the front of their mind, and it’s not until they see it that they know it’s the perfect gift.

This Old Attic – Very Merry Unbirthday Presents – Drunken Muffin – Wacko

Option #2 – Give your gift shop a personal name

Personalising your shop with your name sends a strong message that you are an independent business. And if you are willing to put your name to your business, it suggests a sense of pride when it comes to quality and service. After all, gaining a bad reputation will also affect your personal reputation.

Remember that sometimes personal connections can be somewhat obscure and not obvious to potential customers.

Option #3 – Give your gift shop a name with local connections

Similar to using your own personal name, using a name with local connections shows you stand for small independent businesses. And using a local name doesn’t mean you need to stay within the same postcode – you could even become an ambassador for your area by branching out! That’s exactly what the stores Lakeland, Cotswolds and Hawkshead have done.

Option #4 – Give your gift shop a nostalgic name

Play to your customers’ nostalgic rose-tinted vision of the past by using a name that evokes the good old days, if this fits with your product lines. If you sell handmade crafts or delicacies, then a nostalgic name can give the suggestion of deep-rooted traditions and quality.

Hopscotch Gift Shop – Ye Olde Time Gift Shoppe – Grandma’s Gift Shop

Option #5 – Give your gift shop a cutesy name

A cutesy name can be a draw for right crowd, but make sure that’s the crowd you are catering to with your selection of greetings cards and gifts! A cutesy name could be ideal for a shop selling baby gifts, or gifts that are traditionally thought to be feminine such as candles or bath bombs. But beware that it could repel other customers as quickly as marmite trifle!

A Bow on Top Gift Shop – Made With Love Gift Shop – The Gift Fairy

Give the perfect name for your gift shop plenty of thought

Once you’ve got a shortlist of potential names make sure you sleep on it. If you have friends that are in a similar bracket to the types of customers you want to attract to your gift shop then you could try out your favourites on them. Make sure you are 101% happy with your name before you start investing in branding, promotional materials and start building a reputation – it’s much cheaper to change your name before you start than when you’ve already started!

foxy advert for handG18 website listing

Once you’ve settled on a name, you’ll need some cards to go in your shiny new shop! Barley Bay provides greetings cards wholesale to gift shops and independent galleries. From our popular Coastal range, to our quirky Animal Fair collection, to our beautiful Summer Meadows, all cards begin life as either textile work or digital collages. Browse our extensive collection of greetings cards designs here, drop us a line on bay@barleybay.co.uk or give us a call on 01908 583316/ 07722 136495 to discuss stocking our ranges.

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