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Consumers shun businesses that can't spell

Written by Adam Pescod on Tuesday, 27 October 2015. Posted in Branding, Sales & Marketing

Research from Barclays Business reveals that the name of a business can impact its chances of winning custom, with good spelling a decisive factor for 89% of shoppers

Consumers shun businesses that can't spell

Nothing gets a Brit's back up like poor grammar: a misplaced apostrophe or missing full stop can be enough to ruin any novel or news story. And, according to new research, companies that slip up on their spelling can fully expect to feel the wrath of the nation's grammar police. 

A survey of British shoppers by Barclays Business revealed that the name of a business can have a telling impact on a consumer's decision to shop there, with 89% of respondents saying that good spelling would be a decisive factor. While 87% said a memorable business name would help attract their custom, 72% said that a link to UK heritage in the name of a business would convince them to give it their custom. 

The research also uncovered an affinity for family businesses and a loyalty to one's local region: 64% of consumers admitted they are more likely to buy from a family-named business and 57% said they would probably prefer to use a business that is named after its location. Shoppers in Bristol were found to be the most loyal to locally named businesses, with 76% of consumers saying they would be more likely to spend money with businesses named after the city. 

On the other hand, businesses that make references to the monarchy or contain puns in their name are less likely to attract custom: the research revealed they would put off 76% and 60% of consumers respectively. 

"When starting a business, the naming and branding process can be very influential for future business success," said Adam Rowse, head of business banking at Barclays. "Our poll shows that it’s important not to overlook the finer details such as grammar or spelling which, if incorrect, can be detrimental to trade. Businesses that demonstrate their UK heritage resonate well with consumers and we know the value that Brand Britain has on both domestic and overseas spend. Staying front of mind with a memorable name can also be a winning ingredient for business growth.”

What's in a name? Quite a lot, it would seem. 

About the Author

Adam Pescod

Adam Pescod

EB's former editor, Pescod was tasked with ensuring these hallowed pages are rich with excellent, engaging and error-free stories, all written with the entrepreneur in mind. Pescod previously plied his trade penning pieces about pubs and pints. He is also a sucker for alliteration. 

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