Monday, June 11, 2018

Why Branding and Good Coffee Shop Names Are Important for Success

Good Cafe Names

Do you know that one of the reasons why independent coffee shop fails is because it got the wrong name and branding?

Finding the right coffee shop names are tough.
good coffee shop names

At times a particular name does not sound right but when done as a logo, it turns out okay. It is weird but studies show that 90% of information transmitted to the brain is visual. And 65% of the population are visual learners. Wow, that's a lot.

“The more visual the input becomes, the more likely it is recognized and recalled.”

Like they say, a picture is worth a thousand words. It translates across culture, education levels, and age. So to visualize the list of coffee shop names, I included logos to go with it. I also gave reasons for the name selection.  I hope you get inspired to use them. Or get inspired to craft your own unique version.

But first, let us look at the mechanics of choosing cafe names.

How to Choose a Brand Name or Brand Story

The easiest way to understand how to choose a brand name or in this case, your coffee shop name, is to ask yourself “what story do I want to tell my customer?”

The public love stories. So tell them a story to believe in. Is your story about an underdog, the antihero, an everyman, or a romantic?

The Underdog Brand

The underdog is weaker and less funded but the public loves to see it succeed. Examples of 'brands' with underdog roots are Hewlett-Packard and Oprah Winfrey. To know more about this branding type, read Harvard Business School’s article on ‘The Consumer Appeal of Underdog Branding‘.

The Antihero Brand

The antihero brand will break rules and overturn what is not working. Rebellious, and successful at turning radical ideas. But doing an action that others can relate to and seen as genuine. An example of an anti-hero brand is Domino’s Pizza. To design an Anti-Hero Brand, check out this article ‘Designing an Anti-Hero Brand‘.

An Everyman Brand

An Everyman brand creates a sense of belonging, practical in its approach and is seen as the guy next door. Examples of an everyman brand are Budweiser and Wranglers. Read ‘Brand Archetypes – Meet the Everyman' to help you understand an everyman brand.

The Romantic Brand

Lastly, a romantic is a dreamer but committed to its cause. Positioned as glamorous, it also likes to connect with others. An example of this brand type is Victoria's Secret. To understand this brand type read 'Brand Archetypes — Meet the Lover'

Your story must also say why you do it, and hopefully, it will be a talking point.

Once you decided on your story, use this in your marketing and branding. The easiest way to share this story is on social media.

Choosing Your Brand Name

When choosing your brand name, consider the followings:
  • Is the name easy to remember? Keeping it simple and easy to pronounce will make it easier to remember.

  • What is your specialty beverage? You can use this as an inspiration for your cafe's name.

  • Who is your target customer? Use a name that goes well with that targeted customers.

  • Your name, your location or your interior theme can be used as other sources of inspiration.

“I was delving into books for a name and found The Dingo Bar. That period of time, with American ex-pats living in Paris, it gets romanticized. But it’s such a unique period of history that I think it’s worth romanticizing and remembering here.” ~ Jessica Kinney co-owner of the coffee shop in Iowa City, a UNESCO City of Literature.

Creating the Logo

When you create a logo, you are creating a visual representation of your company’s brand.  It must instill trust. It must instantly deliver your selected message to the public. Studies show that we remember images better than the words. That is how important a logo is to your branding.

When done correctly, it will take your brand to success. So choosing the right brand name and the right logo to go with it, must be part of your marketing strategy.

If you need professional help to create the right logo, try this affordable professional custom logo designer on eBay. They give you unlimited revisions in their work until you are satisfied with the design.
create logo for coffee shop

Now that we are set on the logic of branding, let's go through the name list.

Cafe Names and Logos

These are cafe names with reasons for the selection and simple logos to go with it, for your inspiration.

  1. Black and White Café - Stirred by your specialty drink, black and white, the alcoholic drink made from one part coffee liquor and one part milk.

  2. Zendaya Café - Zendaya in Shona language (Zimbabwe) means 'to give thanks'. It is also a girl's name.

  3. Mocha Café Express - Inspired by a coffee variant, an espresso drink.

  4. Café Empire - That serves varieties of coffee types from around the globe.

  5. Tepis Café - In numerology, Tepis is connected to excellence and self-confidence.

  6. Legend Café - Ideal coffee shop name if your location is related to an urban myth or oral history.

  7. Medieval Expresso - For themed cafe or if you serve coffee the very old-fashioned way.

  8. WM Café - WM can be your name initial or your partner (William and Mary) but definitely not Waste Management! Lol.

  9. Rosey's Café - Rosey is a diminutive of Rose or Rosemary that exudes romantic and calming fragrance. It is also a girl's name.

  10. Sweet Bitter Coffee or Sweet Bitter Cafe. Inspired by the coffee and desserts served.

  11. Cubano Café - Influenced by your heritage or if you serve Cuban coffee.

  12. Freeman Black - Inspired by a person's name and black is one of the many coffee terms.

  13. Brooks Café & Bar - From a person's name (Germanic/French origin) or if your location is near a stream.

  14. Boston Garden Café - If your location is at Boston Garden, then it can be a good coffee shop name.

  15. The Fat Bird Café & Bar - Birds migrate every year but with increased fat reserve and reduced flight speed, fat birds will hang out and have coffee instead. Aha! 

  16. Branch Garden Café - Ideal if you have big trees or sprawling garden nearby.

  17. The Highland Coffeeshop - Are you in a highland resort?

  18. Rose Café - A rose themed cafe with Coffee-Bean Rose as part of the flower arrangement.

  19. Hola Café - Hello in Spanish, Hoya Cafe evokes friendliness and best served with Latin American coffee.

  20. Blue Mug Café - Blue is associated with calmness and serenity (served in a mug), hence beneficial to the mind and body.

  21. Hugs and Beans Café - Serving only warmth and happiness for this inspiring coffee shop name.

  22. Blu Café & Bar - Blue in Italian with characteristics of someone who is amusing, joyful and friendly.

  23. Meso Café - Meso is middle or intermediate and associated with a warm ambiance.

  24. Andrews Café and Bar - Derived from a Greek word, meaning strong and courageous. Now, ultra-cool!

  25. Giallo Café and Bar - One of the few selected Italian coffee shop names inspired by your cafe's yellow theme (giallo) and serving Yellow Caturra coffee

  26. The Fall - Not that psychological thriller, or autumn season but related to mountainous, hilly location with rivers and waterfalls. If you choose this cafe name but not in that geographical surrounding, you can use the thriller as the decor theme.

  27. Eight Garden Café - In Chinese culture, eight is a lucky number associated with wealth and prosperity. Garden express harmony. Hence you get harmonious wealth and prosperity!

  28. Kolombia Café - Serving the best Colombian Coffee

  29. Rosso Café -  Another inspired Italian coffee shop names. Rosso means red in Italian and it is also an Italian-origin surname. It is associated with rich flavorful coffee.

  30. Eusi Coffee - This coffee shop name means "Black" in Swahili. It also relates to being generous. Best served with the finest Kenyan Coffee.
 And here are the logos:

What's Next?

You have chosen (or create) your coffee shop name and logo. A name and logo that stands out from the pack.

Before you put all your creative energies to turn it into an extraordinary brand, you need to register the brand name and company. First, you need to check if the name is available to use. If it is, you register it as your own. This process is not difficult and it varies from country to country. The following steps usually apply to all:

  • Go to your country's equivalent of Registrar of Companies' website. Do a name search. This is to confirm that it is available.

  • Have a few other options or variance to your selected café name. If it is taken up, check if your other name options are available.

  • Decide if it is a sole proprietorship, partnership, limited liability company, etc. This decision is tax and business related. Hence, decide which form of organization is best for your café business.

  • Then fill the online form to register the company and submit with the required fee.

If all these are difficult, you can get your attorney or Company Secretary to handle this on your behalf. For a fee, of course.

Choose a name that will remain relevant for years to come

P.S. If you need to be motivated, read my '18 Inspiring Coffee Shop Quotes Never Published Before' to recharge yourself.

Your Coffee Shop Need a Website?

The answer is YES. Even if your café or coffee shop is small with no online sales. Businesses nowadays NEED a website for the following reasons:
  • Your potential customers will have a better idea of your product and services.

  • Can locate your address and contact number.

  • People go online to see choices of cafes, foods or beverages before deciding where to go.

  • If there is no website, you might lose potential customers to others that do.

A website is, therefore, an important part of your café business. No matter how big or small. If you are constrained by your budget, you can do a simple website yourself.

There are many free templates. You can copy and paste to suit your needs.

Comments or Questions?

If you have any questions or something to share on these coffee shop names, please let me know in the comment below. Thanks.



  1. Visitor Rating: 5 Stars

  2. Visitor Rating: 4 Stars

  3. This is great info for any owner looking to create a strong brand for their coffee shop. Since there is so much competition in that market, choosing a name and logo that connects with a target market of customers is key to success and should not be taken lightly. Did you create all the logos posted?

  4. Yes, the logos are my creations. It is simple but I hope you like it!

  5. what a cleaver, unique niche idea!

    I thought your post was very creative too. You're right, we are wired for story. It's just like if you can tell a story in your marketing, conversions soar! I also liked the archetypes you laid out for brands? Seems like you have a background in branding? Great site! Thank you

  6. Hi, Jackie. Actually I am an engineer by profession but coffee, branding & marketing are things I picked up along the way and became my obsession now! Thanks for the compliment and have a good day.

  7. I like most of your logo and I was wondering if you do something similar for my cafe (still in planning stage). Don't worry if you cannot.

  8. AlicKan, sure no problem. Please email me some background info about your location, type of coffee and food menu, shop decor and of course, the coffee shop name. I will email you with a few options.

  9. I hadn't really thought about a coffee shop needing a website but you are right. any business that hopes to be successful needs a website these days. I like the names and logos that you've created and think that any of them would be great names. There's a coffee shop near me with a very catchy name: Slave to the Grind and it's always packed. Now I'm wondering if the name has anything to do with it. What are your thoughts?

  10. Hi, Lynn. Hmm, I read somewhere that 'grind' is an overused word for a coffee shop. Maybe the shop started when 'grind' was still fresh!The shop probably has the best customer service and serves the finest coffee..consistently. That's why it is packed (I think). The name & decor will attract first time customer and if they like the service and coffee, they will be back for more. Trust me!Thanks for sharing this and have a great day ahead. Cheers.

  11. Cubano coffee and the logo looks good and is my top choice

  12. Hi Kevin. thanks for dropping by and the vote.

  13. Choosing a cofffe shop name that will stay relevant is important point you brought up. It is amazing how many owners failed to do this.

  14. Instilling trust in your brand is important and I agree with you that logo and name of your coffee shop are steps towards this direction.

  15. Sometimes people choose coffee shop names for sentimental reasons and it may turn out be right or sometimes wrong. It may stay relevant or otherwise. So a lot of thoughts must go into choosing the right coffee shop name. Thanks, Jeremy.

  16. Is your logo properly situated? For instance, a law office utilizing a kid like textual style and shading plan would not be suitable. Ensure you think about the content, picture and shading when survey what your visual originator has delivered.
    logo design service