Behold, the ultimate Nightclub name generator!
It’s much harder to get someone to try a nightclub for the first time than it is a bar, where people can come and go as they please. Why is that? Because you not only have to get them to give you their entire evening, but you also ask them to fork out an entrance fee when they have no guarantee they’ll enjoy what they’re paying for. It’s a cycle. They don’t go in because they don’t know if they’ll like it, and they won’t know that they like it if they never go in.
So, how do you pass on a message to people that aren’t inside yet? Well, aside from relentless social media marketing, and a pricey squad of street promoters, your name is a fantastic opportunity to pull public favour. Branding is the real life version of a push notification - to get in people’s faces and give them the hard sell. If you wait for ‘organic’ engagement as they say in social media, you could be waiting a very long time indeed.
According to The Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers between 2005 and 2015 the amount of nightclubs open for business in the U.K. almost halved, going from 3144 to 1733. It’s now more important than ever that your make smart choices. That’s why we’ve created the Cluboid Nightclub Name Generator to get you inspired and on your way to selecting the best name for your business. Go on, give it a whirl...
The word ‘club’ is thought to derive from the Norse word klubba - a relation to the Old German word Klumpe meaning a group of trees that grow closely together. ‘Club’ became a social term for a cluster of people gathering in one place in the early 1600’s because of the resemblance to the natural formation of trees.
It could also be thought to be related to the word’s Latin root, ‘clava.’ ‘Clavis’ is the Latin word for key and therefore implies restricted access. As many clubs began as ‘members only’ venues such as working men's clubs, it seems that ‘club’ indicates exclusivity. This would imply that the literal translation of the word nightclub is ‘a restricted access area functioning at night. Makes sense, because if your name’s not down - you’re not coming in.
Unlike nowadays, in the early to mid 19th century half of the population was below the age of 20. This obviously meant that there was a huge demand for social environments that allowed people to meet and socialise. Taverns had been an option since the 17th century, but it was around the time of the Victorian era, with the introduction of music halls, that venues began to offer music alongside the sale of alcohol as means of entertainment. Towards the end of the 19th century and beginning of the 20th, the Jazz and Swing movements introduced high energy dancing to live music clubs, and that is where the tradition began. Later, when live music transitioned to digital, stages made way for DJ booths to become the nightclub scene we are familiar with today.
You might also be interested to know that the term ‘bouncer’ also comes from the 19th century. A novel by Horatio Alger, Jr titled ‘ The Young Outlaw’ in fact. Alger’s writing was extremely popular and often quoted, so phrasing used by Alger in fiction often became socially legitimate slang. Chapter 14 of The Young Outlaw was called ‘Bounced’ and mentioned a young boy being asked to leave a restaurant because he couldn’t pay for his dinner, so the waiter was told to ‘Bounce him!’ In 1883, the term was then recycled by The London Daily News and has stuck around ever since. Who knew?
‘Envy’ is seemingly the most popular title worldwide, with representatives in England, Vietnam, Denmark, Dubai, Ireland, Switzerland and Australia. It is however most prominent in North America with nightclubs in as many as 9 different states and moving across into Canada. After ‘Envy’, ‘Edge’ is another recurring favourite, closely followed by ‘Vibe’, ‘Element’, ‘Roxy’ and ‘Vault’. ‘Karma’ also establishes itself as a firm favourite amongst Asian nightclubs, appearing in Phuket, Shanghai, Cambodia, Hong Kong, Bali and Beirut.
You might be thinking that taking inspiration from any of these would indicate you were seriously lacking in originality, but as many nightclubs have discovered, there’s nothing wrong with adapting them and using the familiar titles as a springboard. Nightclubs such as D-Edge in Brazil, Volt Nightclub in Nottingham and Envy Helsingør in Denmark have all taken this approach and it seems to be working pretty well. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it - right?
Do think about the 5 senses
Nightclubs are far more debaucherous than bars and names usually reflect mischief and indulgence. A trend on the nightclub circuit is to highlight sensation in the title, so words like Lust and Euphoria (and so on) come up a lot as they are emotive and enticing. They invite us to feel. Consider titles which think about your senses to attract customers - perhaps Aroma Rooms or The Glance Hall...
Do look at successful precedents
we wouldn’t suggest that you plagiarize a name, but you can get a little creative with what is already shown to be effective. Many venues have taken inspiration from clubs such as Karma, Edge and Envy (as demonstrated above) and come up with more elaborate versions for themselves. The Good Karma Club is one of our personal favourites.
Do use popular suffixes to identify yourself
adding things like ‘Rooms’, ‘Lounge’ or ‘Club’ is a popular choice to provide further detail about your venue and identify yourself as a nightclub. Sure ‘The Bakery’ sounds cool, but being vague isn’t going to bring you to the top of the Google search for ‘local nightclubs’, and will drastically reduce your web click-throughs. Think about SEO.
Don’t limit yourself geographically
While it might be nice to name your venue something sentimental, many nightclubs go on to become franchises and therefore you might consider thinking about the bigger picture when selecting a name for your nightclub. Does your name allow for growth and other branding opportunities?
Don’t make it too long-winded
1-3 syllable names tend to be the most popular length for nightclubs as they are snappy and easily committed to memory. Keeping them short also helps to maintain an air of mystery because sensations can’t really be explained, they need to be experienced. Entice your customers with wording that alludes to an experience.
Don’t blindly choose a name without doing your research.
Try A/B testing before deciding on a name, and offer 2 potential options to see which most people are intrigued by. Take to Twitter and run polls, ask your friends, ask your employees, ask their friends. Search for a reliable consensus and let it lead you to a name. You want to know how it is going to make people feel when they hear it because that is what will get people through the doors. Why do you think that Euphoria is such a popular choice?
We’ve compiled a list of our 10 favourite nightclub names for you to see some awesomely executed ones first hand. From a publicity and branding perspective, these guys have batted it clean out the park:
1 - Birthdays, London
Not many things are better than your birthday, are they? Birthdays use something we already have positive associations with to get us into the party spirit. The mental image is colourful, fun and implies smiles all round. Not only that, but it’s made itself the absolute ideal location for someone every single day of the year. Now that’s smart marketing.
2 - Little Temple, Prague
Temples are a place of worship, so naturally a very spiritual environment. This is exactly what we mean by invoking a feeling or sensation. Little Temple paints itself as an experience and therefore there is much more of an incentive to try it. The name is a also bit contradictory, which makes it quite intriguing.
3 - XS, Nevada
Short, strong and by playing on the word ‘excess’ it alludes to a feeling over over-indulgence which is what a night out is really all about. This sounds like a club that doesn’t do things by halves.
4 - Playhouse, California
Playhouse is fun, inviting and an homage to childhood - a time without the stresses of adulthood. The inclusion of ‘play’ is also a smart psychological trick. What is the exact opposite of work? That’s right, play. When we clock off, we are looking for an opportunity to do something fun, so for anyone wanting to cut loose after a long, hard week in the office - Playhouse seems like the perfect remedy.
5 - The Room, Hamberg
It doesn’t get much more mysterious than that really. Curiosity may have killed the cat, but it does wonders for sales. An indeterminate title like ‘The Room’ is an automatic incentive to what to find out what is inside - that’s why everyone loves a mystery prize. The ‘The’ prefix also makes it sound like a definitive, like: this is the room to beat all rooms.
6 - Seacrets, Maryland
Similarly, Seacrets also has that implied excitement that you get from ‘The Room’. It is also a little nod to its seaside location which, unlike geographical names, allows growth for the brand to franchise in other seaside hotspots.
7 - Maya Day + Nightclub, Arizona
You’re probably not likely to have to Google the opening hours with a name like that. What Maya Day + Nightclub says with a title like this is that they’re there for you if you need anything - day or night. It also appropriates itself by telling us that it is a club for all seasons. This name is just as relevant in the cold winter months as it is in the blazing summer heat.
8 - The Pool after Dark, New Jersey
This name has a similar effect to the bar known as ‘Employees only’, in that it feels like you’re doing something a bit naughty. The title sounds as though they are offering you something exclusive, and therefore you feel completely obligated to take them up on it. Not only that, but the inclusion of ‘After Dark’ injects that extra bit of naughtiness.
9 - N’Dulge, Palm Jumeirah
N’Dulge have gone for an angle that’s all about sensation. It gives the venue a sumptuous feeling, like we’re treating ourselves and that is always a clever marketing ploy. It is almost saying: help us help you.
10 - Funky Buddha, Marbella
Conceptual, spiritual and absolutely perfect for branding. It’s also fairly ambiguous as venue names go, so it leaves ample room for the venue to expand into different territory. Funky Buddha could just as easily be a restaurant or bar, as well as a nightclub. This is a very scalable name.
We’d like to stress that just because they made the list for ‘worst names’, doesn’t mean that the nightclub itself is bad whatsoever. When a name is this bad, you know the place has got to be great...
1 - Klute, Durham
Usually venues are interested in sounding appealing, sensual or tempting to a potential customer. Something floaty and descriptive like Amnesia or Aura. Not Klute. Klute sounds a little more like a smack around the head. It also doesn’t really take the opportunity to tell us about itself at all: location, style, theme, musical leaning. Your guess is as good as ours.
2 - Po Na Na, London
Po is unfortunately pronounced as if there were another ‘O’ on the end of it, or at least it has become known as if it were. Whether or not it was meant to be said that way is unsure, but if you’re going to go for a title that people won’t be familiar with, try and go for something phonetic - or at least make sure the variations can’t be associated with bad hygiene.
3 - Uranus Lounge, Vancouver
Of all the planets, really. It might be quite infantile to find this amusing but it doesn’t exactly give off a sexy, cool vibe now, does it? If they were after a galactic name, they’d have done much better with Galaxy Rooms, Mercury or The Pulsar Lounge.
4 - Squat Theatre, New York
Again, association wise, we don’t think squat was the best choice. What do we think of when we think of when we hear the word ‘squat’? 1) An uncomfortable exercise 2) An unhygienic, abandoned dwelling and 3) the bending position associated with using the bathroom. What is it with these clubs and bathroom references?
5 - Bondage a Go-Go, California
We might be able to establish that it’s a bondage place, but there is absolutely zero mystery about it. Clubs of this nature work much better when the naughty element is alluded to, and not just out there for the world to see. If you don’t think about discretion, you run the risk of sounding a little on the trashy side.
6 - Maniac Love, Tokyo
Maniac Love sounds like a name inspired by the movie Fatal Attraction. ‘Bunny Boiler’ might be the more appropriated term, though. It seems to make the club feel like it’ll be full with really intense suitors, when a title should really be trying to make customers feel at ease.
7 - Fanny’s, Sheffield
Fanny’s sounds a bit more like a motorway café or tavern than a nightclub. Oh and there is also the small issue of the, ahem, subject matter. Perhaps Fanny’s sounds a little less nightclub and a little more gentleman’s club.
8 - GasLamp Strip Club, California
Something about this one makes us think that they chose the name during a drunk game of iSpy on a camping trip. Aside from that, it doesn’t really position the nightclub either. That’s presumably why they felt the need to affix ‘Strip Club’ on the end.
9 - Cheaters Cabaret, Florida
You wouldn’t feel great about sending your spouse here really, would you? A name should probably entice more people than it repels, and we wonder if Cheaters has lost out on a few sales over the years because of their name choice.
10 - Scuttlebutt, Louisiana
A little less bizarre when you learn that ‘scuttlebutt’ is an old nautical term meaning rumours or gossip, but we’re thinking most people probably wouldn’t be wise to this one. Scuttlebutt makes the list for also missing the reference. It seems the name was just picked for being a funny word, as there doesn’t seem to be a boat or anchor in sight.
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