There are more than 30 South Surrey businesses that use ‘White Rock’ in their name. (Graph by Chad Skelton)

Why do Surrey businesses use ‘White Rock’ in their name?

White Rock has a little more ‘sizzle’ to it, KPU marketing professor says

As municipal boundaries go, few seem to be quite as blurred as the one between Surrey and White Rock.

While the difference may be minor to most, residents who live in South Surrey and claim to live in White Rock can be a point of annoyance for people where specifics matter.

But it’s not just residents who blur the line, a trend on the Semiahmoo Peninsula is for South Surrey businesses to include White Rock in their name, while often having little association with the city.

While some businesses got their start in White Rock and later relocated – White Rock Travel is one example – Peace Arch News counted more than 30 businesses north of 16 Avenue that take advantage of White Rock’s name.

But why?

Kwantlen Polytechnic University marketing professor Richard Simon spoke to PAN Wednesday to explain what goes into a great business name, and offered his opinion on the trend in South Surrey.

When selecting a name, first and foremost an entrepreneur needs to consider is legality, he said. He added that the name should be easy to pronounce, easy to recall and come “top of mind.”

Another component, Simon added, is that research has shown that when building residential developments or subdivisions, nature is key. Simon cited Morgan Creek, Aldergrove, Walnut Grove and even White Rock as examples.

He said people want to live near nature, even if a place called Cedar Park doesn’t actually feature a single cedar tree.

Map contributed by data journalist and KPU instructor Chad Skelton

When asked to explain why ‘White Rock’ is so prominent in South Surrey business names, Simon made note of the connection to nature.

“I’m just shooting from the hip,” Simon said. “White Rock is so memorable. It (does) have that big, actual physical white rock down on the beach. It’s a cute little place. It reminds me – when I go to White Rock along the strip – of a California beach town.”

Simon said ‘White Rock’ has a “sizzle,” while ‘South Surrey’ is more generic. He agreed with the notion that White Rock is a destination.

“It’s small, it’s cute, it’s clean, it’s fairly wealthy, it’s established and it’s got a lot of fun memories for people, they go there in the summer. I think they’re just capitalizing on a popular name,” Simon said.

Simon said there’s no legal precedent for naming a business after an area without having any connection to it. He highlighted New York Fries, which started as Brantford, Ont., as an example.

“(Boston Pizza), it’s a Canadian company, for God’s sake,” Simon said. “It has nothing to do with Boston but people know place names and have wonderful associations with them. If you have a good association with a place name, then it can really work wonders for you.”

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Memorial set for one of three found dead at Langley house fire

Father wants the community to know the “amazing” person who’s been lost

Langley residents along the Fraser River asked to be on alert

Flooding along Lower Fraser River is possible as the water levels rise in the next week

Langley Lodge’s deadly outbreak declared over

Fraser Health and long-term care home administrator confirm Friday declaration

LETTER: One man upset by Liberal party apologies

MLAs shouldn’t say sorry for advertising in Christian magazine that opposing transgender rights

Aldergrove moms orchestrate class photo for Kindergarten grads after COVID-19 school shutdown

Five year olds at Parkside Elementary got one final reunion to wrap up their school year cut short

13 new B.C. COVID-19 cases, Langley Lodge outbreak ends

Health care outbreaks down to four, 162 cases active

Greater Vancouver home sales start to tick up, with prices holding steady

Residential sales last month reached 2,443, a 64.5 per cent jump from May

PHOTOS: South Surrey tractor project evokes ‘$1-million smile,’ helps connect neighbours

Retired Surrey firefighter Ron Henze began project for friend’s dad to fill time during pandemic

Alberta health minister orders review into response after noose found in hospital in 2016

A piece of rope tied into a noose was found taped to the door of an operating room at the Grande Prairie Hospital in 2016

B.C.’s major rivers surge, sparking flood warnings

A persistent low pressure system over Alberta has led to several days of heavy rain

B.C.’s Indigenous rights law faces 2020 implementation deadline

Pipeline projects carry on as B.C. works on UN goals

Search continues for person seen floating in Coquihalla River in Hope

Rescuers halted the search Thursday night as darkness fell

‘Mind boggling’: B.C. man $1 million richer after winning Lotto 6/49 a second time

David O’Brien hopes to use his winnings to travel and of course keep playing the lottery

Most Read