A Guide to UK Business Directories

A Guide to UK Business Directories

Directories have been a staple for companies to drive local business for many years now. This hasn’t changed, however, the form that these directories take has/is continuing to change, the purpose of this article is to look at the history of 3 famous business directories: The Yellow Pages, Dentons and Thomson Local.

The Yellow Pages is perhaps the most famous business directory in the whole world; these days it is used across the world in over 100 countries. The concept of the yellow pages was created in 1883 when a printer in Wyoming ran out of white paper, it was replenished with yellow. However, the first print of the yellow pages did not come into existence until 3 years later in 1886. One of the reasons that the Yellow Pages has outlived its competitors is due to the recognisable yellow hue of the paper.

As with all successful businesses and products, the Yellow Pages has had to change with the times. Having originally been a print only publication, the Yellow Pages is now available in a variety of formats including online and as a mobile app.

Another business directory that’s going from strength to strength is the Dentons Directory. This directory was established in the Bath area of the UK in 1967. Similarly to the Yellow Pages, Dentons Directory started life as a paper-only publication, although it is worth noting that Denton isn’t a yellow publication. The original idea behind the Dentons Directory was to package local businesses and organisations into a small booklet that people were able to carry around. Each directory also contained a local map marked with the location of essential information such as the Ombudsman, DVLA and other trade organisations.

As the directory has evolved, it’s grown to include more entries and cover more areas than it has done in the past. The directory is now available online and in certain areas of North America so it has come a long way in a relatively short period of time.

Thomson Local is another famous business directory. The Thomson Local directory has been in operation for over 25 years as one of the leading business directories in the UK. Similarly to both the Yellow Pages and Dentons Directory, Thomson started out as a print-only publication. This changed in 2003 as they made the jump to digital with the launch of the website. The transition to digital has continued and made a significant step in 2010 when Thomson for iPhone was released, this was followed shortly after with an android application. This enhanced the usage of the directory greatly as it marked the beginning of consumers being able to search while on the move.
There are 174 editions of Thomson Local that are distributed throughout the United Kingdom. These are produced and delivered free of charge to the general public. Currently Thomson have not expanded outside of the UK as the Yellow Pages and Dentons Directory have. The head office of Thomson Local is in Farnborough, UK.

The success of these business directories should be a testament to how they have stood the test of time and have remained relevant as a promotional tool for local and national business. If your business is ever in need of a push for local or national business, it is well worth considering investment in a business directory listing.

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