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How Did You Come Up With Your Business Name?

The idea of exactly what your business is going to be usually comes first. Secondly, most often, is giving a title to your idea. What exactly is going to be the name of your business? Some people turn to their childhood for inspiration or a beloved family pet. It could be a made up word you dream of one night and feel it has the right ring to it. Even still there are some people who study foreign words for the perfect meaning behind their chosen business. Whatever the inspiration or relation may be, the naming of your business is one of the most important parts of becoming a CEO. Having a brand behind a strong title can make all the difference in the world.

 

Photo Credit: Tom Packer

Photo Credit: Tom Packer

A brainstorming session gone right

We had the business ideas, the had the team, we even had the name of our first project but we we couldn’t think of a name! As we sat around the meeting room table getting frustrated that our creativity was failing us someone said, “Why doesn’t my mind work when I need it to?!” and so Mindwork Labs was born. We all loved the name think it reflects what we are doing nicely and so it stuck.

Thanks to Tom Packer, Mindworks Labs

 

Photo Credit: Bruce Goldman

Photo Credit: Bruce Goldman

Reflecting growth of a company

When I started my business back in the ‘90s as a company that wrote and produced radio commercials that created visual images in consumers’ minds, I called it Picture Radio, which was neat because it let me adapt the old RKO Radio Pictures logo. Several years later, as I found the business gravitating back towards general advertising in all media, Picture Radio no longer worked. It took me a while to let go of the original name and logo, but I wanted to come up with a name that reflected what the company now did – creating advertising in all media that worked in the marketplace because it stood out from all the clutter. After thinking about it for several weeks, I thought of survival orange, the color that figures in air/sea rescue work because it stands out so much from the natural surroundings and filed a dba for Bright Orange Advertising, which we’ve been using since.

Thanks to Bruce Goldman, Bright Orange Advertising

 

Photo Credit: Rochelle Peachey

Photo Credit: Rochelle Peachey

Taking advantage of a foreign accent

When I decided to set up a transatlantic dating site I knew the name needed to be catchy and unique and I needed to stay well away from anything that used the word match in the description for obvious reasons. As a Brit living here in the USA I am used to it when people say Oh I love your accent, so over lunch my husband suggested, “How about Loveyouraccent.com”? He got on his cell phone and bought that domain name for me there and then while I was finishing my lunch. We have been up and running for almost 3 years now and I do remember a panic moment when I discovered that someone else owned iloveyouraccent.co.uk but we bought it from the for a fee where we were both happy. I believe the name of the site is memorable and the very best it could be for the type of site I run.

Thanks to Rochelle Peachey, I Love Your Accent

 

Photo Credit: Mark Hrisko

Photo Credit: Mark Hrisko

Meeting a very special ‘kangaroo’

I’m often asked “How did you come up with the name Kangaroo Millionaire?” Many people don’t know that a kangaroo can only hop forward and not backward! I never realized this until I met my “kangaroo” wife Kym. She is my best friend and inspiration. Kym is a fiery, brilliant, beautiful Australian who came into my life at the exact moment when I needed her most. She jolted me to spring forward in life and wealth. Well, that’s putting it mildly. What she really did was kick my butt and get me moving ahead! She motivated me to be more and make more than I ever dreamed I could. And four years later, by my 30th birthday, I was a millionaire. I owe everything to my “Kangaroo.” She pushed me to demand more, to reach higher, and to believe in myself even when others didn’t. And along the way I realized that so much of what I thought I knew about achieving millionaire success was incorrect. What I discovered is that millionaire thinking is counterintuitive to middle class thinking. That’s why I developed this brand and wrote a book “Kangaroo Millionaire”. I wanted to share the counterintuitive secrets I learned from my kangaroo that will spring people ahead in life and wealth.

Thanks to Marc Hrisko, Kangaroo Millionaire

 

Photo Credit: Trevor Page

Photo Credit: Trevor Page

Looking for the best keywords

I own a website called javavideotutorials.net and the business is called Java Video Tutorials. I had been thinking of creating a series of tutorials that would help anyone who wanted to learn how to program but didn’t want to shell out thousands for a degree. So when trying to think of a name for this, I just thought about putting myself in the shoes of the people who would want to learn this skill. If it were me, I would hop onto Google and type in something like “learn how to program”, but then I realized that I’m lazy, and I’m a visual learner, so I would want something that used videos as a medium. So I did keyword research with the Google Keyword Tool as well as a product called Market Samurai to find out what the best keywords would be for someone searching for Java videos. Turns out the best ROI would be the keywords “Java Video Tutorials”, so I created my business around this! So in short, SEO was the name of the game when naming my business.

Thanks to Trevor Page, Java Video Tutorials

 

Photo Credit: Angela Bauter

Photo Credit: Angela Bauter

Not just ‘me’ in the future

My very first product was ‘save the date magnets’, and I wanted a business name that would somehow relate to that. Why? Because I was targeting people who were searching for save the date magnets! On the other hand, I didn’t want “save the date magnets” specifically, because I planned to offer more than save the date magnets later on. I decided to base my business name on my products, not me, because there are one too many “Designs by [Name]” stationery companies out there, and if all continued to go well, this business would not be just ‘me’ later on. Domain name availability was also very important with the final name choice. My website is run mainly through my website and emails, which means that the website is a critical part of my business’ identity.

Thanks to Angela Bauter, Save The Date Originals

 

Photo Credit: John Pietro

Photo Credit: John Pietro

A name with no limitations

When I started my own business, I wanted to utilize a business name that was not just ME, and had no Geographic limitations. I also wanted a name that was easy to remember and wanted a name that appeared at the front of the alphabet. I also wanted a name that did not LIMIT my capabilities to just a narrow area such as advertising or marketing or accounting. So I came a name that solves all of the above requirements. Here it is ABC/D, which I use to represent Advanced Business Concepts/DiPietro. I figured out that if a prospect could not remember the first four letters of the alphabet, then I would probably not want to work with them anyway.

Thanks to John DiPietro

 

Photo Credit: Justin Crowe

Photo Credit: Justin Crowe

Picking out an abstract word

When creating my Internet my business back in 2011 I wanted to choose a name that was abstract. I really like what has happened with sites like yahoo, yelp, or etsy, where the definition on the word got built around the ideas, values, and services of the business itself. There is an exclusivity and memorability to this, also an easy way to appear in searches. So, I began to make up words and search the database of available domains that were 2 syllables and abstract. The name of my business was dependent on the availability to domains. After a few days of searching I had a list of only three domains. I chose Dizbe.com to be the blank canvas for my company.

Thanks to Justin Crowe, Dizbe

 

Photo Credit: Jorge Enrique Aguayo

Photo Credit: Jorge Enrique Aguayo

A name by design

When I was planning my cultural magazine in 2004, I was planning to call it Valhalla, like the Vikings’ heaven. It reminded me of some animals I like very much, wolves, and it gave me the idea of dying while fighting this war for culture I was about to start. The name and the symbol you see on the left side of the site are, actually, a draft. As the site was going to be called Valhalla, recalling Vikings, I wanted to use a symbol which could represent Vikings without the typical caricature of a long-bearded man wearing a helmet with horns. I tried to draw the head of a wolf, and I started by drawing some guidelines to help. These guidelines formed the seven-point star you can see on the site, and I must admit I loved the shape. Searching for the name of this star, I found it was called heptagram in English and Heptagrama in Spanish. I thought “there it is, the name of this site.”

Thanks to Jorge Enrique Aguayo, Heptagrama

 

Photo Credit: Amber Shulman

Photo Credit: Amber Shulman

A union of perfect words

I chose the name of my public relations firm carefully. Rather than using my first and last name as a moniker, I settled on Candid Virgo Communications. Why? The word candid is defined as honest, impartial, open and sincere. Those with the astrological sign of Virgo (which I am) are said to possess practicality, perseverance, with ingenuity of mind, a sharp intellect, and the strength of will needed to see creative ideas through to completion. The meaning behind these two words perfectly describes what Candid Virgo commits to offer its clients: honesty, integrity, creativity.

Thanks to Amber Shulman, Candid Virgo

 

Photo Credit: Danna Norek

Photo Credit: Danna Norek

After a pattern of happy accidents

I came up with the name for my company “Synchronicity Marketing LLC” when I noticed a pattern of happy accidents that seemed to create the basis for my success. I’m a big believer in not only hard work, but also of recognizing opportunities that may be disguised as problems at first. I’m also a big believer in the concept of synchronicity, which is the principle that there are meaningful coincidences in our lives which can dictate our path in some way. We just have to develop the ability to recognize these coincidences and seize the opportunity while it is available. My later business endeavor to make my own natural, nontoxic skin, body and hair care products (I had previously only marketed other company’s products for a commission). I named my brand “Aura Sensory”. Since my products rely solely on natural plant essential oils for their scent, I loved the idea that it was a clean and natural “sensory” experience to inhale their scent. The other sensory part is the feel of the products on the skin and hair since they use natural fatty acids and moisturizing agents instead of man made petroleums. I felt they provided a distinctly natural sensory experience all around because of their non-chemical texture and non-industrial scent. Also because every hair care, skin and body care product essentially becomes a part of your body chemistry via absorption it becomes a part of a person’s aura. While this part may sound a bit pretentious, I actually really just simply liked the natural, flowing way the two words went together. They just sound like the message I wanted to convey about my product line, which is a natural and more holistic way to maintain your beauty and appearance that also happens to be effective while providing this pleasant sensory experience at the same time.

Thanks to Danna Norek, Aura Sensory

 

Photo Credit: Jeannie Bush

Photo Credit: Jeannie Bush

Getting the perfect fit

The school I attended for electrology, the only option for permanent hair removal, was 90 miles away from my home in La Crosse, WI. I would get up very early Monday morning, drive to Eau Claire, WI, spend the week, then drive home late Thursday evening. My drive time was planning time for my electrology business that would open after graduation and passing the licensing exam. So during that drive time, I repeatedly went back to what* my own *electrolysis treatments meant to me. After months of travel time, my business was named “Amenity Electrolysis.” Amenity means the quality of being pleasant’ attractiveness; an attractive or desirable feature; something that conduces to comfort, convenience or enjoyment. Getting rid of my full beard through electrolysis treatments was truly an amenity that I did just for myself, making me feel attractive.

Thanks to Jeannie Bush, Amenity Electrolysis

 

Photo Credit: Rasheda Kamaria

Photo Credit: Rasheda Kamaria

No longer the flower girl

We don’t sell flowers, nor are we reviving the hippy movement of the 70s. Empowered Flower Girl actually references my experience as a child being recruited as a flower girl for family members’ weddings. After two exhaustive years, I told my mother I did not want to be a flower girl ever again. At the age of seven, I became empowered to assertively ask for what I wanted. That is the inspiration behind my company which produces workshops and clothing to inspire girls and young women to live powerfully.

Thanks to Rasheda Kamaria, Empowered Flower Girl

 

Photo Credit: Jamie Lee

Photo Credit: Jamie Lee

Invoking an image

I wanted a name that would evoke an image of flowers, being that I make floral accessories for hair adornment. Because I wanted each of my pieces to tell a story of their own, I wanted to conjure up a name that seemed based in storytelling and language as well. I was in bed one night tossing words back and forth, trying to combine different synonyms of talking and flowers and came up with ChatterBlossom. Luckily, I got out of bed and wrote it down before falling asleep. When I woke up, I saw it on a post it and thought, YES! I found my name!

Thanks to Jamie Lee, ChatterBlossom

 

Photo Credit: Timothy F. Shanahan

Photo Credit: Timothy F. Shanahan

Re-branding to bring something extra

Back in 1984 when I formed Compass Capital it was the convention to use the names of the firm principals for professional service firms ( e.g. Dowe, Cheetum and How). Being sensitive to every penny of cost and seeing the law and accounting firms having to redo their letterheads several times a year, I wanted to avoid reprinting and a more generic name. I made up a list of possible names and so did an intended partner. The word Compass was on both of our lists so I went with Compass Capital. The partner did not go ahead with us and in retrospect I’ve always felt the name was not descriptive of what we do. It often seemed that the public thought we were either in the mortgage or venture capital business. In the late 90′s we added a tag line “Navigate the Nineties” knowing it was only good for a few years. Based on what we were hearing from our own clients (you are my trusted financial advisor…) we “re-branded” a bit by adding a new tag line “Your Trusted Financial Advisor” and had it registered as a service mark. Since adding the service mark we have over time dialed down the name Compass Capital and dialed up “Your Trusted Financial Advisor” as it really describes what we are.

Thanks to Timothy F. Shanahan, Compass Capital Corporation

 

Photo Credit: Misty Clark

Photo Credit: Misty Clark

Different meanings for one letter

I came up with the name for my company in a brainstorming session with my mother (who has owned a dance studio for 52 years) and my husband. The “M” was a given, though not for the reason one might assume. The “M” stands not <only> for “Misty,” but also for “My,” because I wanted each student to feel a sense of ownership in the principles and direction of the company. We debated extensively about whether the name should also include “Dance,” “Fitness” or both. Ultimately, I chose to use both because it would allow me the flexibility to combine the two disciplines as well as expand each one separately. Although not all of my students know that the “M” stands for “My,” they do know that I value their input tremendously and that it has helped shape M Dance & Fitness into the studio they now call home.

Thanks to Misty Clark, M Dance & Fitness, LLC

 

Photo Credit: Karen L. Dortschy

Photo Credit: Karen L. Dortschy

Using a new turn of phrase

This past March, 2012, my business partner and I amicably parted ways from our successful marketing/social media/branding company. I wanted to continue to build the business but needed to rebrand. I chose the name “Open the Door Group” because opening doors to clients, to business, to new branding was something I do every day. The company’s tagline, “Say hello to great connected branding and marketing” also ties into the door opening imagery. Also, my favorite quote is by Helen Keller: “When one door of happiness closes, another opens.” That quote has helped frame my positive outlook on life, as I have had many doors closing and others opening. The name of my business is a great conversation-starter and has opened doors to great referrals and new clients.

Thanks to Karen L. Dortschy, Open The Door Group

 

Photo Credit: José Alejandro Flores

Photo Credit: José Alejandro Flores

Translating a common phrase

VOS is an expression used throughout many countries in Central and South America when translated to the English language the word literally means “you.” In order to provide an identity for the initial collection of eco-friendly sandals tied to the country of origin being Guatemala, this identifying word spoken in-country was developed into an international registered trademark. The use of “voseo” is the flavor of Spanish which the Founder speaks alongside English and Portuguese therefore the “vos” expression has been treasured his entire life and he was driven to combine the aforementioned lifelong verbal expression with a passion for providing eco-friendly products tied to a global social initiative second-to-none.

Thanks to José Alejandro Flores, VOS

 

Photo Credit: Brian Lefkowitz

Photo Credit: Brian Lefkowitz

After a swing at summer camp

When it came time to come up with a name for my business (bringing my inventions to market), I knew that a name like “Practical Products” wasn’t going to cut it. I wanted something more catchy and more memorable so that when I followed up with my buyers and customers, they would be more likely to remember me. I also wanted the name to have some sort of personal meaning. So after a few rounds of brainstorming (which didn’t work), it finally hit me in the middle of the night. I named my company, The Blue Swing, after an actual blue swing at my summer camp that I went to as a kid. The swing was the meeting place where every camper brought their “dates” at some time or another and where they still do today. At the end of the day, I’m glad I went it with it as not one week goes by where I don’t get asked, “The Blue Swing… what does that mean?” It’s a fantastic way to talk to my customers about something off topic which really helps strengthen our relationship.

Thanks to Brian Lefkowitz, The Blue Swing LLC

 

Photo Credit: Dana Marlowe

Photo Credit: Dana Marlowe

Taking a creative approach to a name design

A name for a company shouldn’t just be derived on what you do, but how you do it. Accessibility Partners is a company that that helps to make information technology is accessible for people with all disabilities. While we partner with our clients to make their products more accessible, our principal partners that comprise our business also have disabilities. It makes our name truly personal because of how connected we are to our disability advocacy identity. We picked “Accessibility Partners” to make our commitment apparent and it is a point of pride for us to be true partners for accessibility. Furthermore, whenever people see our logo, they wonder why we have a large T made out of dots, when we obviously don’t spell Accessibility Partners with a capital T. We cater towards individuals who are either Low Vision or Blind. What many people don’t realize is that our T is actually the Braille for the letters A and P, with the A highlighted with the black dot. I feel our logo is a great way to emphasize our advocacy for the disability community without making it elaborate.

Thanks to Dana Marlowe, Accessibility Partners, LLC

 

Photo Credit: Lori Cheek

Photo Credit: Lori Cheek

Putting a new turn on a last name

I’m an architect turned entrepreneur and about four years ago, I came up with an idea that launched me into the NYC World of Tech and I’ve not turned back. Sporting pick up lines such as “act natural, we can get awkward later” and “I’m hitting on you,” Cheek’d bridges the gap between online dating and real-world romance by providing members with physical cards that they can use to entice people from the real world to flirt with them in the virtual world. It’s the 2.0 version of “Call Me.” Growing up with the last name Cheek was kind of a pain in the butt (excuse the pun) “cheeks,” but it finally came in handy. For weeks, I was racking my brain about the verb that was going to finish the statement, “you’ve been _________.” and then one day it hit me in the head. You’ve been “Cheek’d!”

Thanks to Lori Cheek, Cheek’d

 

Photo Credit: Mick Wells

Photo Credit: Mick Wells

Focusing on the Whiteboard

I have whiteboards within access at any given time (except in the car.) I have developed channel strategies for new product launches in hotel rooms with one sent up from room service. Have mapped out sales force expansions in the garage on my kids’ abc123 easel – you never know where inspiration will hit you and you have to be ready to work through all of the complexities to develop growth strategies that are comprehensive & sustainable.. On the whiteboard is the future of your business, within it is the entire range of opportunities of where and how your growth will come. And there is always a way forward to optimize your goals… …this summarizes two of our core values at The Whiteboard Team and our goal is to expand our clients’ market presence by creating growth opportunities that are in-line with their long-range strategies.

Thanks to Mick Wells, Whiteboard

 

Photo Credit: Farnoosh Brock

Photo Credit: Farnoosh Brock

After a long walk the name came

I got my business name Prolific Living, now with an Inc., on a long walk after thinking about it for weeks. The two words just came to me. I have always loved and lived the word “Prolific”, creating and producing in high quantities, but also love the richness of good and positivity that is in the word. I knew I wanted the business name to reflect a lifestyle, a holistic way of living, and a total approach – mind, body and spirit – to work and play in life, and I also knew that I didn’t want to use my own name as many successful people do. Your own name can always be a unique brand, that’s absolutely true, but for me, I wanted to have a different name for the business. So during that walk, I thought about all the things that I wanted the name of the business to reflect: Positive, lifestyle, a rich life in spirit and health, a way of living, and another condition I gave myself is that I need to relate and resonate with the name of my business on a deep level. In other words, I must live and breathe the name which is also the brand. And thus Prolific Living was born. It is a name I stay true to in my business and my personal life.

Thanks to Farnoosh Brock, Prolific Living Inc.

 

Photo Credit: Hope Katz Gibbs

Photo Credit: Hope Katz Gibbs

The perfect word

I tell them: I was riding home to DC on a train after doing an interview in NYC with Dr. Helen Fisher (author of the chemistry.com questionnaire). Our conversation inspired me deeply, and as I sat thinking about her insights into live, love, and the human brain, I absent-mindedly leafed through the pages of Amtrak magazine. An article about Elizabeth Gilbert (author of “Eat, Pray, Love”) caught my eye, and as I read it, a comment from Annie Proulx leapt from the page. She described Gilbert’s writing as “incandescent.” It took my breath away. Benign as it may have been to other readers—not to mention my seat mate—it was as if a lightening bolt struck me. I knew immediately that it was time to brand my PR services under the business name, Inkandescent. I circled the word on the page, and when I got home sat down with my husband, illustrator Michael Gibbs who created our logo. We launched the Inkandescent brand with the mission of promoting, educating, and inspiring entrepreneurs, and in the years since then have worked with hundreds of entrepreneurs, helping them get more visibility.

Thanks to Hope Katz Gibbs, The Inkandescent Group, LLC

 

Photo Credit: Homero Gonzalez

Photo Credit: Homero Gonzalez

A name to encompass everything

I’m a one-woman band and needed a name that could encompass everything my photography and video business could offer. I enlisted the help of a good friend, a.k.a. my graphic designer. We brainstormed for about an hour, listing similar words that involved photos, media, film, memories, etc. I named things around me, ideas and the look I wanted to represent, words associated with the field, and words that were fun to say. The list was ridiculously long. But, with his help I was able to not only come up with a name that meant both photo and film and was a reminder to remember each moment, but also a really marketable name. “Hold Still Media” – with a tag line, “Hold Still, we got this.”.

Thanks to Michelle Eulene, Hold Still Media

 

 

About Gresham Harkless Jr.

Gresham Harkless is the Blogger-in-Chief for CEO Blog Nation. CEO Blog Nation is a community of blogs for entrepreneurs and business owners. Started in much the same way as most small businesses, CEO Blog Nation captures the essence of entrepreneurship by allowing entrepreneurs and business owners to have a voice. CEO Blog Nation provides news, information, events and even startup business tips for entrepreneurs, startups and business owners to succeed.

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  1. Thank you for compiling such a helpful list of ways to come up with a business name! I’m quite excited to have been given the chance to share how I created mine! Thank you!

  2. Thank you for compiling such a helpful list of ways to come up with a business name! I’m quite excited to have been given the chance to share how I created mine! Thank you!

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