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.
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Photo Credit: Jonathan Passley
It reflects my life philosophy
I named my web design and internet marketing company PDR Web Solutions. PDR stands for Passion, Determination and Resilience – the three characteristics I believe a person needs to have in order to succeed in anything. I have a passion for business, marketing, web design and generating results for our clients. Although our industry is extremely competitive, I am determined to continue growing my business and resilient to obstacles that arise. This also defines the people we hire to join our team. We look for people who are passionate about what they do and take pride in their work. The second part of the company name communicates that we are “The Solution” to our clients. By working with our clients as strategic partners we help them improve their online presence and generate more leads for their business, which is the solution most of our clients are looking for.
Thanks to Jonathan Passley, PDR Web Solutions
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Photo Credit: Emily Ward-Dickerman
Putting a new spin on a common phrase
The idea for my website business (Mock-off.com) came to me before the name. The concept was to build a platform to help users find affordable versions of designer inspired clothing and accessories, also known as “knock-offs”. The term “knock-off” has a negative connotation associated with them, but I wanted a name that was similar enough that people would understand the concept. I came up with “Mock-off” and the site was born! The most rewarding thing is when I hear people refer to the products I have on the site as “mock-offs” and also find their own real-world “mock-offs”.
Thanks to Emily Ward-Dickerman, Mock-Off
Photo Credit: Timothy Chedester
The result of a balanced life
My Business name is Balance Effect. I wanted to have a name that demonstrated the end result of having balance in one’s life, and finding the right word to suggest what working with me would create. A life of Balance. I had to literally go thru the dictionary to find the right word to match with balance and the desired end result. Effect is what I came up with. And the Logo.. An unintended miracle … the letters B and E to create the word BE. To BE, who you were meant to be.
Thanks to Timothy Chedester, Balance Effect
Photo Credit: Terry Lin
To capture attention immediately
In the modern day of content overload with Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Youtube, and more – people tune out very easily to online material that does not grab their attention. This starts from the second they see the title of a a business name. New businesses often don’t have the luxury of time to build an obscure brand from scratch like Google or Yahoo. Back then, the information cycle and market changes were much slower, and these companies were able to spend years building the brand equity into what it is today. Compare it to Ramit Sethi’s blog named I Will Teach You To Be Rich, and you can instantly see the difference. For Build My Online Store, I wanted my listeners and clients to instantly know what I was about, without visiting my blog, listening to my podcast, or watching any videos. By doing so, they know what to expect before our first interaction, and I am also able to filter out those who aren’t my target market of E-Commerce entrepreneurs. As a result, I am able to build a very powerful community around my brand based on a topic that unites us all. This is the fundamental denominator that defines an online business moving forward in this day and age.
Thanks to Terry Lin, Build My Online Store
Photo Credit: Michal Chesal
Using a play on a Hebrew word
My business partner Isaac and I came up with the name Baby K’tan. Both our families have strong ties to Israel and we thought it would be nice to incorporate a Hebrew word into the company name. The Hebrew word “Ktan” means “little,” so Baby K’tan literally means “Little Baby.” We get asked about the name quite a bit. They questions we get are usually split into two groups, those who have no idea how to say K’tan and those who are familiar with Hebrew and want to quiz us! It happens so often that we decided to include it on our FAQ page. We find that customers love to find out that there is a meaning behind it and that it is a cute play on words!
Thanks to Michal Chesal, Baby K’tan
Photo Credit: Richard C. Kelleher
By correcting the teacher
Mine is unique. Got my MBA at University of Phoenix’s first Denver classes. Worked for Vice President of Marketing of a branch of AT&T during the day. First night of marketing class, Jim Meiggs, said, “If you want to understand marketing, you must understand sociology, as originated by Max Weber.” Meiggs pronounced it Weber. Half asleep, I blurted out, “Veber.” Meiggs asked what and I explained Weber was German from the 1800s, so it was pronounced Veber, not Weber. At the end of the course, I was told I had done A+ work (as usual), but since I didn’t have as much to learn as the other students, I was getting a B. A great business lesson on keeping your mouth shut. I accepted the B without protest. My lesson!
Thanks to Richard C. Kelleher, Marketing Sociologist
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Photo Credit: Mike Calloway
From my Christian faith
When I was first considering a name for an online marketing business, I knew that I wanted it to mean something special to me. With my Christian faith, I thought having the word “Trinity” would be perfect to be in the name since it represent a large portion of my life. The challenge was deciding what would compliment it. “Online Marketing” was simply too generic. It literally took me weeks to decide on a name. I decided to go with Trinity SEO Marketing, but after months of doing business, Trinity Digital Marketing came to mind. I knew that was the name as soon as it came to mind and this was before the phrase “Digital Marketing” started trending. So my advice to anyone considering choosing a business name is to be patient, creative, and choose words that have meaning to them.
Thanks to Mike Calloway, Trinity Digital Marketing
Photo Credit: Jaimie L. Adler-Palter
Reflecting both my skill set and a nickname
When I started my company in 2000..I wanted something that would include the PR services and event planning skills I had and planned to market, so I initially named it Full Marks, which is an English term for A+, which I thought was clever. No one really got it. About a year later I had created a niche for myself offering my skill set to the restaurant/chef/food industries and I changed it to Bayleaf Communications. Partly because my then boyfriend, now husband had nick-named me Bae (rhymes with Jai; short for Jaimie) and I thought aha! Bayleaves…goes with cooking…but I didn’t want to pigeon-hole myself so I added what proved to be an all-important tagline of “add a little spice to your company through public relations” making my services attractive to many industries. 13 years later, I still get compliments on it.
Thanks to Jaimie L. Adler-Palter, Bayleaf Communications, Inc.
Photo Credit: Mallary Tytel
From a set of guidelines for living
This began with research for a book on human systems dynamics. We recognized that individuals, organizations and communities can create change by simply seeing, understanding and influencing the patterns around them. Here is what we mean. Look around. When people interact at work or play, complex, sometimes chaotic patterns begin to emerge. As thoughtful, curious and deliberate individuals, people want to make sense of these patterns, particularly if they want to amplify and support the positive patterns or shift and dampen the negative patterns. Simple Rules, then, provide a straightforward and uncomplicated set of guidelines for living. They are comprised of what you believe and understand about yourself, specifically who you are, what is important to you, and how you want to connect with others. Simple rules are based on your values and help you set the conditions for shaping your preferred patterns. We believe that small actions can make a big difference and so we founded the Simple Rules Foundation. We provide training, workshops, coaching and planning to individuals, organizations and communities so they can create their own short list of simple rules, and use their influence to change the world. It’s as simple as that.
Thanks to Mallary Tytel, The Simple Rules Foundation
Related Post: How to Maintain Balance
Photo Credit: Dyan deNapoli
After working with penguins
My company name –The Penguin Lady – is based on my area of expertise, and it came to me instantly and very organically. After working as a Senior Penguin Aquarist at Boston’s New England Aquarium for nine years, I decided to leave the aquarium to write a book, and to start teaching children and adults about penguins. When I sat down to come up with a business name, I immediately wrote ‘THE PENGUIN LADY’ on a sheet of paper. It’s what aquarium visitors had often called me when they saw me chest-deep in the water surrounded by 70 penguins – and the nickname had stuck. I spent another hour dreaming up other potential names, but it was clear that my initial instinct was correct…and inspired. I didn’t realize it at the time, but I was creating my branding with that name. That was seven years ago and, to this day, people constantly tell me that they immediately think of me whenever they see anything with penguins.
Thanks to Dyan deNapoli, The Penguin Lady
Photo Credit: Nathan Fleet
From a guitar pick business card
I have been a guitar player for 25 years and have been working as a composer for Film and Television for about 12 years. One of my biggest problems early on was that I never carried business cards, but I always carried guitar picks. The pick that I have used for years is blue, which represents the thickness of 1mm. I eventually had my website printed on my guitar picks which at the time was just my name, nathanfleet.com. When it came time to name my company I wanted something personal but also something that tied into the music that I produce. While staring at my pick I thought Blue Pick Music. I knew that I would expand into film so I decided on Blue Pick Media.
Thanks to Nathan Fleet, Blue Pick Music
Photo Credit: Lynn Anne Miller
Product, price, plan and promotion
Like a lot of business owners, I initially chose to incorporate my surname in my business name. Miller Strategic Marketing LLC was a straightforward name: it described our business, and identified me as the company owner. Unfortunately, it was also a bit of a mouthful – too many syllables !Two years after launching, I changed the name to 4GreenPs. Now, when I meet a marketer, he or she almost always smiles and says, “What a great name!” 4GreenPs is a twist on the 4Ps of Marketing – the Marketing Mix of Product, Price, Place and Promotion – and also highlights our firm’s commitment to sustainability.
Thanks to Lynn Anne Miller, 4GreenPs
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Photo Credit: Toni Johnson
A love for Asian art and culture
Blue Silhouette Productions is the name of my event design and production company. As a youngster, I grew up in a house whose walls were filled with images and art finds that demonstrated my family’s love for Asian art and culture. That same love served as an influencing factor in creating the name of my new business. I knew I wanted to use a descriptive color as the initial wording for my business. My favorite color is blue so that worked perfectly since blue is generally associated with calmness, serenity, and control. I knew I would need to be calm, and stay focused to get my business off the ground. The second word silhouette was derived from my thoughts concerning a far eastern flower known as a lotus blossom. The lotus blossom’s home is in the eastern region of the world where it grows in dark, murky, waters until it germinates and continues to grow until just the right time. Then it emerges from its environment as this large, beautiful, elegant flower resting above its graceful leaves. In its natural, radiant, sun filled environment it forms a bold, but graceful “silhouette” above the waters for all to see and admire. Blue Silhouette Production’s transformation, like that of the lotus blossom, from humble beginnings to a well known and recognized event production company tells the tale of something always evolving so as to “create event realities beyond its client’s expectations.”
Thanks to Toni Johnson, Blue Silhouette Productions
Photo Credit: Scott Swanay
Leading and guiding people
My business is called Sherpa Social Media. The idea for the Sherpa name came from a tour my college singing group went on. We were traveling in Western Europe for a month, and there were 60 of us, so making sure that everyone got to the right place at the right time was a logistical challenge. Our group’s manager divided us into three groups of 20 for attendance purposes – each group was called a “pod”, and the leader of each “pod” was given the title of “sherpa”. Twenty-plus years later when I was coming up with a name for my company, I asked myself, “What am I trying to do? I’m trying to lead people, to guide them, and get them to where they want to go – I know, I’m a sherpa!”
Thanks to Scott Swanay, Sherpa Social Media
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Photo Credit: Pat Obuchowski
Having vision in the name
inVisionaria is my company name. When I began my company in 2002, a coaching and consulting business, I had brainstormed over 200 names, all of which had the word coaching or consulting in the name. My graphic designer said “If you have what you do in your company name, that will restrict you to do that.” So, she asked what I was about. I said “I am all about helping people find their vision.” Great, then vision needs to be in the name. Next question she asked: “What is it about vision that you do?” I thought vision is nice, but sometimes we don’t move on it, so you always have to be ‘in’ your vision every single day doing something to move yourself toward making your vision a reality. Good. inVision. And what do you have to offer your client. I help them find their voice and use it. Hence, ‘aria.’ Music created for a single voice…with accompaniment. As a coach, I am their accompaniment. inVisionaira. Perfect.
Thanks to Pat Obuchowski, inVisionaira
Photo Credit: Darin Lynch
A lot of time to think
Before staring and naming my company “Irish Titan,” I had a little bit of time to think about it while finishing up my MBA, which allowed me to make sure that I really got it right. So I identified 3 criteria that were important to me: 1) First and foremost, I wanted a name that wouldn’t box us in and limit our offering. At the time, I was going to pursue fitness technology concept, which is nothing like what we’re doing now. If I had named us Fitness Technology, Inc., we wouldn’t have been as flexible with our growth as we have been. 2) Secondly, the name needed to be catchy without sounding like it was trying to hard. We run into a lot of “forced fun/cool/trying to hard” named in the technology and web design and development space. 3) Finally, and maybe most importantly, I was hesitant to hang my name on the shingle. Some people are hesitant to do that because they’re self conscious about it, feeling that it is a tad arrogant or boastful. There was an element of that concern in my reasoning, but there was a larger, maybe more noble reason. And that was because, from the beginning, I wanted to build a company bigger and better than myself, that would allow me to grow with the company and be challenged. And allow the company to live on beyond me, if I became the limiting factor. So with those 3 criteria in mind, I noodled around on different names for months, with none of them quite right. Then, one day when I was playing basketball at lunch, the name “Irish Titan” just came to me. I ran off the court to write it down, checked the domain and corporate entity as soon as I got back to my desk, both of which were available. The rest is history, plus it allows us to use St. Patrick’s Day, and the day after, as company holidays.
Thanks to Darin Lynch, Irish Titan
Photo Credit: Michael Larsen
Using a common phrase with our key benefit
Starting a job search engine in a highly competitive and established market was never going to be easy, so I needed to be able to communicate our key benefit and differentiators in a single word or phrase that would resonate with people and be both catchy and memorable. I chose ‘InsideTrak’ as the phrase is commonly used to describe getting an almost unfair advantage and shortened ‘track’ to ‘trak’ in order to provide a more contemporary edge (plus the web address was available). Our website gives people access to anonymous reviews from the employee perspective about companies where they’re considering submitting a job application, so getting the inside word gives them the advantage by finding our what it’s really like to work there. Voila!
Thanks to Michael Larsen, InsideTrak
Photo Credit: Steve Mehr
Helping clients reach the top of the food chain
When I started my attorney marketing business, I wanted a name to reflect the spirit of our endeavor. We chose WebShark360 to reflect our core values and mission. We see ourselves as predators, at the top of the food chain. We wanted our clients to feel that sense that when they work with us, they too can achieve predator status and find themselves at the top of the food chain. We added the 360 onto it because we are a comprehensive attorney marketing firm. Our services are multidimensional and we wanted the name to reflect this about us. WebShark360 essentially communicates to customers that we are leading internet marketers with comprehensive solutions for hire. We seek to live that brand every day.
Thanks to Steve Mehr, WebShark360
Related Post: Overcoming the fear of failure
Photo Credit: Holly J. Kile
Simply using my initials
My “main” company name is pretty much a no-brainer: HJK Digital Solutions. My initials are HJK and I work primarily in the digital space and what I offer are solutions. See? No brainer. It’s one of my divisions that usually causes people to ask, “How did you come up with that name?” I’m talking about Pixie Dust Marketing. I’ve been a fan of the children’s story, Peter Pan, for as long as I can remember and Tinkerbell is my all-time favorite fictional character. In the story, Peter tells Wendy that to fly, she really only needs three things: faith, trust, and pixie dust. In my work with entrepreneurs, I discovered that they often had faith that their business would be a success and they had trust in those around them yet they still floundered. One day, it simply dawned on me that maybe all they needed was a little Pixie Dust and they could fly. So, Pixie Dust Marketing was born!
Thanks to Holly J. Kile, HJK Digital Solutions
Photo Credit: Rameet Chawla
Picking a name that we all really loved
We are Fueled, a mobile app design and development company. Here is our story, We did a joint venture with one of our former clients, actually. At the time, we were known as ColaApps, which is a terrible name and always just sounds like “collapse” when you’re saying it aloud. We worked with some developers in Chicago under the name Fueled. They didn’t have any branding, but we just really loved the name. And so we started playing around with it in our heads and throwing some random designs together. And they were looking really hot! So we talked to them about joining forces and we settled on a joint venture. We went all out on creating a brand identity behind the name, which is where our red square logo and the pump emblem come from.
Thanks to Rameet Chawla, Fueled