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How Did You Come Up With Your Business Name?

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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: Mohamed Hage

Photo Credit: Mohamed Hage

Named for the Loofah plant

Lufa Farms (aka Fermes Lufa) in Montreal got its name from the prolific loofah (lufa in Arabic) plant that grows everywhere in Lebanon, where I grew up. When it came time to name my 31,000-square-foot hydroponic greenhouse on a roof in the city, I thought of the loofah, which adapts well and flourishes even in poor soil. Most people in North America know the loofah because its often used as a luxury bath “sponge.” But loofah bears lovely yellow blossoms and fruit similar to a zucchini, and eaten when it is small and tender. It’s the overgrown, dry plants that are peeled and used for washing, or turned into other products.

Thanks to Mohamed Hage, Lufa Farms/Fermes Lufa

 

Photo Credit: Omékongo Dibinga

Photo Credit: Omékongo Dibinga

Being an Upstander

An upstander is defined as someone who sees an injustice and decides to stand up against it. Nelson Mandela, Mother Teresa, and Dr. King would be examples of an upstander. I work across the globe with change makers or people who need to be inspired to believe that they can make change too. The goal of my business is build a global community of upstanders, thus the name of my company is UPstander International.

Thanks to Omékongo Dibinga, UPstander

 

Photo Credit: Jim Lange

Photo Credit: Jim Lange

Having the height of Five Feet Twenty

I am 6′ 8″ tall and a former basketball player. I am constantly asked how tall I am and I respond by telling people that, “I am Five Feet Twenty.” Though this is true it typically throws people for a loop. I’ve actually had people say to me, “No way! I thought for sure you were over six feet.” I simply respond, “Nope, I’m 5′ 20″.” As a result of this, I decided to name my company Five Feet Twenty. I am an author who writes books and magazines about life lessons from a Christian perspective. My monthly magazine is called, Five Feet Twenty, Life Lessons from Above (you can receive this for free at 5feet20.com). I also lead monthly roundtable groups of Christian business leaders in which each group acts like a board of advisers to one another in helping and challenging them to grow their business in a God-honoring way while at the same time helping them to grow personally and spiritually.

Thanks to Jim Lange, Five Feet Twenty

Related Post: The Effect of Religion on Your Business

 

Photo Credit: Mick Malaney

Photo Credit: Mick Malaney

Named for our big hairy dog, Molly

In the winter of 1992, Jim Greenblatt, a former owner of an 11-store Big and Tall chain based in Portland, Oregon paid us a visit. Over the years Jim had evolved from a client to a family friend. While visiting our home Jim was greeted at the door by our Old English Sheepdog. Molly was 120 lbs. of fur, paws and saliva. Like Dino from the Flintstones cartoon, Molly greeted Jim with a full-on tackle. From buried underneath this enormous dog could be heard the immortal plea, “Get this big hairy dog off me!!” All I heard was, “big hairy dog.” I looked at Molly and at that moment everything made sense. Obviously, it didn’t make sense to anyone else but from that day forward we have called our company Big Hairy Dog. We threw the ‘Information Systems’ on the ‘tail’ end to satisfy the techies and lawyers, but customers know us as Big Hairy Dog.

Thanks to Mick Malaney, Big Hairy Dog Information Systems

 

Photo Credit: Laura Roeder

Photo Credit: Laura Roeder

Got the name from a Twitter handle

When I started my business I just branded as my name, Laura Roeder. But as the business grew beyond me it made sense to shift the name beyond me as well. Although we wanted a larger brand, we still wanted to keep the personal touch. I’m the front-woman for my business and my personal connection with our customers is a key aspect of our marketing. I was an early adopter to Twitter, so I was able to snag a 3-letter twitter handle: my initials, LKR. Because I’ve done so much of my marketing via facebook and twitter, the name kind of stuck – people often refer to me just as “LKR”. So when we were looking for a larger brand, it seemed like a no-brainer. Using LKR references our social media roots which is perfect for my company – we teach small businesses how to create their own social media marketing campaigns.

Thanks to Laura Roeder, LKR

Related Post: How to Have Success with Social Media

 

Photo Credit: Samantha Camp

Photo Credit: Samantha Camp

Borrowing the name from a friend

We actually got the name of our business from a friend. My friend created a label for me back when I would make handmade jams as Christmas gifts for others as a Christmas gift for me. Pip and Lola are the nicknames of my youngest kids and she just thought they sounded great together. When we decided to go into a handmade soap business, using Pip & Lola’s Everything Homemade just made sense. I contacted her and asked her permission before we started though to make sure she was okay with us using the name she created.

Thanks to Samantha Camp, Pip & Lola’s Everything Homemade

 

Photo Credit: Luigi Diotaiuti

Photo Credit: Luigi Diotaiuti

A name reflecting great food and a great time

I wanted to open my own restaurant that would reflect my Italian heritage and playful personality–a restaurant that was warm, cozy, and joyful. I wanted people to have great food AND a great time. I came up with the name Al Tiramisu (translation ‘cheer me up’) and a Jester logo to match that theme. Also, Americans 17 years ago when I was about to open the restaurant knew what tiramisu was, and I knew putting an “a” in front of it would put the restaurant at the beginning of alphabetical listings.

Thanks to Luigi Diotaiuti, Al Tiramisu

 

 Credit: Stacy Erickson

Photo Credit: Stacy Erickson

Home is an inspiring word

I am a Professional Organizer and Owner of Home Key Organization. I like to joke about how I got my business name. I got a tattoo a couple of years ago on my inner arm–a skeleton key with the word “home” splayed across the bottom, to celebrate buying my first home. When naming my business, I was thinking of what words I loved (home!) and looked down at my arm. I said “Hmm. Home. Key. Home Key.” and that was that. Now, when people ask, I just tell people “I just looked down at my arm and there it was! I didn’t even have to be creative!” Maybe a silly story, but unique. I do think HOME is one of the most inspiring things.

Thanks to Stacy Erickson, Home Key Organization

Related Post: Entrepreneurs Reveal Who They Look Up To

 

Photo Credit: Tia Jones

Photo Credit: Tia Jones

Making it easy to find and books tours

After years of working in the travel industry, I wanted to integrate my years of marketing experience with my passion for travel and create something I really believe in. I wanted to create an online tour agency where travelers can choose a tour package based on activities & interests. Travelers can now “FIND” & “BOOK” a tour “By Type” with just a few clicks. From Beer & Bar tours to Historical & Religious tour activities & more! Therefore, our name became Find.Book.Tour.

Thanks to Tia Jones, Find.Book.Tour

 

Photo Credit: Jeffrey Hansen

Photo Credit: Jeffrey Hansen

Using a Latin word to reflect our purpose

My consulting firm is primarily focused on improving cash flow for businesses. I wanted a name that reflected this, and sought out various names that meant “money” in some form. After going through countless ones that were taken, I arrived at “numus”, which is Latin for “coin”. I liked the word, couldn’t find anyone else using it, and the domain was available. Thus, “Numus Consulting” was born.

Thanks to Jeffrey Hansen, Numus Consulting

 

Photo Credit: John Harmata

Photo Credit: John Harmata

Named for Pinocchio’s father, Geppetto

While sitting at dinner with a friend of mine one day I said to him, “I need to give my business a new identity and name”. Without hesitation he said, ‘Geppetto’s”. I asked him why and he had asked me if I knew who Geppetto was, at which I replied of course, he was Pinocchio’s farther who was a wood cobbler. He replied, correct and you are as skate cobbler. Hence the new identity was born and it has served me well over the years. Not only has the name served me well, but also our mascot, Mr. Edge.

Thanks to John Harmata, Geppetto’s Skate Shop

 

Photo Credit: Caroline Fielding

Photo Credit: Caroline Fielding

Named for my three grandsons

I am an entrepreneur who started my own business a little over one year ago. I came up with my company name, Dryven, Inc., from a combination of the names of the three grandsons of the family: Dean, Bryan and Steven. Pronounced “driven” it is meant to be a symbol of how I drive to succeed every single day, and it was pure coincidence that the three grandsons’ names made this name work. It’s like it was meant to be. I doodled on a notepad one night, trying to think up a fitting name for my company, and within one hour, came up with Dryven, Inc.

Thanks to Caroline Fielding, Dryven, Inc.

 

Photo Credit: Janice Hermsen

Photo Credit: Janice Hermsen

The name was in our blood

You might say it’s in our blood. There are several creative types in our family and everyone expresses themselves in different ways. Art, music, writing… We wanted to harness this energy and formed a publishing company in 2000 called “Publishing from the Heart” because this is our passion and we really do publish “from the heart”! In 2006, we knew it was time to rebrand ourselves. We had decided to refocus the company. We still wanted to maintain the same principles and ideas from the original company, so we put on our thinking caps. Well, it soon became clear – as we thought about our family origins and the family focus of our company. In 1971, our Dad retired early due to physical limitations. He had worked 12 hours a day so retirement didn’t come easy. He needed to do something constructive, interesting, and income producing. He told our Mom he didn’t have anything he could do…but Mom, being who she is, said, “You don’t know what you can do until you try!” Dad bought a printing press and supplied the local community with always needed printed napkins, match books, and business cards (remember, this was 1971 before personal computers were in every household). What did he call his company? LeRue Enterprises. “Le” for Leonard and “Rue” for Mom, Ruby. Our problem was solved; we had a new company name “LeRue Press, LLC”, directly from the family.

Thanks to Janice Hermsen, LeRue Press

 

Photo Credit: Brennen Byrne

Photo Credit: Brennen Byrne

The ‘hidden’ meaning of a word

Clef is working on replacing usernames and passwords on the internet with your smartphone—your smartphone becomes the key to your online identity. You’ve probably heard the word clef in the musical context of treble clef or bass clef, but it is actually the french word for “key”, written to indicate the pitch of the notes. I was having a conversation with this musician friend, talking about the option of learning Spanish or French in most high school contexts, and why French was more broadly offered than something like Mandarin. She made the point that French has had a large influence on English, and that some of the value was similar to studying another influencer like Latin, in that it helped us understand the roots of words we use every day, like clef. I was stunned that the word actually had that “hidden” meaning, and the idea stuck with me. There was something beautiful about the metaphor of unlocking music, and when we had the conversation about picking a name for Clef, there was no question in my mind that we wanted to be called anything else.

Thanks to Brennen Byrne, Clef

 

Photo Credit: Patricia Maisano

Photo Credit: Patricia Maisano

Picking some powerful letters

When I developed our advocacy and guardianship firm, I realized that we would be working with people from all walks of life, but that they would have one thing in common – they would all be vulnerable in some respect. So the thought came to me that I wanted our company name to sound powerful, like the big kid in the class who stands up for the littlest kid. I spoke with marketing professionals and were told that there were certain letters that were marketing “hot” letters, and designed our company name, IKOR, out of these power letters. When I worked on designing our logo I again wanted to communicate that our company is here to provide protection and to stand up for our vulnerable clients. Thus, we incorporated into the ‘K’ of our name a unique outstretched, embracing arms graphic.

Thanks to Patricia Maisano, IKOR

 

Photo Credit: Syazrina Ismail

Photo Credit: Syazrina Ismail

Named for the jumping baby in my life

I came up with my business name, JumpSacBaby, when I was observing my eldest child’s behaviour when he was a baby. I bought a basic baby sling just to try it out, in case it could help him cope with his colic. He was immediately calmed and could nap for hours, because in the sling he’d be sitting upright, which is the position that a colicky baby prefers to be in. Thrilled, I immediately work on improving the product (add padding for comfort, experiment with wider, sturdy and breathable fabric, use better hardwares, etc) and once I got it right, I went on to start my baby slings and carriers business. While my son was is the sling, I saw that he would bounce/jump up and down happily. So, that’s where the word “Jump” came from. And the sling is also called a sack. Removing the letter “k”, that’s where the word “Sac” came from. And then I add the word “Baby” to give the audience an idea that it is a baby-related product. Hence, JumpSacBaby is born! I seriously didn’t see that the name was manifesting itself in such way! I thought that the name is neat and unique. Very happy.

Thanks to Syazrina Ismail, JumpSacBaby

 

Photo Credit: Justin Nepola

Photo Credit: Justin Nepola

A name for continued improvement

Kaizen Beauty Academy was not the original name of the school. When it was opened it was called Venus Beauty Institute but when we purchased the business the first thing we wanted to do was change the name. First we wanted to change from a beauty institute to a Beauty Academy. Academy has a much more prestigious feel to it and it conveys the idea of education. Institute is very clinical and does not automatically mean school or education. The name Kaizen is Japanese for continued improvement and to us that is the very foundation for both beauty and education. Everyday getting just a little better than you were the day before.

Thanks to Justin Nepola, Kaizen Beauty Academy

 

Photo Credit: Jochen (Joe) Krebs

Photo Credit: Jochen (Joe) Krebs

Using wordplay for the name

Incrementor is a word-play between Increment (progress) and mentor (knowledge transfer). It symbolizes very well what services my company is providing to clients when we teach and consult enterprises. We transition clients to a more productive and effective project management approach ; called ‘Agile’. The light bulb went off when I saw the overlap of ‘ment’ when I saw the two critical words next to each other. Wordplays, help clients memorize your service while they are saying your company name. In addition, the logo should continue to carry that metaphor.

Thanks to Jochen (Joe) Krebs, Incrementor

 

Photo Credit: Sarah Plasky

Photo Credit: Sarah Plasky

Motivation through hydration

Several years ago, my husband Marc entered the Highlander Cycle Tour, a grueling bike ride in the Finger Lakes region of New York. After surveying the course, I purchased an ordinary water bottle, removed the printed manufacturer logo and used paint markers to write motivational messages. Marc loved the water bottle, calling it “motivation through hydration.” The catchphrase inspired us to start our own company called “Aquavation,” with me as CEO and Marc as CFO. Now the name also references our innovation in building a sustainable, customizable water bottle; developing proprietary 3-D software on our site, Aquavation.org, to guide our customers in creating their bottles; and launching a groundbreaking “co-marketing” process to help our non-profit partners raise funds and heighten exposure. Each charity partner selected as part of a customer’s bottle design receives 20% of the bottle’s $20 purchase price, with an additional 1% supporting Filterpure Filters, which works to provide clean water in Haiti.

Thanks to Sarah Plasky, Aquavation

 

Photo Credit: Heidi Lamar

Photo Credit: Heidi Lamar

A name that appeals to both sides

In hindsight, given my lisp, I probably shouldn’t have purchased the Stress Less Step Spa. If I didn’t want callers mistaking me for Thylvesther the Cat every time I answered the phone, my spa was going to need a new name. There are basically two types of spa goers: plush-luxe divas and wellness women. Its pretty hard to find a name that appeals to both camps. I needed a name that was compelling but spa-camp neutral. One of my friends suggested that I consider using my last name, Lamar, since we the spa has an island vibe and Lamar basically means “the sea” in quite a few languages. That was almost ten years ago and today, Spa Lamar has become the largest privately owned resort-style spas in Scottsdale. And when I answer the phone, no one laughs!

Thanks to Heidi Lamar, SpaLamar

Related Post: Best Personality for an Entrepreneur

About Gresham Harkless Jr.

Gresham Harkless is a Media Consultant for Blue 16 Media and 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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