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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: Evan Nierman

Photo Credit: Evan Nierman

A strong tree for a strong company

When launching a public relations firm in 2010 I wanted to make sure that the name itself was as strategic as the communications counsel that we provide to clients. I settled upon Red Banyan Group because I felt that the banyan tree, with its deep, visible roots and intertwined limbs, provided a fitting metaphor for the multi-faceted communications plans that we develop and execute. Like the banyan tree, our firm establishes strong footholds, tightly weaving together various branches to form a solid base. Red Banyan Group was also a top choice because I was seeking a name that would be easily reflected visually. That way anyone who happened to view our corporate logo (it’s obviously a red banyan) would instantly associate “red” and “banyan,” two words that never before went together. Another reason I loved the name was that I knew from research that search engine traffic around the term “red banyan” was almost non-existent, which would enable us to create a robust presence online and all but guarantee that our company would be easily found.

Thanks to Evan Nierman, Red Banyan Group

Related Post: How to Close a Big Sale

Photo Credit: Karina Dise

Photo Credit: Karina Dise

A mission to help

Afrique means Africa in French, it also stands for : Arts and Crafts Finding Reasons In girls and women on a Quest to be United for Empowerment. After traveling to Africa, Europe and the United States and observing how poverty affects women. Afri(K)que was born in 2012. Some of the women participants have artistic talents (sewing, weaving fans, painting and making handmade jewelry) but they still aren’t able to afford a decent meal for themselves or their families.It makes a lot of sense to have a company that presents these artworks to the world and at the same time support the communities where we work. At this time, we are supporting women who know how to sew batik clothing in Togo(West Africa) and donating handmade necklaces and bracelets to homeless girls in Springfield, MA. We believe in fighting against hunger and poverty in the world by changing the life of one woman at a time. Supporting a woman is supporting a whole community! That’s what Afri(K)que is all about.

Thanks to Karina Dise, Afri(K)que

 

Photo Credit: Whitney Johnson

Photo Credit: Whitney Johnson

A long, intense brainstorming session

Our name was born after a long, intense brainstorming session. We knew we wanted a unique name that had meaning behind it. We started whiteboarding everything that came to mind, from what we did, to our values, to what we associated with. Our company’s vision is to continuously bring new web-based product ideas to reality by partnering with the brightest entrepreneurs. After thousands of words that had no ring to it or the domain was taken, we landed on the perfect word: Prodality. It’s a combination of ‘product’ and ‘reality’ and encompasses all that we stand for.

Thanks to Whitney Johnson, Prodality LLC

 

Photo Credit: Barbara Austin

Photo Credit: Barbara Austin

Entertaining fantasies of writing a book

I was entertaining fantasies of someday writing a book about my entrepreneurial journey, and I thought the title would begin with the words “Sweet Dreams”, since those words describe the way I think of my ambitions. Some days later, I was trying to decide on a name, and suddenly those words came to mind, and I though “That’s it!”. The resulting name – Sweet Dreamz Design – fits perfectly with the dreams that both I and my ideal clients have for our businesses, and it doesn’t get any better than that!

Thanks to Barbara Austin, Sweet Dreamz Design

 

Photo Credit: Greg Kolenovsky

Photo Credit: Greg Kolenovsky

A name with different meanings

This is one of the first questions we got (and still get) from clients and colleagues about Trigon Associates, LLC (Trigon). The selection of our business name ended up being a fairly straightforward process amongst the four (4) founding partners, but before even considering any business names, the first thing we established were guiding principles on which this company would be based. The founding partners had worked closely together for many years at a large company before starting Trigon, and it had always been extremely important to us all to provide high-quality services for our clients and to conduct ourselves with the highest levels of professionalism and integrity. To this end, we founded Trigon based on three (3) principles – Quality, Commitment and Client Service – that serve to guide us in our ongoing business planning, decision making, staff recruiting, training and mentoring, day-to-day operations and serving our clients and communities. Once we had established these three (3) guiding principles, we wanted a name that primarily reflected these guiding principles, not necessarily the four (4) founding partners, as this company is about much more than just the partners. The word “Trigon” has several different meanings, but two particular definitions were used in selecting the name for our company: (1) a three-sided polygon, triangle; and (2) in astrology, one of four groups of the zodiac where each group consists of three signs separated from each other by 120 degrees. First and foremost, the three sides of a trigon are intended to always remind us of the three guiding principles on which we founded the company – Quality, Commitment and Client Service. To a much lesser extent, the four astrological groups, or trigons, are representative of the four founding members of the company.

Thanks to Greg Kolenovsky, Trigon Associates, LLC

Related Post: Winning at Customer Service

Photo Credit: Monisha Kapila

Photo Credit: Monisha Kapila

Combining two words to fit the purpose

At ProInspire, we recruit young business professionals to transition to careers in the nonprofit sector. When I launched the organization in 2009, I used a crowdsourcing website called namethis.com to ask people I knew for name ideas. Their suggestions led me to the word Inspire, but I felt like we needed something more to describe our mission. I hired a marketing consultant to brainstorm names, and together we came up with ProInspire. Through the ProInspire Fellowship program, we connect talented young professionals with inspiring work, so I thought it made sense to combine the words Pro and Inspire to create a name that represents what we do. We believe very strongly in building the next generation of nonprofit leaders, and we are honored to help so many motivated young professionals achieve their potential for social impact.

Thanks to Monisha Kapila, ProInspire

 

Photo Credit: Lori Bredemeier

Photo Credit: Lori Bredemeier

Taking after a nickname

Growing up I was always creating little side businesses. I would put my toys in my radio flyer and stand at the end of my street selling them. I even created my own perfume (made of water and flowers) that doubled as a bug killer and sold it to neighborhood kids for $.05. When I grew up, I knew I wanted my own business, I just didn’t know what kind of business that would be. I prayed for guidance on what direction to take this dream and it wasn’t until my husband and I had our first child that we knew where to take the dream. It became clear that we needed to stick with products for infants and toddlers. We make teething toys called AppeteethersTM that look like real food. The name of our business is Little Toader. Where did the name come from? As a child, my nickname was Toader. My Grandpa still called me Toader in my 30’s. When we had our first little one, we called her Little Toader, hence the name of our business.

Thanks to Lori Bredemeier, LittleToader

Related Post: Best Interview Questions

Photo Credit: Robert Fukui

Photo Credit: Robert Fukui

Process of elimination

The way I came up with my business name was with a little brainstorming and to see if the domain name was available. So, first I brainstormed my name based on what type of message I wanted to convey. When I came up with a potential name, I would check to see if the domain was available. The reason I did that was that it would be easier for my customers to type in the search box and it would rank higher among other businesses that had the same name. Also, I was planning to trademark the name at some point and with the domain name, I would stand a better chance of securing the trademark even though other businesses with the same name were in existence before me. In the end, process of elimination and input from friends led to my business name.

Thanks to Robert Fukui, High Point Marketing

 

Photo Credit: Samson Wan

Photo Credit: Samson Wang

Inspired by an international historical reference

“The name is inspired by an international historical reference in combination with something closer to home.” Runnymede is the famous historical site that witnessed, in 1215, King John’s sealing of the Magna Carta, a symbol of freedom from oppression and the cornerstone of liberty in the English-speaking world. The ideals of protecting natural rights of liberty and property are a good fit to the money management business where trust and integrity is paramount. There is another, lesser known, explanation behind the firm’s moniker too. “I like that in addition to the historical significance of Runnymede, there is a personal connection because our family home of more than 40 years is located on Runnymede Road. A business is deeply personal, a reflection of its employees’ personalities, and we strive to make our company a safe and welcoming place for all of our clients – just like home.”

Thanks to Samson Wang, Runnymede Capital Management, Inc.

 

Photo Credit: Meghan Reynolds and Jessica Green

Photo Credit: Meghan Reynolds and Jessica Green

Born on a hot and humid run

The name for our run coaching company, Hot Bird Running, was born on a hot and humid 20-mile run in Brooklyn, NY. Jessica Green and I were both training for fall marathons and passed the time on our long runs plotting out our run coaching business. It was along Vanderbilt Avenue one early Saturday morning, both of us were beat up and weary after running 15 miles in the scorching sun, when we saw it – the Hot Bird mirage – the bright yellow advertisement pained on the side of the building that said “Hot Bird, New York’s Best Chicken & Ribs 4 Blocks Back.” (The ad was for a BBQ joint that closed back in the early 1990s.) It provided endless conversation and stories and became a marker or goal in our future runs: get to the Hot Bird sign and we’ll get water, get to Hot Bird and we only have 3 miles left, etc. The Hot Bird sign pushed us through our long runs and helped us accomplish both of our marathon goal times. It only seemed natural to name our run coaching business, in which we are dedicated to helping people achieve their running and fitness goals, in honor of the sign that helped us achieve ours – the Hot Bird Bar-B-Q advertisement!

Thanks to Meghan Reynolds and Jessica Green, Hot Bird Running, LLC

 

Photo Credit: Will Powley

Photo Credit: Will Powley

A play on a given surname

Mad*Pow is a play on my surname given to me by a friend that I used to work with at a brand development agency in the late 90’s. During that time there was a large, UK-based outbreak of mad cow disease and it was all over the International news media. Thanks to the sensationalism, the public was aware that the disease made cows act strangely, or even just plain crazy. One day, during a pretty intense design collaboration, the team could not build consensus around a decision and the atmosphere was getting pretty heated. In my frustration, I banged hard on the conference table to get everyone’s attention and quiet the room. But before I could make my point, my friend started laughing. I asked “what’s so funny?” His response, “dude…you don’t have mad cow disease, you have mad pow disease.” That nickname certainly sums up what Mad*Pow is all about – a passion for design so deep it is contagious among our clients–like Mad*Pow disease. So when it came time to name our design agency – it was a no brainer – it has impact and is memorable. Best of all, it begs the question “where did you come up with your agency name?” during client meetings and pitches. The answer always elicits a smile or laugh among the people that hear the story – and to me, that is one of the best ways to start a meeting.

Thanks to Will Powley, Mad*Pow

Related Post: Best Personalities for Entrepreneurs

Photo Credit: Cheryl Maurer

Photo Credit: Cheryl Maurer

In honor of my father

Everyone wants to know the reason I named my sparkle sugar cookie company, “2 Bubbies Cookies.” It is in honor of my father, Joseph J. Kessler Sr. After he passed away from gall bladder cancer in May 2010, I wanted to keep his memory alive, not only for me, but especially for my 2 young boys who loved him just as much as he adored them. My dad nicknamed my boys his “Bubbies,” and I have such fond memories of him shouting out, “Hey Bubbies!” when we would walk into his home. As soon as my boys would hear his voice, they’d run and jump into their Opa’s arms. I dedicate my company to this brilliant and talented man who encourage me to be the best I could be, and always believed I could do whatever I put my mind to. Special dedication also goes out to my mom who is and has always been my biggest supporter! I feel very blessed with the growth and success of my company so far, and I can almost hear my father shouting out now, “Hey, where are my 2 Bubbies cookies?”

Thanks to Cheryl Maurer, 2 Bubbies Cookies

 

Photo Credit: Joshua Weiss

Photo Credit: Joshua Weiss

From an ancient, mystical word

My name is Joshua Weiss, I am the CEO of TeliApp, a mobile application development firm. The “Teli” is an ancient mystical word that is connected to the constellation Draco and the path of the ecliptic that circles it. It has special meaning to me, as it represents connection, duality and togetherness. The second part of our company name, “App”, was a logical fit since creating mobile apps is what we do. TeliApp created a category of app that we call ‘enhanced social interaction’. With this category, we plan to not only create mobile applications that aid in performing jobs, tasks and functions, but rather to create apps that help people achieve their goals and dreams.

Thanks to Joshua Weiss, TeliApp Corporation

 

Photo Credit: Lam Woon Cherk

Photo Credit: Lam Woon Cherk

A classy and special name

When starting my online fashion shop business – Chi Chi Principle – I wanted something different in the market, a name that is classy and special enough for an online store. Since it’s a fashion store, I initially thought of Ribbons & Bows. But it quickly gets boring in my mind, and I figured that I should come out with a bigger name. Plus, as my online shop focuses only on female fashion, ‘bows’ doesn’t really fit into the context. So I searched around the internet for synonyms of fashion, and I come across this word – chichi – which according to a web dictionary means ‘affectedly trendy and fashionable’. I think this name is cool enough, and it’s something related to my business, yet it’s not any common word you can find people using. So I eventually name my business ‘Chi Chi Principle’.

Thanks to Lam Woon Cherk, Chi Chi Principle

 

Photo Credit: Laticia Gibson

Photo Credit: Laticia Gibson

A short history lesson

One of the first questions we are asked is, ‘what is blue clay?’ In Belgium during World War One, the 1st Australian Tunneling Company dug tunnels in order to lay mines and help the British troops advance. These tunnels were made in the layer of “blue clay” 25-30 metres below the soggy upper-level soil. Also, ‘Blue’ represents our corporate work while ‘Clay’ speaks of our creative side – we can mold anything from it!

Thanks to Laticia Gibson, Blue Clay Productions

 

Photo Credit: Eleni Mitakos

Photo Credit: Eleni Mitakos

A garage just for us gals

I have had a passion for driving and tinkering with cars, since buying my first vintage car as a teenager. That car was a 1956 Holden FE, which had neither side view mirrors, nor seat belts, but I thought it made me the coolest gal in town! So, in love with my first car and navy overalls on, I was eager to get my hands greasy! There’s the dipstick, I know what that does! But what does this thing do? And this one? And where do I go to find out? Now remember we are talking about a time way before the internet and there wasn’t a section in the Encyclopaedia (really big expensive reference books) titled ‘hot car tips for cool chicks’! So one evening whilst watching the movie Grease, wearing full skirts and with our Holden’s parked outside, my friend Kristy and I dreamt of a metaphysical garage just for the gals. Why this car is automatic, hydromatic, – it’s Galmatic! And 13 years later, with that dream still in mind, I left the corporate world behind and started Galmatic – an old fashioned service orientated car care garage – hands on, friendly and trustworthy. The push to brave the change was the hormones that kick in after child birth, reminding me that I was super talented (after all I had a little human to prove that) and the dream that there was more to life than working ‘for the man’ (sing Roy Orbison song here). So what’s under my bonnet? Well, some nuts and bolts, 25 years’ of driving both old and new cars, a lifetime of teaching and training and a desire to introduce other women to the fun and enjoyment of being car and road savvy.

Thanks to Eleni Mitakos, Galmatic Pty Ltd

 

Photo Credit: Hayley Blakiston

Photo Credit: Hayley Blakiston

Counting on our lucky numbers

Boutique 48 was established from a blossoming passion for all things beautiful. I opened the online store to bring customers a convenient one-stop-shop for all their fashion accessory and homewares desires! When it came to selecting a name for my store, I wanted something clearly identifiable as a Boutique, stumped for weeks I just could not get the right combination! Finally, in a random discussion with my partner about our lucky numbers it struck me, Boutique 48, 4 my lucky number and 8 his. Hopefully the numbers are lucky enough to strike this business venture successful.

Thanks to Hayley Blakiston, Boutique 48

 

Photo Credit: Megan Wisheart

Photo Credit: Megan Wisheart

A fun name that related to our product

We are a fashion jewellery business in Sydney and the majority of our jewellery is hand made in Australia using Australian Boulder Opals, semi precious stones and Swarovski crystals. Most of them are wrapped in copper wire and electroplated in rhodium, gunmetal or yellow or rose gold. We wanted a name for our business that would be very catchy, memorable and have a sense of fun as we do not manufacture high end jewellery. The name we came up with is Seriously Twisted Jewellery, as it relates straight back to the type of jewellery that we make but has a sense of fun about it.

Thanks to Megan Wisheart, Seriously Twister Jewellery

 

Photo Credit: Genie Pepper

Photo Credit: Genie Pepper

Connotations of sweetness

Together with my husband Shane we own Plum. Plum is a family owned business producing baby and children’s fashion business, we also do sleepwear, swimwear, baby sleep bags and accessories. The business has been in the family for 3 generations. Shane and I have taking over running the business. We wanted a name that was simple so it was easy for busy and tired parents and grandparents to be able to remember, something short and easy to pronounce and easy to spell. It needed to be cute, catchy as well as look good visually. Our old brand was Sunny Baby but we needed a new stronger name to take us into a new era. We chose Plum because has connotations of sweetness but was not too feminine and at he same time it is strong sounding name. Also we took into account the colour of Plums being purple and red which associated with excitement and energy. We do not remember who is was that come up with the name Plum. I think it was Shane… but a s soon as it was mentioned we love it and still do. We also have recently launched a newlabel and we have name it Precious. Precious label is designed for newborn babies (size 0000-0) it is more traditional with soft fabrics and soft colours. We chose the name Precious has the connotations of a cherished baby.

Thanks to Genie Pepper, Plum

 

Photo Credit: Vicky Linnett

Photo Credit: Vicky Linnett

An easy to remember name

As with most business start ups I went through a lot of names until I arrived at Flamecat and I’m often asked why I chose that one. My main criteria were that the name I chose had the .com domain available and that it was easy to remember and spell. I also didn’t want to limit my name to baby products to make room for future development. Enamel is glass fired onto metal so I went through variations of Firefly, Fired-up etc but everything was already taken. My brother suggested thinking outside the box and using unrelated words (after all, Google and Apple have little to do with what they produce!) he threw Flamecat in as an example. I pondered on the subject for several weeks but the only name I kept remembering was Flamecat. I figured that if I couldn’t forget it then hopefully no one else would! I often hear people at the market walking past, looking at my sign and muttering the name so hopefully it’s working! If they’re conf used by it, like to say it , look and point at it or ask why, then hopefully it goes in to the memory and sticks there!

Thanks to Vicky Linnett, Flamecat Enamel Keepsakes

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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