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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.

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Photo Credit: Agatha Ozhylovski

Photo Credit: Agatha Ozhylovski

Credit goes to the client

To be perfectly honest, I can’t take any credit for coming up with the company name because it was given to me by my clients accidentally. My name is Agatha Ozhylovski, I am the creative director of Agatha O House of Design. We are an interior design company based in Adelaide, South Australian. Our portfolio includes commercial and residential projects nationwide and overseas. When I first started in the industry my clients would struggle with my last name ‘Ozhylovski’ and would always say Agatha O… Agatha O… waiting for me to finish pronouncing it. After some time I thought it was rather catchy, Jackie O/Agatha O. It had a good ring to it, and most importantly the name Jackie O is assoc iated with quality, elegance and style. It complimented and underpinned in a subtle way the fundamental message I was trying to project.

Thanks to Agatha Ozhylovski, Agatha O House of Design

Related Post: Winning at Customer Service

 

Photo Credit: Lucy Foster

Photo Credit: Lucy Foster

A name by accident

We actually came across our name by accident! A little while ago I was buying and selling domain names, and I found ‘Swogo.com’. Five-letter .com domains are rare, so I bought it hoping that it might be worth something. We had a different ‘working title’, as such, for our business, but we were beginning to see that it just didn’t work. We wanted a name that was catchy, short, and that didn’t have a specific meaning – that way it could grow as our business did. Suddenly Swogo.com seemed like a perfect fit. As a startup our business is flexible and constantly adapting, and now we have the right name to stay with us as we develop.

Thanks to Lucy Foster, Swogo

 

Photo Credit: Kyle S. Reyes

Photo Credit: Kyle S. Reyes

A reflection of what we do

I work with small businesses to manage their marketing, public relations and digital reputations. By hiring our company, businesses get the equivalent of a full-time employee….without having the expensive overhead of insurance, benefits and taxes that a traditional hire results in. The name The Silent Partner stems from how we operate. All press releases, responses to positive and negative reviews, emails and marketing initiatives go out under the guise of the business owner. Hence….the name The Silent Partner. We act as a Silent Partner, doing all of the work while businesses reap the rewards and the perception of an incredibly high level of “personal” interaction with the owner. This has proven to be extremely beneficial to small businesses – specifically restaurants.

Thanks to Kyle S. Reyes, The Silent Partner

 

Photo Credit: Chris Kirk

Photo Credit: Chris Kirk

A name to match the company

We sell high-quality personal and light-duty business aircraft. Our field is full of companies, from the one-man-band to well established firms with 8-digit revenues, that use personal or geographic names. Names like (Pick your city or region) Aircraft Sales, or (Insert Your Name Here) Aviation. I’ve always felt that those types of naming strategies are forgettable or simply serve the owner’s ego by putting his/her name in lights. After all, when everyone uses this convention, how memorable is Bob’s Aircraft Sales or Southern Aviation? Being an Air Force veteran I found myself singing the Air Force Song in the shower one morning (seriously). For those who don’t know the lyrics, the first line is “Off we go into the Wild Blue yonder, flying high into the sun.” That’s when it hit me that “WildBlue” would be a great name for an aviation business. It’s a name that is both memorable and evokes aviation images in the minds of aircraft owners. It also doesn’t lend itself to begin easily copied. I began my search to see if the name was already in use and, finding that it wasn’t, quickly incorporated. Six years later we’ve found that the name serves us very well.

Thanks to Chris Kirk, WildBlue, LLC

 

Photo Credit: Todd Michael Cohan

Photo Credit: Todd Michael Cohan

Explaining what the company does

Current company name was created solely to explain exactly what the company does. Initially, it was named TextGuard but since the company has evolved into doing many more things, we have changed it to MobileGuard. MobileGuard ­ And came at an expensive price. Unlike days prior to the internet, business owners now have to confirm that the domain name (.com) is available or the other extensions are not as popular and doubt they will be unless you are a .org, (a real organization). Several companies with several different names over the past years, from starting with an A to be first in the Yellow Pages to using Tiffany to show status, to letters in my name, but the best one was needing to come up with a name in seconds, I took off my sunglasses and looked at the frames. Modo became the name of my construction company which eventually, (irrelevant of the name) started building Modular Homes a few years later.

Thanks to Todd Michael Cohan, MobileGuard

 

Photo Credit: Shelley Hunter

Photo Credit: Shelley Hunter

A name for a personal brand

Several years ago, I had a vision to be the consumer guide to gift cards. I knew that I possessed a unique affinity to this emerging multi-billion dollar industry, but wanted to share my thoughts and opinions from a consumer perspective. There are many companies who sell gift card products and services. The press, most often, only talks about these companies in a negative way (e.g. fraud, fees, breakage, etc.). But gift cards are the number one requested gift. So who is telling the positive side of the story? I decided it needed to be me. But I had a chicken-egg problem. I couldn’t establish myself as an expert on gift cards without sharing my expertise on gift cards. So I launched a website and a business to showcase my insight and advice on gift cards. The name needed to reflect my position (consumer-friendly, accessible advice) and be personal. I chose Gift Card Girlfriend. “Gift Cards” clearly states the subject. And “Girlfriend” establishes the tone.

Thanks to Shelley Hunter, Gift Card Girlfriend

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Photo Credit: Paul C. Burr

Photo Credit: Paul C. Burr

Named for the infamous hero

Written some 1500 years ago, by an anonymous bard, Beowulf tells the story of a gallant hero who travels north to Denmark to slay the swamp monster, Grendel. But he then has to tackle the source of the beast, Grendel’s mother. Armed with the finest sword, shield and armour, Beowulf descends into the dark waters of a lake, into the beast-mother’s lair. His weaponry proves powerless in the ensuing battle. It is not until Beowulf sheds his conventional weapons that he finds a sword of light to slay his foe. As he rises from the bottom of the lake to show the slain beast-mother’s head to his followers, the sword of light dissolves as it reaches the surface. The answer to our deepest problem is already within us to find but we must descend into the ‘abyss’ for ourselves to find it.

Thanks to Paul C Burr, Beowulf Consulting Ltd.

 

Photo Credit: Vicky Lynn

Photo Credit: Vicky Lynn

Listening to the questions from the community of survivors I serve

Unlimited Smileage was created by listening to the questions from the community of survivors I serve. When I set out on an experiment into kindness and a mission to be of service to cancer survivors and survivors of other challenges, I was asked two important questions. My travel was initially all done by bicycle from cancer center to cancer center around the nation, visiting, sharing my story and listening to the stories of other survivors. Things have grown and changed somewhat but the bicycle is still a big part of the mission so the name will never change. When contemplating a name I just wasn’t sure what I would do with a service oriented business that didn’t sell products and was kindness based. These questions came up over and over again. Just how many miles do you think you can ride the bike? What do you hope to accomplish on this trip? My answers would always be the same. I have no idea how many miles I will ride and if I do nothing but bring a smile to someone’s face, I will have accomplished what I set out to do. I would say that after answering those questions quite a few times, I had an aha moment and that is where Unlimited Smileage came from. I would ride an unlimited amount of miles, delivering smiles–it would be a mission of Unlimited Smileage.

Thanks to Vicky Lynn, Unlimited Smileage

 

Photo Credit: Matt Starosciak

Photo Credit: Matt Starosciak

Four goals in mind while choosing a name

I had four goals in mind when choosing my company name, realizing that it may not be possible to achieve them all. First, I wanted a name that made it clear what the company provided to clients. Second, I wanted something that was good for search engine rankings. Exact match domains (i.e. ones that include the searcher’s words) still have value in the rankings world. Third, words that imply good performance do affect potential clients, even if subconsciously. Think “Worthington,” or “Advantage,” or “Pure.” For attorneys, the word “Proven” has particular significance. Last, I needed to make certain that the most intuitive and closely matching domain names were available. I’m satisfied with Proven Law Marketing, and feel that I came pretty close to meeting each objective I set.

Thanks to Matt Starosciak, Proven Law Marketing

 

Photo Credit: Nancy Zwiers

Photo Credit: Nancy Zwiers

Helping explain our value to consumers

When I started my company in 2000, it was a vehicle for me to express my twin passions-to help people grow and have fun. I had created parenting products that would help parents avoid conflict with their kids and instead “use fun to get it done” as I had successfully done with my daughter. As a word lover, I wanted the perfect name-something unique and ownable that reflected what I wanted the company to stand for.so I made it up! My company name became “Funosophy, Inc.” which combined the word “fun” with the Greek root “sophy” meaning wisdom. My tagline helped explain our value to consumers: “The Wisdom of Fun.” Of course, I became the Chief Funosopher and I often introduced myself saying, “We believe in a funosophical approach to things!” which invariably generated an appreciative chuckle. Later, I shifted emphasis on consulting with other toy companies. I kept the same name, but I changed the tagline to read “Wisdom in the World of Fun” which reflected my value to clients in the toy industry.

Thanks to Nancy Zwiers, Funosophy, Inc.

 

Photo Credit: Gerald Nevins

Photo Credit: Gerald Nevins

Having a cool literary reference

We wanted have a cool literary reference and Ernest Hemingway used to work in KC, so we started there. We were starting a frozen cocktail lounge and The Snows of Kilimanjaro came to mind, so we were going to use Kilimanjaro Snow. A little testing of the name let us know that was way too long, so we cut it down to Snow. Hence, Snow & Co came into being. While we don’t have the Hemingway reference in our real name, the story always makes people sit up and take notice.

Thanks to Gerald Nevins, Snow & Co

 

Photo Credit: Jacqueline Simonds

Photo Credit: Jacqueline Simonds

A very barky beagle named Bertie

When we decided to launch our publishing company (which morphed into a distribution and publishing services company), we kept getting interrupted by our very barky beagle, Bertie. He also had this habit of running up when I answered the phone and barking (he apparently thought the call was for him). So we gave in to the inevitable and named the company Beagle Bay, Inc. Our logo designer thought it was fun to design the graphic with the beagle near a body of water. To this day, people think we live in Australia’s Beagle Bay. Bertie has since gone to the big-chew-toy-in-the-sky. We now have a rescue beagle, Lewis, who is less barky, but likes to help ship books.

Thanks to Jacqueline Simonds, Book Shepherd

 

Photo Credit: Bob Steinkamp

Photo Credit: Bob Steinkamp

Helping people understand what we do

In our case, we spent the first few years getting funny or quizzical looks from people when we told them the name of our firm. So, we changed it three years ago to the current one. Interestingly, most people don’t know what a marketing or PR firm actually does, but now when we tell them our name, they’re more likely to chime right in with a comment or question that suggests they have a general idea. Our current name was a matter of simplicity, and also of applying one of the basic principles of marketing: make it easy for people to understand what you do and how you’ll help them. As an example, “Joe’s Plumbing” isn’t the most exciting business name, but you immediately know what Joe does, and how he’ll help you. The name we chose when we started the firm eight years ago was interesting, but it was also long and clunky, and gave people no clue as to what we do. Our new name does a much better job of conveying what we do. The internet/digital age also played a role in our decision about our name. Most people who search for the services we provide will type “public relations” right into the search box. Having those words in our business name helps us rank higher in search results.

Thanks to Bob Steinkamp, Ithaca Public Relations

 

Photo Credit: Maggie Moore

Photo Credit: Maggie Moore

Maggie Moore

Named for my father

When a colleague and I decided to launch our business, we wanted the name of our new business to represent our families. We knew we wanted an online jewelry business and we decided to name our website www.deBebians.com, after my father. I always wanted to own my own jewelry business and when my father passed away when I was in high school, I knew then that I wanted to name my future company after him. My ancestors on my father’s side were silversmiths and jewelers and I always wanted to be involved in the world of fine jewelry. My great grandfather, Louis deBebian Moore, was President of Tiffany & Co from 1940-1956. It was only appropriate to name my jewelry company after my father, Louis deBebian Moore II, who sparked my interest in jewelry and diamonds at such a young age.

Thanks to Maggie Moore, deBebians

 

Photo Credit: Emily Fonda

Photo Credit: Emily Fonda

Thinking outside the box

Hello Ashley, The journey to selecting a name for my company, a public relations and communications firm was tricky. At first, I tried to spin my own name, Emily Fonda. EmPR, Empire PR, Fonda Media. But they were either taken, or similar to other companies already registered. So, as a creative spirit, I thought outside the box. One day while sipping on my go-to cocktail, a Pisco Sour, my mind began to wander. A Pisco Sour is a timeless cocktail, not too sweet and not too sour, just the right amount of pizzazz. And that’s exactly what I wanted my company name to represent. If not to the greater audience, at least for myself and for my clients when they enquire about the name. And from that, Pisco Media & Communications Group was born.

Thanks to Emily Fonda, Pisco Media

Related Post: Independent, Creative Talent on the Rise

 

Photo Credit: Casey Halloran

Photo Credit: Casey Halloran

Wanted customers to have zero questions about what we do

Picking a name for a business is never easy. We decided early on that we wanted customers to have zero questions about what we do, so we named ourselves after the precise thing that we offer “Costa Rican Vacations”. This was also part of a search engine strategy in that by naming our company after the key phrase we most desired, it gave us a far better shot at ranking. It turned out that was an unexpectedly smart decision as it has helped us remain atop the search engines for that phrase for over a decade. The challenge as we’ve expanded to other countries was whether to stick with one name per country (a “house of brands” approach) or change our name to one umbrella company that offers all destinations. We’ve chosen to go with the former, so in each country we operate we’ve promoted a brand specific to that region. We have stuck with this “we’re local” approach as a means of competing against goliaths that offer anything and everything.

Thanks to Casey Halloran, Costa Rican Vacations

 

Photo Credit: Judy Orcutt

Photo Credit: Judy Orcutt

A name to express what I did

I wanted a company name that expressed what I do which is calligraphy and graphic design. So I came up with the name QuilliGraphy. I arrived at this because of quills being a recognizable writing instrument and felt it would lend itself to a nice design. I have had it trademarked because it seems other people like it too! Little did I realize that most people can’t pronounce it and also that many have asked if it had to do with quilling (a very old paper art). It seemed so clear to me. However this has given me the opportunity to tell people about my company, so all is not lost!

Thanks to Judy Orcutt, QuilliGraphy

 

Photo Credit: Suzannah Scully

Photo Credit: Suzannah Scully

Capturing an essence

Coming up with a name for your business is one of the hardest parts of the entrepreneurial journey. It is fraught with self-doubt, vulnerability and responsibility. As both an entrepreneur and a mom of two kids, I can say that while naming my business was more difficult than naming my children, the weight of the decision felt similar. Asking myself questions like, “Does this capture the essence?” “10 years down the road, will this name still feel relevant?” How I came up with The Live Well Space as a name for my business was I enlisted the help of a professional Ali Lawrence who is a wordsmith and incredibly intentional with every word she chooses. I told her what I wanted the company to stand for. I told her my company’s values and long term vision and together at a coffee shop (I still remember the moment), we came up with The Live Well Space.

Thanks to Suzannah Scully, The Live Well Space

 

Photo Credit: Justin Bolognino

Photo Credit: Justin Bolognino

A process to describe how I wanted to exist in the world

Learned Evolution emerged not as a name for a company, but as a process to describe how I wanted to exist in the world. We are the first generation in history that has the immediate opportunity to literally shape evolution, biologically, phisiological, and consciously. So if we have this ability, we’d better be well educated on how best to do so! In this regard, the “learned” is more “educated scholar” (learn-ED) rather than the past tense of “to learn.” From this unique perspective, the actual business was born and we strive to live up to constantly learning and growing with each step we take some 7 years later…

Thanks to Justin Bolognino, Learned Evolution

Related Post: How to Effectively Network Online

 

Photo Credit: Jon Crispin

Photo Credit: Jon Crispin

Named for Dr. John Snow

John Snow Inc. (JSI) is named after John Snow, a British doctor whom many consider to be a founder of modern epidemiology. In 1854 when Dr. Snow was called on to examine the causes of the cholera epidemic in London, he thought to map the houses with cholera cases and saw that the local water pump was central. His previous research suggested that the localized nature of the outbreak meant that the cause had to be a contaminated pump or well, rather than a problem with the general water supply. He used deductive reasoning and investigative research to trace the source of the outbreak to a pump on Broad St. After he presented his findings to community leaders, the handle of the Broad Street pump was removed, and the epidemic quickly abated. Further investigation revealed that an underground pipe was leaking raw sewage into the drinking water of the Broad Street pump. In the spirit of Dr. John Snow, JSI works to improve public health around the globe.

Thanks to Joel Lamstein, John Snow Inc.

About Gresham Harkless Jr.

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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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