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25 Entrepreneurs Explain How They Came Up With Their 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.

#1 – Solving Complex Marketing Challenges

Image Credit : Diana Santaguida

Image Credit : Diana Santaguida

SEOcial is a digital-forward marketing agency specializing in bringing businesses into the future. Websites aren’t digital brochures, logos don’t make a brand and link-stuffing doesn’t make your business search-worthy. Our strength is in identifying and solving complex marketing challenges. We just happen to also be unapologetically dedicated to advocate-building communication, the future of web technologies and conversion oriented design.

Thanks to Diana Santaguida, SEOcial

#2 – Secret Club

Image Credit : Steve Boyle

Image Credit : Steve Boyle

Recently recognized as one of 8 model programs in the United States by the Aspen Institute’s Sport and Society Program – we came up with the name 2-4-1 Sports taking the 2-4-1 from our tagline of “Life’s 2 Short 4 Just 1 Sport”. We developed as a program to get kids to stop specializing in one sport – especially at a young age. When folks figure out what the 2-4-1 stands for – it’s as if they feel like they’ve joined a secret club. While we started as a local camp, the Aspen recognition has allowed us to get our message out on a national level.

Thanks to Steve Boyle, 2-4-1 Sports

#3 – Combining Great Words

Image Credit : Liz Rodriguez

Image Credit : Liz Rodriguez

We came up with our name Design House because it was literally what we were and where we were at the time. We had started our agency six years ago working out of our home and we were designers, designing websites, print and marketing collateral. Design we determined was in the core DNA of the services we provided. It seemed very logical to us at the time that by combining both those two great words Design and House that it would fully embody who we were and where we were. Fast forward to six years later Design House stayed true to the design services however we now have an agency located in Coral Gables.

Thanks to Liz Rodriguez, DesignHouse

#4 – Old Myth

Image Credit : Parker Stewart

Image Credit : Parker Stewart

The name of our company is inspired by a old myth of Fernando Del Viejo, legendary 17th century gourmand who was commissioned by Queen Isabella I of Spain to travel with the conquistadors to found Florida and the New World in order to grow and protect the rare Datil Pepper plants that used to back the Spanish Treasury. These hot peppers are worth their weight in gold, and are highly sought after. They only grow in the Nation’s Oldest City of St. Augustine, Florida. Fernando Del Viejo used Datil Peppers in all of his recipes.

Thanks to Parker Stewart, Del Viejo Gourmet

#5 – Unique yet Straightforward

Image Credit : Mandy McEwan

Image Credit : Mandy McEwan

When I first started my business, over 5 years ago, I wanted a name that was unique yet straight-forward. As a female digital marketer who specialized in SEO, I was surrounded my a peer group of men. There weren’t many female SEO gurus out there and I wanted to change that. In order to make it blatantly obvious that my company was ran by a female, I figured using the word “Girl” in my company name would do the trick. Ok, check, got that down. Now what? My taste in modern design and passion to consume the latest digital marketing techniques got me thinking… what if I portrayed that my company and our services were up-to-date, relevant, fresh, and…MODERN! Modern was too long and quite frankly, lame. So I headed to thesaurus.com and started looking for synonyms. After hours of searching with no luck, I decided to go back to the word MODERN. Hmm, what if I ditch the “ERN” – Mod? Cha ching! Mod Girl – love it! And thus Mod Girl Marketing was born!

Thanks to Mandy McEwan, Mod Girl Marketing

#6 – Solid and Dependable

Image Credit : Tali Raphaely

Image Credit : Tali Raphaely

We are in the business of selling title insurance, which protects homeowners on what is often their largest and most important financial investment of their lives. We came up with the name “Armour” to signify the solid and dependable protection homeowners receive when purchasing title insurance from Armour Title Company.

Thanks to Tali Raphaely, Armour Title Company

#7 – Out of the Box

Image Credit : Miriam Diwan

Image Credit : Miriam Diwan

We came up with our name, NowMoveMe, during a pow-wow / brain storming session using a word association activity. It was pool side, which just makes it more fun, also the out of the box atmosphere helped us be more creative!

Thanks to Miriam Diwan, NowMoveMe

#8 – Rebrand

Image Credit : Michael Shapiro

Image Credit : Michael Shapiro

In 2008, my wife and I launched an online local newspaper, The Alternative Press, which was the alternative to our local hardcopy newspaper. Over time, our online local newspaper grew in readership and expanded to several other towns, to the point where we became the primary news source for the residents of our communities. As such our company name no longer made sense. As we thought about how to rebrand ourselves, we realized that more and more people were tapping into their communities through our online news sites. At the same time, mobile and Ipad readership of our site had soared. So we took the TAP from *T*he *A*lternative* P*ress and rebranded as TAPinto. In December 2013 we began franchising and today there are over 40 TAPinto franchises in the United States making us one of the only sustainable models for local journalism in the country.

Thanks to Michael M. Shapiro,  TAPinto

#9 – Special Forces Combat Unit

Thanks to Lior Krolewicz

Thanks to Lior Krolewicz

My business name Yael is also the name of the special forces combat unit I served in in the army, its translates from Hebrew to “Strength of God” and also an Ibex – an animal known for its ability to easily climb and run the steepest mountains and slopes (great business analogy), it is the name of our first born, and when I met my wife and told her about the name she immediately said yes! So it felt good. The “Consulting” comes from the desire to give clients the broadest level of help for their business leveraging my diverse experience which also includes, an inventory manager ,startup senior data analyst, and military commanding officer, in any way I can and not pigeon hold it to “online marketing”.

Thanks to Lior Krolewicz, Yael Consulting

#10 – Fate

ImageCredit : Caitlin Picou

ImageCredit : Caitlin Picou

I 100% named my business Kismet because I felt it was ultimately my fate to create the brand. I loved that word -always- and when I was thinking of names for the brand, I had a list on my phone going for months. After a few months, I looked back and the very first word was Kismet, and I decided then it was perfect. My life has led me here – it is my calling, and I try to live life completely by signs/faith/fate. So the word was perfect!

Thanks to Caitlin Picou, Kismet Cosmetics

#11 – Educate

Image Credit : Erica Williams

Image Credit : Erica Williams

The name of my business, “Learning Little People,” came after I decided to use my skills and talents as a professional development presenter to work with teacher-leaders, assistant principals, and principals in Alabama. I played around with other business names, but “Learning Little People” held a two-fold meaning for what we represent. We educate others on the best practices to use when little people (children) are learning and we too are, in the process, learning more about little people. After brainstorming possible names, I researched whether “Learning Little People” was taken by any else. Though I found many similar names for child care facilities throughout the country, no other businesses had our name. Lastly, the acronym, LLP, is easy to remember. Thus, Learning Little People, LLC was born in April 2013.

Thanks to ​Erica J. Williams, Learning Little People, LLC

#12 – Global Level Strategies

Image Credit : Hilary Strobel

Image Credit : Hilary Strobel

What is a Flyway? A flyway is the route a migratory bird follows as it travels for the seasons, and as a concept, also includes supporting species and habitats. Thinking about flyways- which are essentially international ecological zones- requires much more than thinking about a particular forest, or species of bird, or food source. They require a level of global thought, cooperation, and consideration. The idea for naming the company after this concept was to emphasize the need for global level strategies in our field. We encourage our storytellers to give back to their communities by applying profits from their published works to social justice projects. The stories are like birds; they travel far and wide, and the communities affected by those stories are the supporting ecosystems.

Thanks to Hillary Strobel, The Flyways, Inc.

#13 – Makeup

Image Credit : Terry Raimey

Image Credit : Terry Raimey

We publish comics and artwork featuring diverse characters of various skintones. Our business name Black Streak Entertainment represents the makeup of our company. All of our artwork starts with a streak of black ink and eventually becomes a completed work of entertaining art. Also, the company is owned by two African-American guys, so it works both ways!

Thanks to Terry Raimey, Black Streak Entertainment

#14 – Beginning, Forming and Devising

Image Credit : Rachel Wilkins Blum

Image Credit : Rachel Wilkins Blum

Our goal was to find a name that emphasized the importance of beginning, of forming and devising a plan of action. As an organization that produces art events, the idea that ‘conception’ can also refer to how something is perceived or regarded, also fitted perfectly in line with our mission.

Thanks to Rachel Wilkins Blum, Conception Events LLC

#15 – Unique Vision

Image Credit : Elle Kaplan

Image Credit : Elle Kaplan

I wanted my firm’s name to reflect its unique vision, so I decided on LexION Capital after careful deliberation: The “L” is a stand-in for “elle,” which is French for “she.” This symbolizes LexION’s unique understanding of the challenges women and their families face, and their historic lack of representation on Wall Street. The “ex” in LexION represents how our radical mission aims to overturn the status quo. As a fiduciary firm, we are legally required to act in our clients’ best interest. This standard is typically available only to institutions with the largest pools of money or private investors with at least several million dollars. Finally, “ION” stands for ionic charge. This speaks to two key things about LexION. The first is our scientific, methodical, data-driven approach to investing. The second is our belief in “cations:” positively charged particles, and our desire as a firm to be a positive charge in the world. LexION Capital’s ionic charge delivers Wall Street back to Main Street.

Thanks to Elle Kaplan, LexION Capital

#16 – Define the Purpose of the Business

Image Credit : Ivan Ciraj

Image Credit : Ivan Ciraj

The concept behind the business name for this real estate branch was to define the purpose of the business and area of service in the actual name itself. Since services are being provided for a popular community known as “Erin Mills” near Toronto, this had to be included in the business name. Real estate is so much more than just a transaction for a home. Moving, the neighbourhood, the environment and your neighbours define your actual lifestyle. Therefore adding the term “life” to the geographic area of the business provided a catchy name that was easy to remember and clearly defined the role. Plus the domain name was available at the time, that was a bonus.

Thanks to Ivan Ciraj, Erin Mills Life

#17 – Due Diligence

Image Credit : Frank Motola

Image Credit : Frank Motola

Eight years ago when we discovered that the name we had just launched with was already being used on the west coast we learned how important it is to do your due diligence making sure that any name you choose is not already being used in commerce. So for us “Brand Solutions” ended and it was back to the drawing board to choose a name for our marketing agency. Our mission as a marketer is to help our clients get noticed and we believe that branding is key to that goal. So the word “brand” had to be a part of the new name. We combined that base word with hundreds of other words, suffixes and prefixes but nothing seemed to nail exactly what we were all about. Then it dawned on me like a bolt of lightning… we make BRANDS look FANTASTIC. Voila, BRANDTASTIC was born! Back then, that “made up” word was never heard but now we have seen it make it’s way into the marketing vernacular. Our first move after creating our business name was to call an Intellectual Property Attorney and do a proper trademark registration. Now we are confident that the name we chose is really our brand to build.

Thanks to Frank Motola, Brandtastic

#18 – Your Name

Image Credit : Nick Faddis

Image Credit : Nick Faddis

When I was starting Nutterman’s everything I read, including Uncle Harry’s course, said that a service company name should have your name in it. That people were naturally attracted to that. Well my name, Nick Faddis, has been misspelled and pronounced wrong all of my life. Plus, even the least clever among us can easily come up with at least 10 obscene phrases that my name rhymes with. So I decided to not use it. I’m kind of a silly guy. I like to have fun. And I’m known for word play and butchering the English language. I’ve found and fixed, then sold or kept many things in my life and I’ve always said “one man’s trash is a nutter man’s treasure”. So when I was brain storming for a company name it just struck me that the only choice was “Nutterman’s” “Cuz I’m fixin’ a nutter man’s stuff” . After being in over 10,000 homes in the county there are 1000’s of people who just assume that it’s my last name and I get introduced as Mr. Nutterman or Nick Nutterman all the time! Sometimes I see people looking at my business card and since it has my name on it I can see the questions brewing in their head. I can see it coming a mile away but I have fun playing it out to the end. They’ll look at my card and then look at me and ask “so did you buy this business from someone?” I smile and say “no” and keep working. They’ll look at my card and then look at me again and ask “Is Nutterman’s a franchise?” “Nope” I’ll say and get back to work. Then after a few minutes of stewing they’ll finally look at my card and then look at me again and ask “so where does the name Nutterman’s come from?” Then I politely smile with a puzzled look of “that’s a silly question” on my face,put my hands on my hips and say “Cuz silly! I fix a nutter man’s stuff!” That usually gets a lot of laughs!

Thanks to Nick Faddis,  Nutterman’s

#19 – Spiritual Journey

Image Credit: Stephanie Adams

Image Credit: Stephanie Adams

GODDESSY is a portmanteau of “goddess” who is spiritual, and “odyssey” which is a journey. That said, GODDESSY is a “spiritual journey” when people partake in reading and exploring my collection of books and further publications. GODDESSY is also the name of my skincare business as well as the sponsor for my recently established non-profit organization.

Thanks to  Stephanie Adams, GODDESSY

#20 – Illuminating

Image Credit : Michael Harbron

Image Credit : Michael Harbron

We came up with BrightHaus through a really quick brainstorm. Bright to us feels illuminating. When people were to hear our brand, or even see it visually, the word Bright always encompasses something larger, happier and positive. We’re a smallish company, and so we also wanted to follow through with the home grown and boutique feel. A ‘house’ of ‘Bright’ experts felt homely and trustworthy, something that goes along with our mission statement. Instead of House, we turned to Haus. A play on the word. BrightHaus was born.

Thanks to Michael Harbron, BrightHaus

#21 – Kiss Freely

Image Credit : Jennifer Kurko

Image Credit : Jennifer Kurko

Both my children suffer from severe food allergies. So much so that when I kissed my oldest with lip balm containing almond oil, she broke out in horrible hives. At that time I had no idea that food allergens were in so many personal care products. Unable to find safe alternatives, I began making all my own cosmetics so I could safely kiss my daughter. The first time I wore my own cosmetics, my daughter exclaimed ” We can kiss freely!” Six months later when we decided to start our company and sell our line of cosmetics that are free from the 8 major food allergens and other highly allergic ingredients, Kiss Freely was the name we chose. Food allergies change every aspect of your life, we wanted there to be one less area for food allergy suffers to worry about and to be able to kiss their loved ones safely.

Thanks to Jennifer Kurko, Kiss Freely

#22 – Preserve Moments

Image Credit : Kristen and Frank Pizzo

Image Credit : Kristen and Frank Pizzo

It all started with a smell that really reminded us of our wedding cake. We enjoyed the moment so much we let go of all the details that went wrong that evening. We created Candle Moments, respectfully cherishing and aiming to preserve all of life’s little moments. We’re also major animal lovers, and firmly believe they make the moments in our life just as delightful as wedding cake. We’re about the Moments we spend with friends, family, and our furries.

Thanks to Kristen and Frank Pizzo,  Candle Moments

#23 – Catchy

Image Credit : Robin Smith

Image Credit : Robin Smith

One of my friends was considering purchasing a high-end item on eBay but wasn’t sure if the seller was misrepresenting the item or not and he said, “I sure wish I had someone to go look at that for me.” I replied that there certainly had to be a service available for consumers since so many people shopped online but could not find one…so I built a platform, recruited a national network of “Lookers” and am a multi-million dollar company now. WeGoLook is part of the sharing economy (think “Uber of Inspections”, as coined by Dave Berkus) with a community of over 20,000 Lookers across the United States, Canada, UK and Australia. Our agents are dispatched to a location within their travel range and perform low-complex tasking or capture data in the form of photos, video and answering custom questions. While our business model began as consumer focused, we have organically grown to provide services primarily to Enterprise clients who love our ability to customize platform schematics/mobile application to fit their specific needs. Examples include: property condition reports for banks, auto condition reports for fleet auto clients, heavy equipment photos/video for auction, vehicle/accident scene inspections for insurance companies, etc. Everyone seems to think our name, WeGoLook, is very catchy and explains what we do.

Thanks to Robin Smith, WeGoLook

#24 – Commitment to a Brand Promise

Image Credit : Lida Citroen

Image Credit : Lida Citroen

I chose my company name, LIDA360, for several reasons: (1) I was certain that I wanted my name reflected in my company name. I was putting 100% personal and professional equity in the business, and my name would be a reminder to myself and my clients that this business offer was from me and the experience, values and skills I brought to the engagement. Regardless of whether I built out a team of professionals to work alongside me, the accountability and vision lies with me. (2) That said, I couldn’t use my last name as it’s a well-known French car. I didn’t want people calling my company looking for auto parts. (3) The “360” represents the holistic and fluid nature of brands. When done correctly, corporate and personal brands continue to grow and mature, but they have anchors. “360” represented that to me, and it was short. (4) I capitalized the LIDA to show confidence and brand boldness. There is no space between LIDA and 360 to intentionally show the boldness of the brand and the commitment to a brand promise that speaks to forward, intention and legacy.

Thanks to Lida Citroen, LIDA360

#25 – Curiosity

Image Credit: Crystal Etienne

Image Credit: Crystal Etienne

It took me 36 days to finally come up with the name Panty Prop. I am a serial entrepreneur, so usually I have the name before the concept in the past. This time was different, I created a patented utility brand for a functional women undergarment, so I could just not call it what it really was – bloody sanitary pad security hold – that’s just too harsh and not appealing to the masses, so I had to think of something that would describe the function, still make it soft and pink, and cause curiosity from consumer. So after going through 42 names in 35 days, getting criticism and laughs from my sister and my husband, I had literally given up. Who has a Patent and can’t think of a darn name? ME! SO one day while driving to my sons football practice, he was slouching in the back seat. I told him “Prop up” – instantly I said “Panty Prop”. The function of the undergarments allows a women to Prop it in quickly, “Prop”erly hold the pad in place, and Prop up and Go. And best of all, it really is a prop for leakage.

Thanks to Crystal Etienne, Panty Prop Incorporated

About Gresham Harkless Jr.

Profile photo of 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.
  • Kristen M Fusaro-Pizzo

    Thank you so much for sharing these amazing stories 🙂

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