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15 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 – A Name to Trust

Photo Credit: Shaun Gray

Photo Credit: Shaun Gray

When I started Gray & Associates Events, I wanted to build a service-based business that would some day, extend past me doing all of the service. I knew that I wanted to build an extensive team of highly-trained, certified event professional; in both the physical and digital spaces. I researched ad nauseum other event planning firm’s names, and after a while, they all started sounding to similar, or worse, they were branded around one singular individual. That wasn’t my vision for my company, so I decided to go with a name that showed apotential large presence, along with a name that sounded like something a consumer could trust, and that is when Gray & Associates Events became the name of the company.

Thanks to Shaun Gray, Gray & Associates Events

#2 – Our Flagship Technology

The name of our company came from the name of our flagship product. Since we’re a mobile app company we wanted a product name that was short, easily remembered, non-controversial and at least somewhat descriptive of the service. After throwing around some names we rejected we settled on making it an acronym. We opened up Excel and started filling cells with words that described the product functions, shifted them around until the order made sense then added synonyms or similar words until we found a combination we liked where the acronym also somewhat described the product (ATLAS). When filing for incorporation ATLAS Technologies was already taken, so Mobile was added since that’s our focus.

Thanks to Steve Wood, ATLAS Mobile Technologies

#3 – From Blah to Moi

Photo Credit: Julie Rustad

Photo Credit: Julie Rustad

My first LLC was a very generic business sounding name – 24-7 Creative Solutions. When I left my in-house art director job and started my own design business, I was worried that clients would think I wasn’t large enough to handle big projects, so I came up with that name for my company to sound bigger then it was. A few years ago I realized my success was due to people liking working directly with me – not because they thought I was some large entity. Now I use “Julie Originals” which is what I used to sign the back of my handmade greeting cards when I was young. I had actually developed the logo in 1999 and it is now on the back of my entire product line. It’s my name and people love how the logo is an ambigram of Julie and looks regal and modern.

Thanks to Julie Rustad, Julie Originals LLC

#4 – Named for My Hair

Photo Credit: Hilary Reiter

Photo Credit: Hilary Reiter

My business name, while so obvious for a redhead, came to me in the middle of the night about six years ago. I had been pondering the name for a while, and didn’t want it to be my name or something specific to being located in Park City, Utah in the event I ever decided to move or expand the company. My goal was also to have a broad client base, and having a name like Summit Marketing or Park City Marketing Associates seemed too narrow. The bonus of naming the company Redhead Marketing & PR is that when I am meeting a potential client for the first time in a coffee shop or wherever, they are always able to spot me because of my company name and hair color.

Thanks to Hilary Reiter, Redhead Marketing & PR

#5 – A Personal Meaning

Photo Credit: Christos Joannides

Photo Credit: Christos Joannides

Naming a company is always a time consuming process that requires due diligence. I should know as that is one of the services I offer my clients. The right name should be timeless, proprietary, easy to say and it should stand for something. In my case, I grew up in an apartment in a country in Europe where we refer to apartments to as “flats” After an exhaustive search and writing down name after name it dawned on me. I knew I always wanted the name of my company to have personal meaning while at the same time capturing the imagination of my clients. So after a deeper exploration the choice became obvious. The apartment or flat, I grew up in, was indeed Flat 6. Thus the name – Flat 6 Concepts.

Thanks to Christos Joannides, Flat 6 Concepts

#6 – Absorbing a Brand

Photo Credit: Alex Pierson

Photo Credit: Alex Pierson

Coming up with the name of my company was much harder than I thought it would be. I spent almost three months coming up with my company’s name. The problem is, beyond finding the perfect name, this perfect name had to have an available domain name, since I was starting a tech company. I went through hundreds, if not thousands, of name choices. Every day, I would start a new document of possible names, getting inspiration by plugging interesting words into an online thesaurus. I would start with one word, then click different synonyms until I reached something I liked. Finally, after months of searching, I found springpop. The domain was being sold for a lot less money than other names I had encountered, but I didn’t love it. I kept searching for another name, because I was convinced that when I found the right word, the one that would encompass my brand and vision, things would finally click. After another long night of searching for names, I finally added springpop to my cart online, and I never looked back. I realize now the name doesn’t matter as much as I once thought. Whatever your company’s name is, it will absorb the brand you create. People rarely think of the actual name of brands, they think of what they represent. Now, I love the name springpop, and find the hard work getting to that name completely worth it.

Thanks to Alexandra Pierson, Springpop

#7 – Short and Sweet

Photo Credit: Julia Labaton

Photo Credit: Julia Labaton

When it came to naming my company, I did not want to go the old-fashioned route and name it after myself. To me that sounded too much like a law firm, and I was opening a beauty and fashion public relations agency. Plus, no one pronounces my last name correctly and my Uncle owns a law firm with it in NYC already. I named my company RED PR for several reasons. First, red is the metaphoric color of glamour and style, which tied in perfectly for the industry I was entering. Another reason was because when I started my business it was 2000, and people used the phone more, I wanted something short and sweet I could say while answering the phone all day. But probably the most important and symbolic reason was because red is what makes people stop and pay attention – and that’s exactly what PR is. It is what PR is meant to do, and what RED PR is meant to do!

Thanks to Julia Labaton, RED PR

#8 – A Little Humor

Photo Credit: Francesca Montillo

Photo Credit: Francesca Montillo

My name is a bit lengthy but is a combination of what my company really is. I wanted something that was somewhat self-evident of what the company was but was also a bit humorous. Italians have a reputation for being a bit lazy (I can say that as I am a native and know from personal experience!), I wanted the word “Italian” in there and adding “culinary adventures” makes it easier to be found in search engines. I also offer cooking classes but the meals we prepare are somewhat “lazy” and geared towards working individuals who do not have hours to spend in the kitchen. So a lot of recipes I provide my clients are “lazy” in nature and quick. Plus I hope to have a cookbooks all on “lazy Italian” cooking, so it made sense.

Thanks to Francesca Montillo, Lazy Italian Culinary Adventures, LLC

#9 – Getting the Word Out

Photo Credit: Erika Taylor Montgomery

Photo Credit: Erika Taylor Montgomery

I was trying to think of a name for my public relations and social media management agency that was memorable and catchy. No matter what the specific tasks are, clients hire us to spread the word about them, and most of our customers want that done really quickly. So, I started thinking about the fastest and most efficient way to get the word out about the businesses we represent, and it occurred to me, all you have to do is tell three girls and word will spread like wildfire! Because, or course, girls love to talk! Hence the name Three Girls Media, Inc.

Thanks to Erika Taylor Montgomery, Three Girls Media

#10 – Chemistry

When I founded the firm in 1993 management consulting companies tended to use a leverage model (the junior staff did most of the work) and projects were multi-phased often lasting months to years. I selected the name The Catalyst Consulting Group, LLC because in chemistry a catalyst makes a reaction happen faster. I built and grew a business with the key differentiator being speed. Our projects will begin to have a financial or operational impact within the first 90 days. This builds momentum and reduces the cost of the professional services.

Thanks to Ronald Recardo, The Catalyst Consulting Group, LLC

#11 – An Open Name

Photo Credit: Ben Offit

Photo Credit: Ben Offit

We came out with our name Clear Path Advisory through working with a marketing and PR firm. We decided we did not want to simply use our last names as the name of the company and wanted something unique that represented our work and that could provide for others to join our firm in the future. They interviewed us about our values, our vision, and what we do for our clients and then drilled down on some ideas related to that. They came back with several rounds of ideas and my partner and I went back and forth on ones we liked and did not like. We also discussed these ideas with family and clients close to us. This process was not easy and took a lot of time and back and forth, but ultimately we went with something that we both felt good about and that we felt represented us to our marketplace.

Thanks to Ben Offit, Clear Path Advisory

#12 – Ocean’s Eleven

Photo Credit: Meghan Gardner

Photo Credit: Meghan Gardner

Our business name is inspired by a scene from the movie Ocean’s Eleven (the Clooney/Pitt version). In that scene, Basher (played by Don Cheadle) is in the middle of a bank heist that gets botched because a member of his team didn’t do their job right. As he’s being led from the scene in handcuffs, Basher is intercepted by Rusty (played by Brad Pitt), who is impersonating a police officer and springs Basher free to come join the Ocean’s crew. Basher, in his inimitable Cockney accent, says to Rusty, It’s good to be working with proper villains again. We believe that surrounding yourself by the very best people is absolutely critical to success, which is why we called ourselves Proper Villains.

Thanks to Meghan Gardner, Proper Villains

#13 – An Attraction

Photo Credit: Brendan Martin

Photo Credit: Brendan Martin

It took me about five days of constant thought to come up with my business name. Since I do digital marketing, I wanted to come up with something that implied growth, more customers, and/or gaining visibility. There was another company, named Voluum (pronounced like Volume), and I thought the double lettering was cool. I decided to go with Gravitii (pronounced Gravity) because I think Gravitii has a unique look and implies attraction of things (e.g. customers, revenue, etc.). Plus, the domain name was available!

Thanks to Brendan Martin, Gravitii

#14 – Fields of Elysium

Photo Credit: Judy Davis

Photo Credit: Judy Davis

In choosing our name, we were inspired by the word ‘origo’ which means origin, beginning, or where you come from; and the Fields of Elysium, which is from Greek mythology: a plane of existence reserved for the souls of the most heroic and virtuous individuals – a place of peace and beauty. Since many of our clients are starting in a place where they are at risk for depression, addiction or suicide, we used the letters D from depression, A from addiction and S from suicide to represent those beginnings and what we want to prevent. Putting it all together, we have DASIUM; a team of people helping individuals, families and organizations wake up to, and face the challenge of, teen and young adult depression, addiction and suicide.

Thanks to Judy Davis, DASIUM

 #15 – A Memorable Name

It’s a stupid name. But you know what? That’s part of its memorable beauty! As you likely realize, online marketing services are, at heart, a B2B solution. But getting even more granular, my clients themselves are B2Bs as well. So, I provide B2B services to B2Bs. It’s all very meta. Because of this B2B for B2B positioning, I figured I had to come up with a name that would be at least tangentially “business tool-oriented. Believe it or not, it actually took months to come up with Pen Cap. Like almost every other start up, I tried just about every “color + animal/vegetable” combination, I tried adding “-ly” to just about every word I know, and I even came up with an Excel formula to combine two very different lists of adjectives and nouns. If I stuck with that solution, I would have ended up with “SoloAlly.com.” Ugh. Instead, I looked around at my desk, tried to figure out the most important business tool, and then took a noticeable element of it and *bamf*: New, memorable business name and domain!

 

Thanks to Michael Ferrari, Pen Cap Online Marketing & Consulting

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