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15 Entrepreneurs Explain How They Came Up With Their 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.

#1 – Attracting the Right One

Photo Credit: Christine Baumgartner

Photo Credit: Christine Baumgartner

I’ve been a dating and relationship coach for over 8 years and what I learned personally as I dated between my two marriages (and is the reason I met and married my husband in 2007) and what I continue to learn from my clients is ‘We attract the type of person we believe we deserve.’ So when we learn why we continue to attract (and be attracted to) the same ‘wrong type’ of person we can change the belief inside of us. And by changing this belief we can finally attract (and be attracted) to the right type of person for us and have the loving relationship be desire and deserve.

Thanks to Christine Baumgartner, The Perfect Catch

#2 – East Meets West

Photo Credit: Sam Van Horebeek

Photo Credit: Sam Van Horebeek

Chinese citizens love brands from the West, they love to buy real estate in the West, they love to send their children for education to schools and universities in the West. With China being the second largest economy in the world and having a fast growing middle income class, there is an enormous amount of money being spent by Chinese on any product that is coming from the West. As we had noticed the strong demand from Chinese to buy properties in the West, we started a company called East-West Property. It is focused on connecting people in the East with property in the West.

Thanks to Sam Van Horebeek, East-West Property

#3 – Joining Together

Photo Credit: Lewis Daniels

Photo Credit: Lewis Daniels

I come up with this business name with a few ideas that lead to one thing. Firstly I had been in start up mode with my own business previously, I then got involved with some big partners one with a private family office and the other with a global brand. It was at this point things hit me. I was in someone else’s shadow, they were using my patents, my ideas even my manufacturing facility. So I thought to myself how can I help other entrepreneurs through the same issues – I now have the experience, so I wanted to setup a type of incubator/Venture capital arm. But wanted it to be different, so brought in various experts from various fields. Like a help centre. Then – I have a burning passion to go live in Spain, I have Spanish blood in me. I joined the two together and used Saviour in Catalan which is Salvador – we have since formed Salvador for our own technologies, a capital division, an executive board and expanding rapidly.

Thanks to Lewis Daniels, Salvador Partners

#4 – A Regatta Course

Photo Credit: Henry McIntosh

Photo Credit: Henry McIntosh

It took a lot of creative meetings between my co-founder and I before we came up with meaningful names. Before we started throwing out suggestions we agreed on a few things. The first was that the name needed a story behind it to make it intriguing, the second was that it must sound premium as we cater for luxury brands, and, finally, it needed to be modern and memorable as we are a digital marketing company. By setting out our goals, it refined our suggestions and saved time. It led to us using the town we’re situated in as inspiration. Where we’re based, Henley-on-Thames, is the home of England’s Royal Regatta. So we developed concepts and storylines around this and finally came up with the idea of Twenty One Twelve, which hints at the 2112 metre length of the regatta course. This situates us nicely within a town that is a brand in itself, giving us artificial yet substantial heritage with a modern sounding feel, achieving all our aims within a name. We’ve had a lot of compliments so far.

Thanks to Henry McIntosh, Twenty One Twelve

#5 – A Team Effort

Photo Credit: Zach Robbins

Photo Credit: Zach Robbins

The two companies I’ve founded share services such as marketing, engineering, and operational support. So they’re very intertwined. When I was building the second company, Margo, we held a naming competition amongst staff. Everyone could submit up to three name options. After our leadership team narrowed them down to what would work logistically (LLC not already taken, etc) we had the whole company vote on their favorite. We also offered a reward to the person who came up with the winning name. It allowed everyone to get involved and feel ownership over the new business.

Thanks to Zach Robbins, Margo

#6 – Household Phrase

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Photo Credit: Kristin Borostyan

I was looking for a name that resonated with me and was easy for client to remember. As a former school counselor I used to help students organize their binders and lockers and called it straightening up. Teachers caught on to me helping students get organized and they would tell them to go see Mrs. B and get Straightened Up. And I used to use that term in my own house when I wanted to organize and straighten up. So my husband said, you need to call the business Straighten Up and I knew I struck gold with that name. Then while I was organizing high school students going off to college, I realized they needed more information than just how to organize their dorm room so I created a program that helped with the whole transition and gave them more concrete information to be successful their first year in college. I needed a name that said it all and while I was teaching my first group of students I started saying that they needed real college knowledge. When I finished creating the entire program and deciding on a name, I wanted the name to be something parents and kids remembered. Guess what? Real College Knowledge is exactly the type of information students need to be successful in college and the URL was available so my 2nd business was born.

Thanks to Kristin Borostyan, Straighten Up and Real College Knowledge  

#7 – Warmth and Communication

Photo Credit: Reid Carr

Photo Credit: Reid Carr

As an advertising professional, I wrote a creative brief about what I wanted to communicate in a name. First, I wanted the name to be a tangible object — versus being a made-up word to find an available domain name — because people better associate a memory with tangible objects and can therefore better remember the name itself. Obviously, we wanted the memory to be positive, as well. Then, based on what we were going to do as a business, we wanted to reflect attention to detail, open communication and warmth. As names were blurted out, Red Door stuck because it effectively satisfied all the criteria. A red door is a detail of a house, typically is inviting, a doorway can be a metaphor for communication or opportunity and we feel like the house with the red door has the best Halloween candy. We did sacrifice the domain name and ended up with a .biz TLD, but after 14 years and now one of the largest independent marketing agencies in the country, it has worked just fine for us.

Thanks to Reid Carr, Red Door Interactive

#8 – Boiling Temperature

Photo Credit: Samantha Aulick

Photo Credit: Samantha Aulick

When we started making gourmet marshmallows, we didn’t intend to sell them. We actually made them to give away, and people started asking to buy them. With fun and unique flavors like Salty Caramel Swirl and Very Vanilla Bean, and Lemonade, our puffs didn’t taste like any other confections we could find. So the name had to follow, too. As Executive Chef, my wife Alexa wanted incorporate a bit of culinary information in it. We included the temperature to which we boiled the sugar syrup to make the candy. And we needed to communicate that these were a sweet treat. So 240sweet it was.

Thanks to Samantha Aulick, 240sweet

#9 – Blade Runner

Photo Credit: Raj Narayanaswamy

Photo Credit: Raj Narayanaswamy

In my teens and early 20’s, I had planned to work in the film industry. Even though I wound up with a degree in computer science, I’ve continued to love films and watch a lot of movies from practically every genre. When my wife Lakshmi and I decided to start our business, Replicon, we based the name on characters from my favorite sci-fi movie, Blade Runner. This classic movie features Replicants – which are human-like but more efficient beings who get work done. As Replicon is all about driving technology innovation and working with our customers so that people can be more productive and profitable in the workplace, this name was a perfect fit.

Thanks to Raj Narayanaswamy, Replicon

#10 – A Vision of Growth

Photo Credit: Dr. Artika R. Tyner

Photo Credit: Dr. Artika R. Tyner

I came up with my business name after a conversation with one of my doctoral classmates on my vision for the future. I desired to become an entrepreneur who would develop new books, coaching services and training modules for leadership development and community development. Planting People describes how I envisioned working with my clients to create a shared vision of justice, valuing each individual as an asset, and partnering to facilitate the process of social change. Grow Justice is the materialization of planting people as I educate and equip the next generation of leaders and change agents.

Thanks to Dr. Artika R. Tyner

#11 – A Memorable Name

Photo Credit: Bryanne Lawless

Photo Credit: Bryanne Lawless

When I was freshly graduated from college, I had read an article that discussed how businesses with unique names usually stick in people’s minds more. Whether the company’s name resonated with a positive or negative connotation, a person would remember the name. When I was first starting BLND, I didn’t necessarily want my own name as the firm’s name. I brainstormed ideas on how to create a unique name to stick in people’s minds. BLND came to mind, meshing my initials with the idea that, as a PR agency, our services are to cultivate relationships with clients and media. At BLND, we’re “blending” a brand’s desires and consumer desires to create positive brand awareness. To make it more distinct, I dropped the E and BLND PR was born.

Thanks to Bryanne Lawless, BLND PR

#12 – Onboarding

Photo Credit: Renée Warren

Photo Credit: Renée Warren

Onboardly was derived from the term onboarding, which means the process of introducing new customers to your company in an organized and effective manner. The ‘ly’ was an added flare that made it memorable and set us apart from the competition. Many other agencies were incorporated based on the founders names or variations of that, and we didn’t want that. Though it would be a great legacy to have my name as part of the company name, I wanted something that was way more memorable, was easy to remember, and extremely relevant to our target audience: tech startups. The year I founded the company (2011) .ly ‘s were gaining popularity amongst new startups. Sure, some were confused by the name thinking we too were a tech startup, but we have quickly gained recognition as The PR Startup for Startups.

Thanks to Renée Warren, Onboardly

#13 – Emergency for Entrepreneurs

Photo Credit: Monica Eaton-Cardone

Photo Credit: Monica Eaton-Cardone

I was an ecommerce merchant in 2009, and my business was effectively being raked over the coals by fraudulent chargebacks. We were being hit by waves of chargebacks every day, until eventually the bank closed our account and froze our previous two weeks’ worth of revenue. I had inventory on the way, no way to unload it and no way to make payroll. I was panicking, wishing that there was some kind of “911” number I could call and someone would come to my rescue. I scoured the market for a solution, but nothing worked; all of the existing solutions were ineffective because they were unable to address the real issues I struggled with. So, finally I decided to take matters into my own hands. I hit the books, transforming myself into a veritable chargeback expert, and managed to solve the problem myself. After successfully rescuing my own business, I decided to bring my solution to the market, creating the “chargebacks 911” that I wished was around to help me earlier.

Thanks to Monica Eaton-Cardone, Chargebacks911

#14 – Lucid Dreaming

Photo Credit: Jody Clower

Photo Credit: Jody Clower

As an entrepreneur, I am constantly inspired by all things creative so coming up with meaningful names for things has always been a hobby of mine. I love making portmanteaus – two words that when combined into a new word create a brand new meaning. So when it came time to name my startup, Nestiny, I really wanted to come up with a clever and memorable name with lots of embedded meaning. Nestiny is all about empowering people to realize their dream of homeownership by giving them free advice and better tools to understand how the process works, how much they can afford and what matters most in their next home. A few days went by with ideas swirling in my head, but nothing really surfaced that did the trick. Then luckily since I am a lucid dreamer, the next night my subconscious kicked into overdrive and I woke up with the name Nestiny in my head. It was perfect! To me, the name implies someone realizing their destiny to find their ideal home. We always get compliments on how people love the name. Thank you, lucid dreaming!

Thanks to Jody Clower, Nestiny, Inc.

 #15 – Two Kids’ Names

Photo Credit: Sawako Yamauchi

Photo Credit: Sawako Yamauchi

The name consists of two kids names that I always liked. Miki is a boy’s nickname in Japan. This name always resonated with me, as I love cute unisex names and Japanese design. And Miette is the little girl’s name from one of my favorite films of all time – The City of Lost Children by French filmmaker Jean-Pierre Jeunet. Miette is a strong, old soul with a soft heart. I really believe that all facets of girlhood should be celebrated from birth, not just the delicate and pretty, but the rambunctious, eccentric and unconventional as well. My line represents all of those qualities, in both boy and girl.

Thanks to Sawako Yamauchi, Mikimiette

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