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 – Very Clear Brief
In coming up with the name ILUMITY, which is supposed to connote the idea of illuminating a path forward for people in their careers, my first step was to create a very clear brief that captured the mission, services, and brand personality of my business. I was also very clear about the parameters without being prescriptive. For example, the name had to be fewer than 10 characters, ideally an arbitrary or fanciful name, not a descriptive or suggestive name, to maximize chances of getting trademark protection, which was important to my business. I then ran a crowdsourced contest on crowdSpring to come up with ideas for the name. I sifted through 400+ names from over 30 creatives in over 20 different countries. After settling on the idea of illumination and ilumity, we went through 2 revisions to pick the ideal spelling. The process took about two weeks from start to finish, and I secured a registered trademark for the name later that year.
Thanks to Joseph Liu, Career Relaunch Podcast!
#2 – My Father Visited a Neighborhood
My father visited the neighborhood of Crown Heights, Brooklyn in 1989 to see Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, also known as “The Rebbe,” who was well known for giving advice and benedictions. When my father had his business plan all set up, he brought it to the rabbi and got a benediction for a successful business. When he left the neighborhood, he decided that because he got a benediction from the rabbi in Crown Heights, he’d name his business (CrownTV’s parent company) Crown Heights. CrownTV is a spinoff of that name.
Thanks to Jacob Layani, CrownTV!
#3 – My Husband’s Best Friend
I decided to start a food business making healthy snacks out of buckwheat. Buckwheat is incredibly healthy. Despite its name its actually gluten free, has protein, fiber and minerals. So I was thinking to name my company something along the lines of great grain, but buckwheat is not a grain, and so the next options was greater groat. That was until my husband’s best friend Mike came over and joined the conversation. He immediately insisted that groat was not a very appetizing name. And then, being his funny self, he said BuckWHAT!. Turns out it really worked. Being completely gluten free, there is nothing wheat about buckwheat. And so we took out the E, and have the name that everyone seems to find so catchy…. BuckWHAT!
Thanks to Leeann Rybakov, BuckWHAT!
#4 – We Brainstormed It
I have come up with several business names over the years and one of my recent ventures had a clever name that I thought fit perfect for your blog. I sat down with my partner and we brainstormed the name for our business. Now we are both real estate investors who focus in the residential real estate space and the business was focused on educating individuals how to do what we do. We thought of why we started in the business and thought that would be the most important aspect for our consumers in the future. In the end it boiled down to living a better life than we currently did and having more success. After running at several names we landed on Better Tomorrow Group. It boiled down quickly and anyone seeing it could recognize that it simply meant that what you did here would make for a Better Tomorrow. We have been running at it for just over 2 years and the name has worked perfectly!
Thanks to Andrew Greer, Better Tomorrow Group!
#5 – Came Across a Koala
In searching for a suitable name for our new device, we came across a Koala orphaned after being caught in a bushfire (wildfire). The staff at the wildlife center, where he was being nursed and treated by one of our devices, called him Oscar. Hand reared, growing into a cheeky, unique little character, full of personality and attitude….. what better name for our product than ‘Oska. It’s spelled with out the r because Australians and Americans alike, can pronounce it the same way!
Thanks to Greg Houlgate, Oska Wellness!
#6 – A Motif of Puzzle Pieces
The name for my independent film production company, Corner Piece Productions, was inspired by a motif of puzzle pieces in our first feature, West of Her. The film’s protagonist speaks about feeling like a jigsaw piece from the wrong puzzle, and the film’s journey is about him finding his place. I knew I wanted the company’s name to reflect that imagery, but Missing Piece Productions didn’t seem right; I didn’t want to imply we were a company that was less than whole. Instead, my producing partner suggester Corner Piece, Because we’re the piece you need to get everything started. That was the case for West of Her, which was a feature debut for many of us, and I hope we can keep providing that first piece that leads to putting together the dreams of many other creative professionals going forward. Corner Piece Productions doesn’t have its own website currently, but here’s the site for West of Her, which picked up five Best Narrative Feature awards over our festival tour this summer, along with rave review from critics across the country, and is set for wide video on demand distribution this year.
Thanks to Ethan Warren, Corner Piece Productions!
#7 – Translation of Sundiata
I am the Founder of Sonjara, Inc – a woman owned small business in Northern Virginia. We work with non-profits, for-profits, US Government, and international organizations, to identify the underlying goals, the users needs and abilities, and put together an appropriate technology solution to meet the requirements. We are technology agnostic with our focus on what will accomplish the client’s mission. rather than any predetermined solution. Sonjara is a transliteration of Sundiata, the first king of Mali. The story of Sundiata is a classic West African tale of a boy who started with low expectations and turned into one of the most powerful people in history. The mythos of this leader is full of magic, stories of daring and suspense, and themes of loyalty and trust. When my husband Andy and I started dating, I was finishing my Master’s in Anthropology of International Development, where I was focusing on West Africa. I shared the famous story of Sundiata with Andy, and we agreed that it was a compelling story and a strong name. When we started our company in 2002 we decided that Sonjara would make a great name for our company or product; meaningful and unusual, as well as easy to pronounce and spell.
Thanks to Siobhan Green, Sonjara, Inc!
#8 – Term for Rock Climbing
Formerly a suite of virtual services, the new full-service virtual solutions provider BELAY launched in January 2017. As we merged our collection of individual companies into one name, we thought about the true purpose of our company and value behind virtual assistants, and BELAY was born. As a term for rock climbing, when someone is on belay- it means someone else (belayer) is helping them climb higher than they could on their own. That concept is exactly what we want to do for every client. We want our services to allow them and their organization to reach and climb higher.
Thanks to Bryan Miles, BELAY!
#9 – Had Meaning & Focus on What We’re About
Most law firms simply use the last names of the originating partners as the name of the company. As I looked at my competition it felt as though each advertising law firm created advertisements that seemed very self-centered. It felt to me as if everything was about them rather than the clients they serve. We are a law firm who help people that are injured and going through a tough time. I didn’t want to focus on what’s in it for me. I began to explore what was at the core of what I wanted our law firm to be. I knew that I wanted to help people and really take care of those clients we represent. I met with an advertising agency and we brain stormed several ideas that were consistent with this core value. We wanted to find a name that had meaning and that would keep every employee focused on what we are all about. We consistently came back to The Advocates because it captured not only what we do but also helps us keep focused on what really matters – our clients.
Thanks to Matthew Driggs, The Advocates!
#10 – Obsessed with Entrepreneurs & Music
I am obsessed with entrepreneurs. I am also obsessed with music. After years working in fashion PR/Marketing in NYC and Milan, and then as a co-founder/owner of a Brooklyn-based rock ’n’ roll play space for kids under 5, I found myself becoming overly excited about my friends starting new businesses. I would get a rush helping to come up with the business model, brand concept, brand identity and creative vision around the new product or service. I found myself meeting with several entrepreneurs a week to offer ideas and help them define their brands. I would joke that I was a music groupie and then I turned into an “entrepreneur” groupie. I also play guitar in a mom band called Mamadrama out of Asbury Park, NJ. Brand Groupies came to me one day and that was it! I specialize in brand strategy from the early stages through launch, and use my trusted network of groupies – from Web designers to photographers – to support the vision for brands I’m working with.
Thanks to Carey Balogh, Brand Groupies!
#11 – Lesson Learned
When I was incorporating my tour company NYC Tours & Photo Safaris in early 2016, I didn’t do much research on the name. I knew I wanted something search engine-friendly, and I’d always used the term photo safaris when inviting friends along to shoot around New York, so I went with that. I assumed that if New York State approved my incorporation application than the name must be fine. Wrong. New York State basically approves any name as long as it isn’t exactly like someone else’s. In the end mine ended up being too similar to a competitor, with some of our guests getting confused about who was who. Lesson learned, as I’m now in the expensive and tedious process of re-branding to NYC Tours & Photo Journeys, which in the end is still search engine friendly and is also similar to my other company, a travel blog called Jessie on a Journey. Now it will be easier to cross-promote while not confusing people that the businesses are sister companies. I just wish I’d figured this out from the start!
Thanks to Jessica Festa, NYC Tours & Photo Safaris!
#12 – Catchy, Memorable & Significant
Choosing a name for my business was a difficult decision because I knew it was something that I wanted to stick with and use to brand myself for years to come. I am a photographer and while many businesses like mine use their own personal names as their business name, I felt like I wanted something more catchy and memorable. In addition, I wanted my business name to have some personal significance, but still relate to photography. In the end I decided on Cozy Clicks. Cozy being the nickname of my daughter, Cosette. And clicks to tie in the camera piece. Alliteration always makes business names more memorable so that Is why I choose two c words together. I’ve been in business several years now and still love the name I decided on.
Thanks to Emily Supiot, Cozy Clicks!
#13 – Combination of Words
Codal is a full-service UX design and development agency, based out of Chicago. We started as a backend development agency, but as we grew we saw the demand for the creative and user experience design, and started growing our UX design team. Codal is a combination of the words Code and Portal. The code portion refers to our expertise, coding and programming, whether it is an iOS or Android app, or a simple or complex website. Whereas the portal portion refers to some of the products that we build (web portals). It was important for our CEO and COO to make Codal’s business name simple and easy to remember, and relevant to what we do.
Thanks to Keval Baxi, Codal!
#14 – Concept Behind the Business Model
SilkRoll because of the concept behind the business model. SilkRoll is a digital exchange/trade platform for trading in fashion for points. She wanted to do something similar to the Orient Silk Road Trade and realized that in the US there is an entirely different meaning to SilkRoad! So as she moved forward with the concept of the business she came up with a point system known as Q’s. One day she googled a Roll of Silk and it looked exactly like the Q’s! Hence the simple name SilkRoll was born!
Thanks to Janet Wu, SilkRoll!
#15 – Strong Ties to Israel
My business partner Isaac and I came up with the name Baby K’tan. Both our families have strong ties to Israel and we thought it would be nice to incorporate a Hebrew word into the company name. The Hebrew word Ktan means little, so Baby K’tan literally means Little Baby. We get asked about the name quite a bit. They questions we get are usually split into two groups, those who have no idea how to say K’tan and those who are familiar with Hebrew and want to quiz us! It happens so often that we decided to include it in a Q&A Blog post on our page. We find that customers love to find out that there is a meaning behind it and that it is a cute play on words!
Thanks to Michal Chesal, Baby K’tan!
#16 – Triangulating
As a creative problem solving business, triangulating comes out in much of what we do. Our process is iterative and we’re constantly triangulating to get to solutions. We frequently work toward presenting a client with three options. Not necessarily to pick one, but to provide feedback that leads us in the right direction. Triangulating helps us strategically narrow in.
Thanks to Dan Pappalardo, Troika!
#17 – Unique & Felt Relaxing
While building my meditation company I wanted to find a name that was unique and felt relaxing, there is nothing more relaxing than vacationing on a tropical island so I decided to name and brand my company as an island. I played with various domains until I could find a short .com that sounded like the perfect island getaway and Kalkuna Island was born – I plan on building the real Kalkuna Island in the future!
Thanks to Katherine Schneider, Kalkuna Island!
#18 – Lead Singer of Kiss
I’m a big KISS fan, so in the 1980s when I was also in a local rock band in Cleveland, we needed an entertainment agency to manage the band. Of course we were too young and stupid to actually know how to go about hiring one, so I created my own and called it Eisen Management Group. The name Eisen is derived from the last name of my hero – Paul Stanley, lead singer of KISS. His real name is Stanley Eisen, thus Eisen Management Group. When I actually started my PR firm in 2001, I had the name and the LLC already, so that’s what I went with, and in 2009 we rebranded to simply be The Eisen Agency.
Thanks to Rodger Roeser, The Eisen Agency!
#19 – Spoke to What We Wanted to Do
Picking our company name was one of the hardest things my business partner and I ever had to do. In the digital marketing space, it seemed like every good name was taken. We had to decide, did we go ultra creative? Did we focus on one service? Did we focus on multiple services? Did we focus on a concept? I went through hundreds of domains on GoDaddy through this process. We were looking at off the wall names like Green Flame and things like that. Towards the end, we decided we needed a name that really spoke to what we wanted to do, that being, increasing visibility for companies and driving traffic and revenue. We had honed in on a term like visibility. But it seemed like all the good variations of visibility were taken. Finally, one day when driving past a restaurant named Ignite a light bulb went off. My business partner went back and forth on variations of Ignite and Visibility until we eventually put them together as Ignite Visibility. I checked to see if any other Internet marketing companies were using it, found they were not, bought the domain name, and my business partner helped with the legal side. The rest is history!
Thanks to John Lincoln, Ignite Visibility!
#20 – My Mom & My College
It was early January of 2012 (about five years ago) that celebrity musicians Beyonce and Jay-Z celebrated the birth of their first child Blue Ivy. It was that same weekend that the world took notice of my South Florida-based Public Relations and Communications agency that had just hit six months – coincidentally named BlueIvy Communications. And with the news came inquiries and curiosities as to how I chose the name BlueIvy for my first company less than a year prior. I named my company BlueIvy Communications for the following reasons: (1) “Blue” was to celebrate my mom, who had passed away from breast cancer less than three years prior. My mom always told me and my siblings growing up that she wanted blue eyes and as a child had wished for them every night. While her own eyes, of course, never turned blue…she had three kids and of them, two of us had blue eyes! (2) “Ivy” was a tribute to my college Brown University, which was part of the prestigious Ivy League, and where I found my love of writing.
Thanks to Melissa Perlman, BlueIvy Communications!
#21 – I Was a Refugee
Hi, my name is Janice Rosenthal, and I am an ITEC qualified Massage and Beauty Therapist. But college knowledge was just the start of my journey. I worked as an Aromatherapist for 6 years, at a five star Hotel, in Cape Town, South Africa, and can honestly say that I learned thousands of lessons from my clients’ feedback. Later, I opened a Massage and Beauty School, where my staff and I spent many years, lecturing in related subjects, until my school received international accreditation, from ITEC, London. At that point, I was at the top of my game. My graduates were placed in five star resorts, and luxury cruise liners. About 100 students graduated from my school, each year. I had literally built up to this point, from nothing. Then, tragedy struck. My home town, Cape Town, went through a civil war. My home was only a few miles away from the area where businesses were being burned down. My home was violently broken into, many times, while I was home. When I could take no more, I left Cape Town, got on a 26 hour flight to California, and started my life all over. I knew no one when I arrived here, a few years ago. I have a passion for Essential Oils, because they are extracted from the Creator’s flower petals, fruits, herbs, and leaves. I am inspired by the fact that the Creator designed an Essential Oil for every ailment under the sun. So when I am blending a Body Butter or Massage Oil, with Essential Oils, I feel I am directly in touch with the Creator. I knew that I could never rebuild the business level, at which I had operated, in Cape Town, so I started an online aromatherapy store. The name of my store, came to me easily, because every time I have been massaged, I have felt as if I was floating in a garden of flowers, filled with exquisite aromas. So I named my site GardenOfEssences.com.
Thanks to Janice Rosenthal, GardenofEssences.com!
#22 – Know What the Business Was
I started my home-buying business in 2003 with a personal net worth of negative $80,000. I obviously didn’t have a lot of money to market and promote my new brand. I wanted a name that I could put on a sign and everyone would know exactly what the business was. The name I settled on was Express Homebuyers. Since our inception, we have purchased over 2,000 homes – most we have renovated and resold. Our plan is to become the CarMax of residential real estate and expand nationally in the coming months and years.
Thanks to Brad Chandler, Express Home Buyers!
#23 – The Bible
In the Bible, the color blue is sometimes associated with the commandments of God, the importance of remembering them and also the heavenly calling of those who had been chosen by God to be His people (Numbers 15:38-40). Therefore, Blu Skin Care was the obvious name for the company.
Thanks to Zondra Wilson, Blu Skin Care, LLC!
#24 – Marriage of 2 Words
I have started what I believe to be a revolutionary new business in which licensed timeless music is incorporated into children’s sound books and a karaoke app. My goal is to have every home in America with a toddler own at least one title by the end of 2020. My books were just recently featured on the VIEW as one of Whoopi Goldberg’s favorite holiday gifts. I have recently signed on a celebrity endorser (snooki) and have an interesting back-story to the inspiration for my products. The books just arrived in June so this business is rather new. The name I chose was Kidioke which is a marriage of the words, Karaoke &
Kids. There is an interesting story in the name as well. After performing a trademark search I found something similar called Okideoke Children’s microphones owned by a company called Battat toys which is a well-known toy company. I reached out to them directly myself despite my attorney’s warning and they were amenable to a co-existence agreement. I then got my lawyer involved which almost created a real issue. Anyway, the long and short of it is the company name is mine thanks to a friendly competitor.
Thanks to Brian Dwyre, Kidioke Media LLC!
#25 – On a Whim
I put zero thought into my business name and I came up with it on a whim. My last name is Pendergraft, so I named my law firm The Pendergraft Firm, LLC. It has served me very well. You don’t have to put a lot of thought into your businesses name, what matters is quality service. Quality service you can put your name behind.
Thanks to Brian Pendergraft Esq., The Pendergraft Firm, LLC!
#26 – Name Generator
When I decided to start a freelance social media consulting business, I mulled over all the traditional, boring business names that come to mind first. Of course I considered Anita Kirkbride Communications and variations on my name. I also considered ‘coloured’ names, like Violet Communications, because my favourite colour is purple. Nothing was grabbing me, so one day I sat at the kitchen table, brainstorming with my sister and decided to see if the internet would help. I happened upon a business name generator and started plugging in keywords: Twitter, communications, media, etc. The system regurgitated a lot of useless ideas, but at one point came up with Chirp Communications, which gave me pause. I wasn’t enthralled with Chirp and the word twerp came to mind, but spelled with an ‘i’ so it would look more modern and evoke the feeling of Twitter and i-everything. I wanted my name and branding to be fun, colourful and memorable, and Twirp Communications seemed to fit the bill. I’ve been known as The Head Twirp ever since.
Thanks to Anita Kirkbride, Twirp Communications Inc.!
#27 – Honest, Unique & Personable
I have truthfully and ironically named my company Shabby Chick-as in a hot mess. My company makes 100% cleaning products, thus the irony. I wanted our company to be a reflection of my personality, and anyone who has every met me knows that I’m not a lover of housework. I looked at my competitors, and realized the cleaning aisle is one boring aisle. I set out to change that and connect with women by being honest, unique and personable. The name stuck.
Thanks to Amber Malcom, Shabby Chick Cleaners!
#28 – My Husband’s Detached Garage Workshop
When I started my business I named it The Soup Shop because we have always called my husband’s detached garage workshop the shop. This was my shop and my original logo had fresh vegetable flying out of a table saw!
Thanks to Julie Shipley, The Soup Shop!
#29 – Easily Searchable, Unique & Obvious
I am the author of New Mom Comics, the handbook for new moms that offers a hilarious point of view on the everyday realities of parenting. When naming my book, I took some time time to come up with ‘New Mom Comics.’ I wanted the name to be easily searchable, unique, and obvious. Also, the ‘Mom Com’ word connection rolled off the tongue well. I was initially concerned about the New Mom part of the name because I am not always going to be a new mom. However, I came to realize that if I create comics later in life as my child gets older, there will always be new content to draw about as he hits each age and stage of development. So my books are more NEW Mom Comics rather than NEW MOM Comics. It’s subtle, but I hope it works.
Thanks to Alison Wong, New Mom Comics: The First Year!
#30 – The Completion to the Puzzle
With intention I created 360 Total Concept to be part of the solution: creating diversity, innovation and efficiency in the world of business. The name perfectly describes our brand, company, team and service. We are the completion to the puzzle, the answer, which 360 represents. Our mission is to take our clients’ concepts and turn them into reality, connecting the dots to complete the vision. Internally and externally we are known as #Team360, the team that provides transformative services with exceptional delivery.
Thanks to Shonda Scott, 360 Total Concept!
#31 – Original Product Design
We came up with our business name based off the original design of our product. We started with 2 golf balls held together with electrical tape. Because of the dimples on the golf balls, it resembled a peanut. The more we thought of it, the more we loved it. Although ‘a peanut’ is a common term in the massage therapy/ mobility tool realm, we found that no one had actually named their product after the vegetable. To make it more unique and more of a character-type of name, we shortened ‘peanut’ to ‘pnut’ and affixed a ‘the’ to the beginning. Thus, ‘thePnut’ was born.
Thanks to Kellan Hannah, thePnut!
#32 – Combination of Words, Easy to Type & Available
Before I founded DevriX, I spent a few days figuring out what would be the best name that I’d be happy with. I tried some domain name generators such as namemesh.com which allowed me to put in a couple of words I like and test what combinations are available. The Similar column boosted my creativity by suggesting synonyms that I could combine. Since we’re in the tech industry, my initial winner was Codesio – short, concise, focused on code and playful. When I ended up with DevriX, the idea behind the name was the combination of Development and Bricks as a LEGO approach with an X for bricks as a suffix. It was easier to type on a keyboard as well, a 6-symbol domain name available, and no name overlaps with other companies anywhere across the world from a uniqueness standpoint.
Thanks to Mario Peshev, DevriX!
#33 – Obvious Choice
When my brother and I decided to start a company together, the choice for a company name was obvious to both of us. Our experience growing up on Veloz Ave. in Tarzana, CA was instrumental to our development as people, and in turn, would significantly shape our new venture. With that in mind, we formed The Veloz Group. Over the years, we have enjoyed contributions from many people who spent time on Veloz Ave., including leaders of our portfolio companies. Needless to say, the free-wheeling nature and entrepreneurial spirit reflective of the touch football games we played every week on the Veloz Ave. continues to permeate throughout all levels of The Veloz Group today.
Thanks to Adam Mendler, The Veloz Group!
#34 – Spontaneously
Google Analytics users know – the very first time you login to the platform, your fist reaction is What a ****?? We created Whatagraph out of the need to present Google Analytics data in a way that is easy to read, and is understandadable and engaging. The name was born spontaneously. We thought the first encounter with Whatagraph gives exactly the opposite reaction – What a graph!! And it stayed.
Thanks to Justas Malinauskas, Whatagraph!
#35 – What We Do
I chose not to name the company after myself, but instead, opted for a name that reflects what we do. PMBC stands for publicity, marketing, branding and consulting and group is meant to express the cohesiveness we have as a team, with each member bringing a diverse skill set to the table.
Thanks to Ola Danilina, PMBC Group!