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24 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- Brainstorming, domain name and being formal

Photo Credit: Ian Naylor

For us, the process was a pretty standard one. First off, we started brainstorming ideas – matching a describer word with a verb or noun. Since we’re an app builder, most of our ideas began with ‘App’. once we had a short list, we checked for trademarks, registered domains, etc. We were very nearly AppZing, but we could only get the .co.uk as the the .com was already being used by an app developer in the US. It’s pretty important to ensure you’ve got your brand name for your domain, however you don’t always need the .com version. For example Intercom  started off using Intercom.io, and didn’t purchase the .com domain until they had achieved substantial funding. In the end, we settled at AppInstitute. This made sense to us – since an Institute is an organisation of particular purpose. Coupled with app – it perfectly describes us. One side benefit of our name is the ‘formal’ and ‘official’ connotations of the word Institute – which might give us a little more credence with customers.

Thanks to Ian Naylor, AppInstitute!

#2-I love fragrance and am very enterprising!

Photo Credit: Sue Phillips

When I first Incorporated my company it was Susan Phillips Enterprises. Like most entrepreneurs, I get my best ideas in the early morning. One day the word enterprises was buzzing around my head with the word scent … it kept on repeating…. enterprises/scent/enterprises/scent… then SCENTERPRISES! I woke up; wrote it down; went back to sleep and voila! The next day registered and trademarked it

Thanks to Sue Phillips, Scenterprises!

#3- Drawn from its meaning and purpose

Photo Credit: Daniel Duty

Conlego is Latin for bringing people together for a common purpose”. This underlies our philosophy and approach to collaborative negotiations, partnerships and solving challenges facing the clients we represent. By bringing all together, we create significant savings and enhance the value for our of brand name clients.

 

Thanks to Daniel Duty, Conlego!

#4- Focusing on our customers and their guests

Photo Credit: Jase Rodley

We wanted our business name to represent not only how we make our customers feel, but also represent how our customers make *their* guests feel. Otium Boutique helps boutique hotels to get more direct bookings on their website. Digital marketing is a steep learning curve for many hoteliers, our mission is to make it easy for them. Similarly, when a guest stays at a boutique hotel, they’re looking for a genuine experience where the service is seamless. We chose otium as the basis of our name, which is latin for ease, peace, calm and leisure.

Thanks to Jase Rodley, Otium Boutique!

#5- Everyone simply wants to live a ‘good life’

Photo Credit: Courtnie Nein

While I would like to say there was a very expensive marketing and PR campaign for our company that really was not the case. A few nights before we were ready to make the jump and leave our current brokerage firm to start our own independent financial services company, we were sitting at a local restaurant discussing our business strategy over a drink. Music was playing throughout the restaurant and the song Good Life from One Republic came on. As the song played we both agreed it was a feel good song and really played into the emotion of what we were about to build. At the end of the day whether you are a client or an advisor you simply want to live a ‘good life’. we felt like we had so much from a marketing perspective and could really leverage that theme throughout our entire company culture. Our marketing stems around the message “welcome to the Good Life.” It is a warm feel good name and is welcoming to those who may feel intimidated to walk into a large financial institution and open up their financial life to a complete stranger.

Thanks to Courtnie Nein, Good Life Advisors!

#6- Three things

I sell thermometers and thermal imagers, and write reviews on popular products. Firstly, the domain was available. That was the biggest caveat I considered when searching for a name. But additionally, the name had to instantly trigger to the customer what to expect from the store front. And I think this accomplishes that. And thirdly, it needed to have some fun. The term *hot *is often used to express attraction. But in this case, it’s meant literally. So I thought it was a subtle play on words.

Thanks to Jeff Neal, Hot Thermometer!

#7- From the aim of helping kids win in life

Photo Credit: Dr.Alissa Gardenhire

I recently quit a 15-year career as a social policy researcher behind to pursue my entrepreneurial dreams and to model for my child the power of working for yourself. My business name is Kids Win, Inc. because I want to help kids win at life. The two businesses that operate within our corporation are Best in Class Education and  Middle School Dances, a business I started with my son to provide social activities for the kids in our local area when we noticed a gap in the market.

Thanks to  Dr. Alissa Gardenhire, Best in Class Education!

#8- Appeal and draw inspiration from  the 50s and 60s era

Photo Credit: Thomas Andersen

When looking for a business name, we found our inspiration in the design and style of the 50s and 60s and wanted to make a reference to that era but at the same time creating something new and modern. How to best describe our product and what we stand for? Vintage would be misleading, but About Vintage is a spot on description of how our products look and feel like. At the same time we wanted to appeal to people creating their own history with our watches – so even though they are new – with time they will be filled with stories and memories and thereby become vintage.

Thanks to Thomas Andersen, About Vintage!

#9- To help companies remain top-notch within Life Science industry

Photo Credit: Reginald Swift

As I’ve been in the life-science industry for a number of years, I’ve worked in quite a number of areas on achieving the ability to market product out to the surgeons who would be using these devices. However, within the companies there’s always some significant area where there’s gaps or deficiencies in their business/product process. So it was really clear to me that I wanted to be able to plug in these deficiencies and help organizations remain top notch in all areas. Hence Rubix LS (to take after the Rubik’s cube for solving complex issues within the Life science industry).

Thanks to Reginald Swift, Rubix LS!

#10- Making communications engaging, effective and garner accolades

Photo Credit: Dominique O’Rourke

Sometimes you have to communicate difficult news: lay-offs, crises, change. Regardless of the circumstances or the audience, communications should be engaging, effective and garner accolades. That’s how Accolade Communications was named. Since I offer services in English and French, the word has the same meaning and spelling in both languages; and “A” in the name means it’s at the top of alphabetical lists.

Thanks to Dominique O’Rourke, Accolade Communications!

#11-Tell great, authentic stories

Photo Credit: Brittany Whitmore

Exvera comes from latin, it means from truth. As a communicator and storyteller, I put a premium on seeking out the core values and truths about the clients that I work with and tie these core aspects into every story that we tell. PR gets a bad rap for spinning stories, but I believe that telling great, authentic stories is the real heart and soul of  communications and public relations. Your best clients will choose your business because they resonate with your values – your why. So that is what I like to focus on drawing out when I craft stories for my clients.

Thanks to Brittany Whitmore, Exvera Communications!

#12- Symbolise bridge between marketing & PR

Photo Credit: Doug Darroch

We wanted a name that symbolized our cutting edge approach to marketing and how we always wanted to be leading the latest trends. With the Renaissance being a cultural bridge between the middle ages and modern history we wanted a bridge between marketing & PR from yesterday to what works best today.

Thanks to Doug Darroch, 21st Renaissance!

#13-  To encapsulate my extremely diverse set of skills

Photo Credit: Michelle Khouri

I quit my day job as a magazine editor earlier this year to build my own business. My company is Creative Powerhouse LLC, a name that came about in the most organic of ways. As a brand consultant, I push my clients to approach their brands from a place of authenticity so that the resulting brand stays true to who they are as leaders, builders and creators. I approached my own brand in the same way. Although I started by building my business around my name, I quickly expanded, adding team members and clients at an unexpected rate. I referred to myself as a creative powerhouse because I felt it was the best way to encapsulate my extremely diverse set of skills (including everything from web design to ghostwriting to marketing strategy to PR to graphic design). Creative Powerhouse then felt like the most natural fit for this little agency I’m building, and for the team that makes it an even stronger Powerhouse than I could have ever achieved on my own!

Thanks to Michelle Khouri!

#14- Forceful but not timid Latin name

Photo Credit: Andy Bailey

My business coaching organization didn’t start off with the name “Petra.” To figure out a name that illustrated our mission and work with the Rockefeller Habits , I grabbed a few of my colleagues, who did project work for us in trade for coaching, and locked us all up in a conference room. After two or three hours, we had a wall of sticky notes but none of the names on them felt “right.” Then it hit me to use Latin to illustrate meaning. Our PR guy noted that it needed to be a word that’s forceful, not timid. He came up with the Latin word for ‘rock’ – Petra. We talked about the story of the city of Petra, which is this incredible community carved from solid stone in the Kingdom of Jordan some two thousand years ago. Since our goal in coaching businesses is to help them be legendary and last for years, it was a perfect fit.

Thanks to Andy Bailey, Petra Coach!

#15-I wanted an ocean-related name

Photo Credit: Andi Graham

When I first started my web design agency in 2004, I was living on the water on Treasure Island, a beach community in Florida. I knew I wanted an ocean-related name for my new company. One of the first websites I designed was for a friend who was screenprinting t-shirts in his 600sf studio apartment. He had huge retail client accounts, like Urban Outfitters, ordering huge runs of silly shirts. We built a Contact page, and on it, had a variety of numbers to call. For wholesale orders, call XXX; for customer service, call XXX. Little did anyone know that those were all Google Voice numbers that rang directly to his cell phone. The web — at that time — was a big sea, and my job was to make the little fish able to compete on the same level as any of their competitors. Thus, the name Big Sea. I provided branding and web design for little fish who wanted to compete in the big sea 🙂

Thanks to Andi Graham, Big Sea!

#16-  Convey our purpose while emphasizing our uniqueness

We provide work and office space in the style of a boutique hotel. You walk in, plug in and work, we do everything else. Because office space is typically ‘corporate’ and frankly, a little boring we needed a name that was simple to understand yet different enough to let folks know that we weren’t a typical office provider. The Work Lodge name was designed to combine ‘Work’ (professionalism, business, entrepreneurship) with our non-traditional locations and style (you don’t typically find Lodges that
people work from). We’re not made out of wood for sure, but we’re definitely not your average workspace either.

Thanks to Mike Thakur, The Work Lodge!

#17- Help my clients chase their passion

Photo Credit: Melissa St. Clair

Paper Chaser is a new twist on an old school phrase, “paper chase”. Small business owners are busy chasing their passion as well as “chasing paper,” meaning, trying to make money doing what they love. As a Virtual Assistant (VA) my mission is to help my clients tackle their admin office “paper tigers” so they can focus on the fun and revenue-generating parts of their business!

Thanks to Melissa St. Clair, Paper Chaser!

#18- Through extensive research

Photo Credit: Joe Garraffo

When I started the company, I wanted a unique name that would have meaning. After weeks of research, I narrowed down my search to include a term like radial. That’s what we do. We radiate our clients message/brand/product to the people that need it. I spent many days on thesaurus.com only to find the perfect word, Efferent. Efferent means to conduct outward or away from something. Think nerves and central nervous system. It was perfect for us. Six years later Efferent Media is a full service digital marketing agency that companies of all sizes have learned to trust with spreading their message.

Thanks to Joe Garraffo, Efferent Media!

#19- Communicate value to our clients

Photo Credit: Adam Stoker

We really wanted a name that communicated value to the clients. In that process, we figured out what we’re not. We’re not an agency that focuses on vanity metrics- likes, clicks, impressions, etc. We are really focused on generating revenue for our clients and improving their bottom lines. If our clients grow, we grow. We realized that makes us somewhat of a throwback to when ad agencies were created. So, even though we’re a young team that uses the most modern of tactics for our clients, we’re a Relic of the industry. When that idea was thrown out, it really stuck.

Thanks to Adam Stoker,  Relic!

#20- A  name that sounds similar to my personal name

Photo Credit: Megan LaFollett

When I officially started my freelance editing business, which has since grown to add a full suite of publishing services, I wanted a name that sounded like it could be a person’s name, but wasn’t my name. I wanted to reserve my personal name for my author brand. As a wordsmith and storymaker, it couldn’t just be any old word — it had to be unique, and it absolutely had to have a deeper meaning. I was writing a book at the time that required some research into the Greek language, and I ran across this word, Meraki. It means to do something with soul, creativity, or love; when you leave a piece of yourself in your work. That is exactly the type of business I wanted to own. So, Meraki Editing by Megan was born.

Thanks to Megan LaFollett, Meraki Editing by Megan!

#21- Changed the name but still retained Egyptian theme

Photo Credit: Dr. Hughan Frederick

Nile Women’s Health Care, located in Roswell, GA, was previously named Isis OB/GYN for 10 years (named after the goddess of motherhood). When the terrorist group began making major headlines we were forced to change the name following threats of violence made against the practice. We actually posted a request for feedback on Facebook and asked our patients for their thoughts on a new name. We received several options but a few people thought we should stick with the Egyptian theme and came up with the name Nile. After running it through the normal registration channels and google, we went with it!

Thanks to Dr. Hughan Frederick, Nile Women’s Health Care!

#22- Derived from our core business

Photo Credit: Erdal Yazmaci

Simply put, the business name Cardtek was derived from our core business, which revolves around card technologies. While the company provides innovative end-to-end payment solutions for financial institutions, processors, telecom operators, personalization bureaus, retailers, public transportation authorities, and terminal and card vendors, we wanted to be sure our name was simple and to the point. Cardtek rolls off the tongue and leaves a lasting impression that we’re experts in everything card and payment technologies related.

Thanks to Erdal Yazmaci, Cardtek!

#23- Considering three things

Photo Credit: Mindi Sue Black

My company name is /black & blue star/. I started off representing musicians and athletes and wanted to incorporate my last name, /Black/, into my business. ‘black & blue’ is a symbolic symbol that shows the bruises on the body as one is working on becoming a star. That’s when /’black & blue star’/ was created.

Thanks to Mindi SueBlack, Black And Blue Star!

#24- A name that connected to our roots and highlighted our purpose

Photo Credit: Andrew Woods

Duckpin Design is named after duckpin bowling, a unique variation of ten pin bowling that’s most commonly associated with our home town, Baltimore, MD. When we named our business, we wanted to have a name that kept us connected with our roots here in Baltimore, but also highlighted our knack for problem solving. Since Duckpin Design has 3 founding partners, and duckpin bowling requires 3 bowling balls per frame, we thought the connection was a great expression of using 3 resources to achieve a goal.

Thanks to Andrew Woods, Duckpin Design!

How did you come up with your business name? Tell us in the comment below

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