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19 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- Intriguing origin

Photo Credit: Mathew Porter

Our agency rebrand explored a variety of obscure angles when discussing potential names, from animal breeds to place names and it was within this exploration that we found a short, decisive name that resonates with our industry.The brand name selected by our team with overall majority in the decision making process was Kumo. Kumo is a Japanese term for spider and was previously the name of an early Microsoft search engine that eventually evolved to become Bing. As our digital agency focuses on search engine marketing the name fit perfectly in reference to the ‘web’, ‘spiders’ used to crawl web sites and the historic naming of an early search engine.

Thanks to Mathew Porter, Kumo!

#2- One Word. OPRAH!

Photo Credit: Daisi Pollard Sepulveda

When I started Daisi Media Corp. I wasn’t trying to “be like” Oprah but I was looking for an example of someone who had created a ‘talent-first’ media company before the age of Youtubers, Vine and Makers Studios. There was really only one example and that was Oprah. Since, Daisi Media Corp is basically a shell for our media channels and family of sites and e-commerce businesses, I had the freedom to focus more creativity on naming other brands of the business. Look out Ryan Seacrest!

Thanks to Daisi Pollard Sepulveda, DaisiMediaCorp.com!

#3- To say that we are ‘the’ go-to people in the UK for a fast and professional service

Photo Credit: Grant van der Harst

“It has always been our intention to be the best in the business when it comes to road markings in the UK. With clients ranging from the Department of Education to Burger King, we offer a versatile service that covers everything from sport court markings to pothole repairs. Although it may be a niche industry, the name ‘Anglo Liners’ is our way of saying that we are ‘the’ go-to people in the UK for a fast and professional service, available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Whatever your requirements, if you are based in the UK, we can help you.”

Thanks to  Grant van der Harst, Anglo Liners!

#4- Chose from various ideas

Photo Credit: Kathlena

On the surface, Free and Friendly Foods may sound like just another food company. However, for the millions of people that live with food allergies, special diets, and restricted diets, there’s a story that they can truly connect with. Before launching our company, we kicked around a lot of ideas. Something with gluten free was a thought because it’s so trendy these days. However, I didn’t want to leave everyone else out. We knew that it would be beyond unreasonable to call the company Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Egg Free, Soy Free, Nut Free, Peanut Free, Paleo Friendly, Vegan Friendly, GAPs Friendly Foods. Yes, a true mouthful indeed. That’s when it hit us: Free and Friendly Foods. We are free from many allergens, and friendly to many alternative diet types. Those who find us connect with us almost instantly, and are so touched that there’s another company helping them eat safely. Our company has a bakery, publishes cookbooks, does local and nationwide outreach, and have plans to expand into a full range of ready-made meals.

Thanks to Kathlena, The Allergy Chef!

#5- Simple way

Photo Credit: Billy Lowe

Years ago I was styling hair on a prominent talk show. I was discussing with a friend that I ultimately wanted to develop my own hair product, starting with a blowdry serum because I was largely disappointed with many of the things I found backstage. I shared that I wanted the product to be something that women could put in their hair and it makes it glossy, and they felt so great about their hair that they just toss it around like hair blowing in the breeze ( I like careless hair)!  I’ve been shared that the idea have been on my mind for quite some time but I simply did not know what to call the product. My friend looked at me and said “you just called it yourself. It’s GLOSS & TOSS!” The rest is history.

Thanks to Billy Lowe, Gloss & Toss®!

#6- Combined two words to form a strong name

Photo Credit: Andrea H. Evans

Being a Trademark Attorney and owner of an Intellectual Property Law Firm, The Law Firm of Andrea Hence Evans, LLC, I know the importance of launching a business with a strong name that is not generic but rather suggestive and requires some thought or imagination. When my daughter was in kindergarten, I asked about her school’s science club. The school mentioned that they didn’t have a science club and asked me if I had any suggestions. Not only did I have a suggestion, I created a science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) program and named it, KidGINEER, LLC. Our slogan is Inspiring Future Engineers, One Kid at a Time and KidGINEER is the perfect combination of kids excited about engineering. The students aren’t actual engineers, rather they are kid engineers. I combined Kid and Engineer to name the business KidGINEER!

Thanks to Andrea H. Evans, KidGINEER!

#7- Name was drawn out of sarcasm

Photo Credit: Abby Fichtner

After years of being at startups where you get to do 100 different things and are forever looking for ways to be more innovative, I somehow found myself at this miserable little consulting company who was very into conformity and liked to put each of us into little boxes. So when I decided to write a post for the company’s blog, the manager flat out rejected it. I was a developer so I could write code, but not blog posts. He told me that my writing wasn’t high enough quality, by which I’m pretty sure he meant this post doesn’t look like all the others. After all, why would you want to stand out on the internet? So, I decided to start my own blog. I called it The Hacker Chick Blog – the name dripping with sarcasm – because *I’m just a hacker chick, what the hell do I know? * The Hacker Chick Blog ended up becoming one of the top agile software development blogs on the Internet. (while, by the way, my company’s did not)

Thanks to Abby Fichtner, Hacker Chick!

#8- From my badge number

Photo Credit: Tim Burrows

When I decided to retire from my career, one I had dedicated 25 years of my life to I would be losing something that I had been known by for my entire professional working life. The day I raised my hand and swore my oath of service as a police officer as much as I still had my name I gained a new identity. I was Badge Number 1266. Law enforcement is a tough industry for outsiders to gain entry into for reasons of trust, liability and a lack of understanding for the why and how the profession operates. I knew trying to get my foot back in the door once it closed behind me would require a special hook and for me it made sense to bring something from my past profession to my new one. What better than my badge number? Even though my bio says what I did, I know the vernacular and I can always say ‘retired police officer’, sometimes those opportunities aren’t readily available to drop, but naming my company Twelve Sixty Six has allowed me on multiple occasions to answer the question, What is 1266? There is an immediate bond when I smile and proudly answer, It was my badge number when I was a police officer.

Thanks to Tim Burrows, Twelve Sixty Six!

#9- After reading an inspiring story

Photo Credit: Jennifer Maggiore

I started my company in 2005 as a full-service marketing agency. It grew much bigger and faster than I planned for, and after my then 2-year old son had surgery for a brain tumor in 2009 (he’s now a healthy honor student!) and major soul searching, I admitted to myself that I was burned out and lacking inspiration. At the time, I read an article about a man who told his story of asking The Universe for a very specific sign to help him make an important decision, and that he got an answer – his sign was a red balloon. I wanted to narrow our focus to just social media, but in 2011 many people told me I was foolish, that it was still a passing fad. I never forgot that story, and several months later, I asked for a red balloon if I should make the move to offering only social media. Sure enough, a few days later at my son’s soccer game, I looked up and unexpectedly saw a tiny red balloon far off in the sky that I don’t think anyone else even noticed – it was just for me. Since that day, we rebranded to social media and it has been the most lucrative decision of my career, we’re now an award-winning agency working with national brands. The moral of my story is to trust your gut and ask for the sign.

Thanks to Jennifer Maggiore, red balloon social media!

#10- Based on our goals

Photo Credit: Adelaida Diaz-Roa

My business partner and I are both avid travelers that met through a program called Remote Year where we got to live in a new country every month for a year with 70 other digital nomads. FOMO (fear of missing out) was a term that was used a lot in during the year because there were events happening all the time. We weren’t getting FOMO because of side trips we couldn’t go to but rather because we weren’t aware of them until after they happened or when it was too late to join in. Our goal for this platform is to have No More Fear Of Missing Out on a trip because we weren’t aware of it. We aim to give every traveler the tools to view, track and set notifications so they are aware of the amazing opportunities that are available for them to join in on. We allow you to see where your friends are planning to travel to and who will be in the next city you travel to so you have Nomo FOMO on a potential adventure or coffee.
Thanks to Adelaida Diaz-Roa, Nomo FOMO!

 #11- From my middle name

Photo Credit: Samantha Levine J.D

When thinking of a name for my new business I went with my middle name, Auburn. Growing up I had always hated it because “it wasn’t a real name,” I’d tell people. But once I was an adult it was actually fortuitous that my parents gave me a quirky middle name. Now I embrace it!

Thanks to Samantha Levine J.D, Auburn Jewelry!

#12- Took what I did and combined with who I coach

Photo Credit: James Pollard

Sometimes picking a business name doesn’t need to be some incredible Eureka moment or have a cute background story. I basically took what I did (coach) and combined it with who I coach (advisors) and came up with the name. I figured that I wanted to be known as THE person who coaches financial advisors… THE advisor coach. So I put it out there and it just stuck.

Thanks to James Pollard, The Advisor Coach!

#13- From what we do

Photo Credit: Marsha Jaramillo

We started Markets of Sunshine in 2010 to some day retire my husband from his full time remodeling business and spend more time together fulfilling our dream to travel around the country and volunteer in the community along the way. Markets of Sunshine offers handmade gifts that help people reach their goals by getting out of debt using the cash envelope system. We offer a variety of unique options for you to keep your cash in safely at home rather than just carrying around all that cash in your wallet or in envelopes. We call it our Cash Stash collection which features our hollow book safes with a lock. It puts a fresh new twist on the growing trend to get out of debt! When folks come back and tell us, It’s Awesome! we know we’ve done our work right. That makes us work all the harder to perfect our designs.

Thanks to Marsha Jaramillo,  Markets of Sunshine!

#14- Combined two words

Photo Credit: Tammy Lenski

I came up with my business name by combining two words to make a new word. I’m a mediator and I wanted to signal that I help my clients reach agreements a lot of the time. I couldn’t find an existing word that captured my idea, so I took two words, myriad (many) and accord (agreement) and created myriaccord.

Thanks to Tammy Lenski

#15- Name connecting to our fans

Photo Credit: Jon Ulmes

For our company that focuses on sports apparel, we chose the name “500 LEVEL” because it really connected with the true, diehard fans that support their teams. We understand that not everyone can afford the courtside seats or box suits, and often times the best and most dedicated fans don’t mind that; they’re excited for the game and be a part of the whole experience. We translate that theme into our products. Each of our designs are custom, unique and bold, while also printed on high quality apparel as opposed to a cookie cutter jersey or an uncomfortable cotton shirt. Not only do the customers get a soft and affordable shirt, but they also are excited to wear our apparel because they stand out in a sea of mass-produced monotony.

Thanks to Jon Ulmes, 500 LEVEL!

#16- Chocolate is natural and intimate

Photo Credit: Mike Peyzner

Choco Studio is a wedding and portrait photography company in the San Francisco Bay Area. It took us a while to come up with this name and I’ll be happy to share the story. We’re a husband and wife studio and our photography style is intimate and natural. We love to help people become comfortable during the session so we can bring out their best selves. Our company name took a lot of introspection and time as we considered many other options before settling on Choco Studio. This name resonated with us because chocolate is natural and intimate. We also wanted a name that was short and easy to remember. Most people love chocolate and we’ve had very positive reactions and a lot of curiosity about the origins of this name.

Thanks to Mike Peyzner, Choco Studio!

#17- From what we stand for

Photo Credit: Yvette La-Garde

Dr. Rahm and I came up with ‘VitaMedica’ as our business name simply by thinking about what we stand for. Believing in the science of natural health, we are passionate about our high-quality nutritional vitamins/supplements due to our extensive medical research. For those debating on how to go about naming your company, studies show that brand names that are shorter and blend tend to be more successful.

Thanks to Yvette La-Garde, VitaMedica!

#18- I work with the over 50 market

Image Credit: Dr. Gayle Carson

It may be a little crazy but my name is Spunky Old Broad LLC I am known as Dr. Gayle S.O.B. Spunky Old Broad because I work with the over 50 market and it expresses exactly who I am. I like to bring levity as well as information to my clients and they like it too. For me, it works.

Thanks to Dr. Gayle Carson, Spunky Old Broad!

#19- My interest in the watch industry and my family history

Photo Credit: James Reeves

My company name is Diefendorff, Inc. and how it got its name is a fun story of the past, present and future coming together. I developed an obsession for watches and this spring did a lot of research on how they’re designed, manufactured and decided to pull the trigger to start my own brand. At the same time, I also had another obsession: ancestry research. One day while on Ancestry.com, I came across the record of my 6th great-grandfather: Captain Henry Diefendorff. He was the son of Swiss immigrants, served as a captain in the Revolutionary Army, and died in an ambush in Oriskany, New York. The thing that gave me shivers up my spine is that he died 200 years- to the day – of me being born. The two worlds of my interest in the watch industry and my family history collided and from that moment on, it was obvious what I would call the company.

Thanks to James Reeves, Diefendorff!

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

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