It’s the first thing that entrepreneurs mention. It brands the business and tells the story of the business before the business owner utters another word. It is the business name. It’s selection determines the trajectory of the of the business and how people will perceive the business and its goods and services. With all this in mind, the business owner has a lot of pressure to select the “perfect” business name.
In this final part of our three-part series, Hearpreneur asked business owners why they selected their business name:
Related Post: How Did You Come Up With Your Busines Name? – Part 1
Related Post: How Did You Come Up With Your Business Name? – Part 2
Our company's name, The Well Daily, was conceived on after a few small mis-fires. Originally, we were The Well (no Daily) – but a few months after coming up with the name, we found out that it was already a fairly well-known website. We were bummed because we were in love with the the simplicity of the name and everything that it represented: wellness, a source for life sustaining abundance and a place that people come back to again and again. So, we changed everything – business cards, urls, emails, logos – and became The Well World. Two days before launching and right after we'd set up new business cards, emails, urls, and logos, Sukey had a moment on the meditation cushion. And, when she has those kinds of moments we tend to go with them. We changed everything again and The Well Daily was born – which makes more sense anyway, since living this lifestyle is a daily practice. Why did you start your business? We created The Well Daily in 2011 because we'd both been dramatically transformed from living healthy, mindful lifestyles. Everyone we knew was coming to us for information and advice on health and wellness – It made a lot of sense to share the ideas with as many people as possible, hopefully bringing them as much health and happiness as we'd found.
Thanks to Sukey Novogratz, The Well Daily!
2) It Came to Me When I Was Driving
My business name came to me when driving down my street and seeing the license plate of one of my neighbors. It had all the letters in the word “zen” and three of the four numbers in “1040”. Since the tax return document is a 1040, and I try to achieve zen in my life, I decided zen40 would be a great name for my tax preparation web site and that I would brand it as a web site that would take all of the worry out of tax preparation. Why did you start your business? Mostly to combine my two favorite work activities of computer programming and tax preparation.
Thanks to Bob Franzese, The Zen-40!
3) Multiple Things Led Me to It
People often ask me how I came up with the name The Indigo Connection for my company. And I have to admit it was deliberate, but I don’t talk about it very much. There was a time when I was pulling together a seminar and I was asked to address this. When I chose the name of the company I knew indigo was a beautiful blue color that I love, wear often and look great in. I also knew that indigo was a conservative business color, yet also represented the third eye chakra and intuition. Indigo reflected my work as a business coach who is also a healer who relies on intuition more and more every day. I liked indigo because it had the word “indi” within it, which brings to mind independence. That certainly was the case when I chose to become an entrepreneur. Indigo also contains the word “go,” suggesting motion necessary for healthy energy as well as forward movement. Those who know me will agree that I rarely sit still for any length of time. I’m always on the go. Finally, I have to admit I’m fascinated with the stories about The Indigo Children, these special little ones who have a sense of deep spirituality far beyond their years. I am indigo like them in that sense, too. Perhaps I tend to think there’s some indigo in all of us waiting to be activated. Why did you start your business? I realized that I had a gift for bringing groups together and for helping people achieve optimal work-life balance. After becoming aware of some amazing energy self-care processes at a conference in Switzerland in 2001, I realized that I needed to quit my job, change careers and share what I had learned. It was scary quitting an excellent job where I was one of the leaders and top management figures, but I did it anyway and never looked back.
4) I Used an Idea
Freedom Growth’s name was born from the idea that by self-directing one’s IRA and taking control of their retirement allows them the freedom to make their own decisions and to grow their retirement account based on their directives and not some investment fund. By knowing they have a secure future from their real estate investments, their feet were solidly planted in the ground creating a stable base to nurture and grow their investments – ala Freedom Growth. Why did you start your business? Freedom Growth was started when the market tanked in 2007/2008 as we watched not only our own retirement accounts dwindle down to next to nothing, but that of our friends and family – and the rest of America. We felt helpless, as did others, and knew that we had to do something – we couldn’t sit passively by and lose money. We learned about self-directed IRA accounts which allow investors the ability to invest in other asset classes including REAL ESTATE. With the downturn in lending, homeowners were turning into renters and there was a strong need to fulfill these rental needs. Freedom Growth pairs private investor funds with local-market home rehab operators to provide additional rental opportunities for residents as well as passive cash flow for investors.
Thanks to David Coe, Freedom Growth!
5) A Professor Provided Inspiration
I have been a professional speaker for nearly 40 years. As a matter of fact, I studied to become a speaker in college. The university I attended did a customized curriculum for me so that my BA is in Speech, with minors in Broadcasting and Theater. Just before I graduated one of my professors said I had a particular talent of taking complex concepts and turning them into simple, easily understandable concepts. Thus the name of my company: SimpleWords Communications. Why did you start your business? One day, when I was in high school, a speaker from General Motors Corporation made a presentation. At the time I had plans to major in Theater in college, but seeing him that day made me decide that that was what I really wanted to do. Following his program I spoke with him, and found out he was a professional speaker under contract to GM to do a tour for two years. He gave me a lot of information and advice about what he thought I needed to do, along with encouragement. He said that at the time there were 10 speaking opportunities for every speaker in the market. Today that has changed to 100 speakers for every speaking engagement. It has become a very tough field full of a lot of people who don't know what they are doing. But it has proven to be a very successful career for me. I have spoken to over three million people over the years. In several surveys it has been discovered that more people would rather die than do what I do for a living. I have enjoyed every minute of it.
Thanks to Ric Morgan, SimpleWords Communications!
6) I Brainstormed
I brainstormed for at least a week on the name exclusively. No cash flow analysis, no software or support needs analysis. Just a search for the name. I used word association from all environmental sources. Television, radio, my own brainstorming, print media, internet media. All focused on the core services I provide. In coming up with my name as a start-up I wanted to clearly communicate what services I offer. Also a sense of stability and reliability. Two keys to my business. I knew that the name had to work across multiple platforms. Retail signs, website, business cards, everyday conversation, convention marketing pieces, etc. It all had to be seamless. Why did you start your business? I started my firm because I wanted to offer the public a different experience when it came to financial planning. For many people there are certain core financial services they essentially need. Taxes and insurance are two of those offerings. I wanted the client to have an experience where both of these essential financial needs where being taken care of with one location. The ultimate in financial convenience and service. Also, I had the necessary licensing and experience to do it.
Thanks to Kolonji Murray, TaxAssurances!
7) Because It Is the Way We Work
Build It Backwards is the way we work and the name of our firm. We literally start with the client's perfect horizon/future/outcome in mind & create a success roadmap back to today to achieve it. I resisted the name change for some time even though my Advisory Board said it was obvious. I do get stubborn, on occasion. Why did you start your business? It was time to leave commercial banking (Over 16 years ago) to really make a positive, measurable difference with my clients. Commercial banking was becoming too impersonal & numbers oriented, despite the marketing hype to the contrary. Today, I can go into a firm, assess what they really need, provide the tools, techniques & training to make a permanent different in them they can see & appreciate.
Thanks to Daniel Feiman, Build It Backwards!
8) It’s A Work In Progress
I was going to write a book first. Had the name and the cover all laid out – Toughest Customer in block letters with a soft, script L between Toughest and Customer forming a TLC – which you need for customer service. Somehow the book didn't get written (yet) but a training and consulting company was formed. I am now in the process of renaming the business to something more positive and explains what I do. I formed a mastermind group of business friends to help me in this process, and I have 9 possible names in 3 categories. Currently, I’m asking friends, business associates and people on my mailing list to vote for the best name, and I’m using Survey Monkey for the voting. Why did you start your business? I have a passion for Customer Service. It is because I have always seen it as the glue that holds any organization together.
Thanks to Heidi McCarthy, Toughest Customer!
9) I Stole It
I stole the name from my husband (now deceased), who had wanted to start a software development company called Desert Sky Informatics. When he decided not to form the company I used the name for mine because I liked it so much, and it reflected where we were living – in the Southwest. Why did you start your business? I started my PR firm for the wrong reasons: because I was going through a prolonged period of unemployment and didn't want to have a large time gap on my resume.
Thanks to Jane Blume, Desert Sky Communications!
10) It’s The Name of My Book
My business name is called The Bold & Fierce Foundation. The name is from my book Bold, Fierce & Transformed. We are helping 1000 women find their purpose in life by 2014. Why did you start your business? We started the business because we understand that there are literally millions of people searching for their purpose. We want to empower women to overcome every barrier providing them with tools and a network of professionals that will help them.
Thanks to Bridgette Murphy, The Bold & Fierce Foundation!
11) It Started As a Joke
I jokingly referred to the women in my group as the “Marketing Mavens” and the guys as “Marketing Moguls' and my nickname was “Mavens & Moguls” and it stuck. I sent out a concept test via e-mail with ~100 names and to my surprise Mavens & Moguls came out on top. Why did you start your business? To help companies who wanted access to world class marketing talent but could not afford it on a full time basis. I knew a lot of great marketers and post 9/11 I just started putting together great people with worthy projects.
Thanks to Paige Arnof-Fenn, Mavens & Moguls!
12) It Is Descriptive, Short, Simple and to the Point
Choosing a business name was more about finding a domain that fit exactly what I was trying to accomplish. I'm selling purses online and am in the process of creating a daily video featuring my purses. Purses.tv was a logical fit, and to my luck it was coming up for auction because the previous owner let it expire. I was able to get the domain for a good price. Descriptive, short, simple and to the point that is why I'm the proud owner of Purses.TV. Why did you start your business? I've been in human resources most of my working life, and I've wanted to step out and try my hand at entrepreneurship. I decided to sell something that I truly love purses.
Thanks to Lisa Adams, Purses.TV.!
13) It Just Fell from My Lips
I was talking with a friend and expressing my frustration over the paucity of coaching for middle managers when unbidden, like Athena from Zeus' forehead, these words fell from my lips: “You know what I ought to do; I ought to be a roving coach and do coaching just for middle managers.” At that moment, Roving Coach International was born. Why did you start your business? To address the need for coaching for employees at ALL levels, not just the “big dogs.”
Thanks to CJ Scarlet, Roving Coach International!
14) It Came Into My Consciousness
I was out on a training walk for the 2009 Seattle Breast Cancer 3 Day Walk and the phrase 'embrace activism' came into my consciousness. I chose this name because I liked that it was a call to action: to encouraging activity in general and to making a difference. Why did you start your business? To promote health & wellness– to do something to prevent disease from starting in the first place–but to also support charities that are dedicated to research, treatment and ultimately cures for those times when cancer does strike.
Thanks to Karen Whittier, Embrace Activism!
15) I Hear It A Lot
I am the founder of a transatlantic dating site. I wanted something catchy and unique. As a Brit residing in the USA the most common phrase I hear is “I love your accent.” So I Love Your Accent was born and the domain name was bought while my husband and I were having lunch. Why did you start your business? All my “Couple” friends were divorcing, cheating or separating and when I would travel back to the UK, I was always being asked to “find me a lovely American man/woman” back in the States it was, “introduce me to some of your Brit girls.” So I went ahead and founded a transatlantic dating site.
Thanks to Rochelle Peachey, I Love Your Accent!
16) It’s A Play on My Birth Date
It's a play on my birth date, 11th December. It represents that my business is full of my personality and life. Why did you start your business? I started my business to use technology and media to help people share their ideas, stories, and information interactively via the web.
Thanks to Kealy Nutt, Eleven & Twelve!
17) It Portrayed What We Did & How We Did It
With us in particular it had to be something that portrayed what we did and how we did it (Super and Geek!). Why did you start your business? An old partner who came up with it. I believe over a few beers. I was looking for someone to fix his work pc. After many unsuccessful attempts he decided he could turn computer repairs into a mobile business and SuperGeek was born.
Thanks to Mick Davey, SuperGeek!
18) I Was Writing A Flyer
I was writing a flyer to tell people about my new business. I was planning on doing a letterbox drop. This was in 1994, prior to the Internet. I finished off the flyer with: ‘let me be the secretary you need when you haven't got a secretary’ and immediately I knew what my business name was going to be. The following morning I went into the city to register “A Clayton's Secretary” and have been working with the name ever since.
Thanks to Kathie Thomas, A Secretary!
19) Because It Meant Something Important
We came up with the name as my husband’s family are 1st generation Italian origin Australians and this is a word that is often used. Bambolotta (pronounced bom- bow-lotta) means ‘little doll' and is often used to describe adorable small children or babies as they look like little dolls. We own a children's boutique so the name is quite apt. All parents consider their children to be their little dolls. Why did you start your business? We started our business as we saw the opportunity present when a poorly marketed and run children's store was on the market. We knew would could make it better and make it work for the area it was in. Our store name has been a great story that customers love to hear and become a part of.
Thanks to Melanie, Bambolotta!
20) It’s What We Embody
“Mischief” expresses the cheeky, irreverence we embody. We knew we were tackling heavy social issues and felt humor and fun were essential elements in our approach to them. “Coalition” is partially a political reference, but also reflects our intention to collaborate with others in mischief-making. Why did you start your business? We started Coalition of Mischief as there was a lack of creative design thinking in this sector, and because we felt the powers of communication could be channeled for good!
Thanks to Kevin Bathman, Coalition of Mischief!
21) It States What We Do & How We Do It
In two words, as simply and succinctly as possible, it states what we do, and how we do it. It fits our branding, in being modern and clean, and we don't need to explain what the business does if people only ever catch our name. And none else in the world was using the name, so it was 100% original. “Gadget” – Wanting to help people with technology, I wanted a word that could describe all that we help with (gadgets, technology, social media, web). Gadget seemed the best word, and one that should be modern, but remain relevant as technology changes. “Coach” – We contemplated words like Gadget, help, guy, whizz, etc., but some names weren't original, and were exclusive in description. “Coach” describes someone who works with, and develops someone to bring out the best in their abilities, and to overcome challenges. Why did you start your business? Working in marketing and telecommunications, I could see a big need for everyday people to have help to catch up with technology. Many people I came across felt uncomfortable taking the step to new computers, smart phones or tablets. As it was all daunting, and they wanted to know how, in simple language. With my background, I could see that if I could explain technology in a way people could then learn and teach themselves, then I could help a lot of people.
Thanks to Mathan Allington, Gadget Coach!
22) It’s A Play On My Surname & Gives A Sense of Freedom
The name is obviously a play on my surname but I like to think that the shoes give women a sense of freedom similar to that of bare feet. Why did you start your business? I started my business out of frustration. I was a fashion obsessed podiatrist who couldn't find any nice shoes to recommend to my female patients so I started designing my own range.
Thanks to Anna Baird, Bared Footwear!