19 Entrepreneurs Explain How They Came Up With Their Business Name
What’s in a name? Would a rose called by any other name sell just as well? Coming up with a name for your business is just as important as the business idea itself. A name not only identifies you, but it can also serve to set you apart from your competitors and reflect your values. We asked some CEOs, Entrepreneurs, and Business owners about how they named their company and this is what they had to say.
We spent hundreds of hours looking for the perfect name
Our business recently joined the RevTech Labs business incubator in Charlotte and the first thing they said was ‘We hate your name!'. We thought “oh wow…good start.” The name we entered the program with was Sociercise. We thought, being a fitness oriented company that does social good through social engagement, that this name made sense. Turns out that most people can't spell it and even fewer can pronounce it…So we spent about 100 hours over the last three weeks putting together a new name. We've scoured the internet for keywords, phrases, and tools to help us and found some like Panabee.com and Nameyour.co helpful in determining if the web properties for certain names/combinations were available. It was a frustrating time…Over and over again we were lead to squatting sites, where our fantastic, wonderful, new brand's website was being sat on by an internet squatter. We finally hit on a winner that will help our brand focus on the future of our company's platform of non-profit fundraising through fitness activities. We are now fitRaise….logo and website coming soon.
Thanks to Bobby Valentine | Sociercise/fitRaise
I wanted a name that was a part of the personal experience
When I first decided to start my own company making personalized dog food, I wanted to name it after the dog that got me started on home prepared meals. Her name was Shelby and we thought Shelby Healthy was a great name. Problem was – no one would know what we did. I talked to everyone and asked what they thought. I sat down and wrote a list of what it was that I was going to do. Pet Chef came up during this process but it was already taken. We decided to add the “Your” to make it more personalized. Now when I say I'm “Your Pet Chef”, I get a smile or a twinkle from someone's eye. It says exactly what we do!
Thanks to Lisa Hennesey | Your Pet Chef
We looked for a name that would help to represent who we are but could also evolve with the emerging media industry
A great business name should truly embrace who you are today but also leave flexibility to expand/grow/evolve in the future. The ‘t' in tMedia stands for transmedia, the next iteration of emerging media. It's easy to pronounce and spell. It's also lends itself to a
memorable URL, email addresses and other marketing initiatives – all factors that should be considered when developing a business name
Thanks to Carisa Miklusak | TMedia
We wanted a name to help customers understand what we were doing
Our concept was unfamiliar to people, in that we dispense cash for a phone.. This ‘ATM' aspect was crucial for the business but also for consumer awareness, to help people quickly understand what the company was doing. Everyone is familiar with an ATM machine. The ‘eco' part was another core aspect of the business. We founded the company to help reduce the environmental impact of consumer electronics in landfills. ecoATM – a great combination of both business aspects – was born.
Thanks to Mark Bowles | EcoATM
We chose a name that would reflect our ideology
Our firm's name is based on its ideology and staffing guidelines. The majority of the firm's management team are former journalists. Those of us who have worked in the media can best relate to the media and know how to provide journalists the stories they are willing to or interested in telling. Insider Media comes from the firm's ability to provide an unrivaled “Insider” perspective about the “Media” and the unique form in which journalists communicate. “Management” relates to account management and how the one-stop communications company manages multiple forms of out-bound communications like social media, branding, email marketing , website development, and of course media relations. IMM provides service to clients around the country in a variety of industries including hospitality, sports, B2C, B2B, medical and legal.
Thanks to JP Hervis | Insider Media Management
A name that really tied the room together
My name is Itai Sadan; I'm the CEO and Co-Founder of Duda. I get asked a lot how we came up with our name. Both my co-founder and I are huge fans of the movie The Big Lebowski since our university days. As you might know, Jeff Bridges who plays the main character in the movie is called “The Dude”. Our company is the leading mobile website builder platform, and we initially incorporated under the name DudaMobile. A few months ago we rebranded and shortened it to Duda. The Big Lebowski has influenced many other things in the company aside from our name, our software releases are called “White Russian” and “Pinky Toe”. Our conference rooms are called “The Ringer” and “The Rug Room”. People who come to interview love this aspect about our company and it has become a big part of our culture. Did I mention that every new hire gets a DVD of the Big Lebowski mailed to them upon accepting the job offer?
Thanks to Itai Sadan | Duda
I wanted a name that would show the quality in my product
I came up with the name Absolute Green so it would thwart any conversations that my products weren't all natural. Absolute is final and complete. Green because I am an environmentally safe company.
Thanks to Karen Halo | Absolute Green
We wanted a name that connected people to the experience we were creating
Pijon initially explored a number of names for the brand, ranging from highly functional (CareBox.es) to the completely abstract ( Zorgdoos.com ). We realized through our branding process that we weren't building a company that simply boxes up stuff. We were building an experience whereby we help connect people separated by distance, and we would be a part of their connection. The idea of a classic carrier pigeon captured the essential need for people to feel connected to each other from far away. We chose
this spelling (*pijon* is Haitian Creole for the English word *pigeon*) because it's different, shorter, and more memorable for the tweak in spelling. These things feel natural when you arrive at the right place conceptually and it all worked out well to support the brand we wanted to build.
Thanks to Rob Caucci, Michael Mead, Jeremy Pease and Adam Saynuk | Pijon
We decided to name our business (and flavors) after famous architects that we love
*COOLHAUS* = Bauhaus + Rem Koolhaas + our sandwiches look like little modern cold houses/our trucks are little cold houses.
An L.A. cult classic, Coolhaus launched at Coachella in a covered mail truck in 2009. Since then we have grown from 1 truck to 5 cities, 1,500 stores like Whole Foods, and flagship locations in LA, with a huge celeb following that includes Brad & Angelina (booked for their kids' party), Johnny Depp, Will Ferrell, Zooey Deschanel, and Gwyneth Paltrow singing our praises.
Thanks to Natasha Case and Freya Estreller | Coolhaus
We crowdsourced our name
Before I picked my company name, and subsequent branding, I started with a little market research. I emailed a small group (15-20 people) that knew me really well. These were people I had done business with, had mentored or supervised me over the years or had referred me (or my previous companies business). I asked them 5 simple questions about who I was and what they thought about me (my services), etc. Most of the questions elicited adjectives that described me. I used this information and the two trending words, Innovation and Growth as the foundation for my name.
After about 3 weeks of trying to name my company and getting nowhere with my attorneys on an approved name that could be service marked, I decided to crowd source it. A couple hundred dollars later and I had a handful of really good names, including the one I chose and was able to service mark. It's been the best $200 I have ever spent.
Thanks to Sarah Johnson Dobek | Inovautus Consulting
What I was doing was the perfect name
My name is Chris Loney and I am a fashion stylist. My business was the result of a couple failed attempts. I didn't want to be like so many that just uses their names in the title, which works for some. One night, I was brainstorming with my sister and she said to me you are thinking way too much, what is it you want to do with your business? My response, I want to teach my clients about fashion better yet style, you know style Simple. Easy. Affordable. You know, style in a nutshell. This is where Style In A Nutshell was born.
Our blog The Besty List was much easier to name. I wanted to share beauty & style tips in a quick, simplified way; mainly listing our info. BEauty + STYle = The BESTY List. The blog and the blog name has been very popular.
Thanks to Chris Loney | Style in a Nutshell
We made up a new word for our business
We came up with the name, VacuPractor, because it describes the “action” of our product; Vacu for Vacuum pressure, and Practor – because you can be your own practitioner. Two key points to me fellow entrepreneurs, naming you business and product the same has caused some confusion, try to avoid it. Also, when you make up a new word, it is easy to trademark it, but hard to get wiki and others to recognize it.
Thanks to Paul Hagen | VacuPractor
Sometimes all you need is a joke
“What's For Work?” is a career management and job searching website dedicated to women, with our niche market being women who opted out of the workforce and did not get the memo about leaning in. We spent a lot of time trying to come up with a name and one day about two weeks into the search and debate process I came into my husband/CTO's office and decided to ask him “What's for dinner?” as a joke because he and kids are always asking me, but what come out was “What's For Work?”. He said that's it before I realized what I have even said, and I agreed after he repeated it. It is perfect for the demographic we serve.
Thanks to Teri Hockett | What’s For Work?
Establish a “real” connection
Money Crashers is a creative name that allows us to stand out from the competition. I got together with my business partner and we spent a good bit of time kicking around different names, but Money Crashers allows us to establish a “real” connection with our readers – something you don't really find with a lot of websites. We want all of our current subscribers and followers along with any new folks, to know that our website is a place where they can come and “crash” and talk about money. We get a lot of questions about where we got our name and we feel that its uniqueness has helped us grow. Most people really have a positive reaction to it, which is important when it comes to a topic (personal finance) often seen as boring and dull.
Thanks to Andrew Schrage | Money Crashers
We wrote down as many words and phrases as possible
We were on a 14 hour flight from Dubai to Boston and my wife and I used a notebook to put down a lot of random words and phrase combination we believed would best describe our new brand we were creating. Our inspirations came from seeing a different culture in Dubai and ultimately we chose the name “Banarsi Designs” to represent out new exclusive & luxury decor store. The process involved quite a bit of back and forth in terms of brainstorming ideas, and we also used inspirations from business cards we
collected during our trip. We had a lot of word combinations jotted on the notebook and within the first 3 hours of the trip we settled on a name we were happy to move forward with!
Thanks to Pavel Khaykin | Banarsi Designs
Catchy, Relates To My Business, Easy To Remember
When I first registered my company, I had registered two names. Before my website was built my team and I sat down and they asked me if I was sold on the names that I had registered. Together we worked to create a name that was catchy, related to my business and easy to remember. My marketing team, programming team and I ran through a couple hundred names before we came up with the final name, E Fitness Hub. This name stuck as it was easy to remember and catchy. The name also related to what my business was about. E Fitness Hub is an online site for health and fitness providers to market their services and a community where people searching for reliable services could easy access them through the site.
Thanks to Nicole Plummer | E Fitness Hub
From 1992 – 2003 our name was WildLife on Easy Street
In 2003, we met with a PR firm who commented on what an unfortunate name we had. (1) It didn't say what we did. (2) It sounded like we were “on Easy Street” and didn't need donations. A discussion broke into a brainstorming session and we decided to name ourselves by what we do. We rescue big cats, so we changed our name to Big Cat Rescue. The name is so generic though that it took us 10 years of using the name before we could copy right protect the words. We trademarked the logo many years ago.
Thanks to Carole Baskin | Big Cat Rescue
Make it memorable
We wanted to make something memorable that also conveyed a ton about our value proposition, while also making it clear that we are VERY different from our competitors. Most people love it, a few hate it, but everyone remembers it and knows exactly what we do. And that was our goal. All told, we're thrilled with the name and it's helped us become a huge success.
Thanks to Rob Biederman | Hourly Nerd
We wanted others to smile with us
In my late teens and early twenties I worked for an airline with my sister. Anyone working for an airline will tell you that last minute traveling on the cheap is the norm and it’s amazing. As my early thirties came around i wanted that luxury back for several reasons. I had a 3 years old, a new born, worked 12 hour days at a business where I was a principal and i really needed a vacation. I had just 9-11pm to get it done so starting from scratch wasn’t an option. My sister lived and worked in Playa del Carmen, a growing destination, just 1h from Cancun, Mexico. I decided to court the owner of PlayaDelCarmen.com, which I acquired a year later my friend Eric and sister Lisa. Great right? We wanted to give a meaningful name to the business that was going to put a smile on our faces and wanted others to smile with us. I Need a Vacation Inc was born. Thoughts are powerful, putting them down on paper make them real, taking further action with a little grit brings you closer to where you want to be…. on vacation!
Thanks to Jason Wright | I Need a Vacation Inc
So what’s in a name? As we’ve learned today, it’s everything. You may have noticed all of these entrepreneurs looked for names that would reflect who they are; whether that reflection meant their values as a company, the quality in their product, or maybe just something they love. If you want to an excellent company name, take stock of what your company values; find a clever and catchy way of expressing that, and make it look good.
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