15 Entrepreneurs Explain How They Came Up With Their Business Name

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) After Realizing that Happiness Was a Universal Desire

My own personal turning point happened when I returned to graduate school in mid-life to study spiritual psychology. I came to realize that happiness is a universal desire as well as an inside job of our own choosing. As I looked at the people around me, I saw how so many people believed they are either “born happy” or that happiness was just for the “lucky” ones. And yet, the science of positive psychology proves that everyone's “happiness level” can be raised by self-discovery, training and simple interventions that will cultivate greater happiness and well-being. So in 2009, I founded “Harvesting Happiness” with the heart-centric mission of leading by example and empathy while demonstrating and teaching people how to cultivate or “harvest” their own happiness by living out loud with passion, purpose, place and meaning.

Thanks to Lisa Cypers Kamen, Harvesting Happiness!

2) Defining the Authenticity of My Character

When I started my business, I wanted a name that would define the authenticity of my character as a freelance publicist providing public relations. My business is based on the initials of my name, “Perseverance, Nurturing and Prosperity,” which are the characteristics of my business. The best tip in naming a business is to understand and define your advocacy, mission and purpose of your business and why you are serving clients. You have to be able to comprehend your business brand and convey its message to consumers, which will develop engagement and the influence of interest to buy into your product and services. Your business marketing strategy objective is to gear, gain favor of what consumers are seeking in regard to customer service, product likeness and availability. The mission supports your business needs to advocate with a purpose. The name of your business should be a unique symbolic trademark that consumers can easily identify.

Thanks to Parisnicole Payton, The PNP Agency!

3) A Mother-Approved Name

Like most companies my cofounder and I started by brainstorming a list of names we thought had potential for the business. Testive helps busy students prepare for life changing exams like the SAT and ACT by combining and online practice experience with live monitoring and coaching from real humans. We quickly eliminated 80 percent of the names by seeing which domain names were already taken. To test our final candidate we picked our cell phones and called our mothers on their cell phones. We told them that we were going to say a series of made up words to them and then ask them to spell those words back to us. After lengthy protest from our mothers, they agreed. Testive was by far the one most likely to be spelled correctly. After the brainstorming session, in a haze of exhaustion we almost named the company Testy. My thanks to the guy walking by our whiteboard at MIT Sloan who started laughing when we told him that it was one of our top choices for the company name.

Thanks to Miro Kazakoff, Testive!

4) Showing My Enthusiasm

Thuuz is short for “enthusiasm” or “enthusiast.” People would ask me if I’m a sports fanatic. I could never answer yes because I wasn’t that person who knew all the statistics and everything going on at all times. You know those people, but that wasn’t me. I would always say, “I’m not a fanatic. I’m an enthusiast.” Meaning, I love a great game. I would rather watch a really exciting game involving two random teams than watch a boring game involving one of my favorite teams. Take the baseball season. There are 162 games per team. Not all of them are exciting. I just want to be there when something exciting happens. I don’t watch tennis any other time than during the four Majors. Because of the emotion, context and hype, I want to watch. I’m not a fanatic. I’m an enthusiast who wants that entertainment value.

Thanks to Adam Epstein, Thuuz Sports!

5) A Nod to The Dude

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!

 6) Two Meanings for One Word

Sanguine – a technology company enabling personalized medical research for the development of new and effective treatments – was named as such for two reasons. First is that one definition, in Italian, for the word sanguine is blood and the company’s main priority is connecting patients and researchers through it. The company's app Sangre, which means blood in Spanish, allows phlebotomists to enter a personalized schedule and then offers available blood-donation times to interested study participants. Second is because the word has another meaning, which is “optimistic,” a sentiment that the company shares for the future of biomedical research.

Thanks to Brian Neman, Sanguine!

7) A Play on the Company Slogan

C4 Belts is a belt company that is changing the way consumers accessorize while giving back. The name C4 derives from the 4 C's in its slogan: Choose your Color. Choose your Cause. The way the customer chooses his or her color is by the mixing and matching capability in C4's belt and buckle design. The strap and buckle are interchangeable, allowing countless color combination options. And then with every purchase, C4 allows the customer to choose which one of 4 charities that C4 will donate a portion of the purchase. C4's current non-profit partners are Boys and Girls Club of America, Best Friends Animal Society, Captain Planet Foundation, and Human Rights Campaign.

Thanks to Robbie Hart, C4 Belts!

8) A Bygone Era

To me, this Flour Mill typified a bygone era where Small Businesses thrived in their communities. We tried to brand ourselves around that general idea, and use it to appeal to Small Business owners (many of whom are from an older generation). We have found that the name, the branding, and our approach has made these Small Business owners trust us more, even though often times the work we are doing for them online is something that is outside of their comfort zone, and would normally might lead to frustration.

Thanks to Chad Hugghins, Flour Mill Media!

9) Giving Customers a Blank Canvas

Canvas Eyewear is a custom sunglasses company that allows consumers to upload their own pictures and designs to the frame of their sunglasses. With so many custom sunglasses companies cluttering the space – none of which can do what our company does – we knew it was imperative that our name evoke thoughts of creativity and speak to our unique value proposition. We brainstormed literally hundreds of possibilities, narrowed it down to around ten based on URL and social media name availability, and then made our final decision based on data from a survey we administered. Our final name, Canvas Eyewear, started with the idea that we give our customers a blank canvas to create the sunglasses of their dreams!

Thanks to Justin Street, Canvas Eyewear!

10) A Personal Connection

I came up with my business name because it would give me the flexibility as I grew from a one-man tutoring operation to a company with several tutors. “BWS” happen to be my initials, so it is tied to my personal brand without limiting it to my own services. Also, I didn't want to
limit what our business could do to tutoring–I thought at the time of our founding that we might want to offer a variety of educational services, which is exactly what we do today. “Educational Consulting” not only gives us the potential to offer a wider array of products, but also has a more prestigious ring to it than mere “tutoring” would. The name continues to give me a good joke I can tell to customers. “Why did I call it ‘BWS' Education? Because I wanted to be sure to have my middle initial in the name so it wouldn't be ‘BS' Education!”

Thanks to Brian Stewart, BWS Education Consulting!

11) A Piece of Who I Am

After weeks of coming up with different names, getting excited about them, and then throwing them out the window, I figured out my mistake: all these names seemed generic, unrelated and random when it came to who I was. After much talk, and many ideas that were thrown around (along with some not-so-great suggestions from friends) I finally decided on Bryer. It was during a conversation while having some sushi, that my friend suggested my Brand Name should contain a piece of who I was, and focused on my last name: Brierton. She convinced me that it was unique enough to ensue curiosity, and after some discussion about the length of it, I was sure I wanted to make it monosyllabic. Brier was born that night, and after much thought (with a bit of artistic dabbing), I changed the I to a Y and came up with Bryer. It is a direct reflection of me, of who I am, and it drives me daily to see it become a successful and well-recognized name in its industry.

Thanks to Thomas Brierton, Bryer Leather!

12) Something Fun an Unique

The name KangoGift came to be after a long night brainstorming with friends. We wanted a name that was both fun and was unique enough to do well in a Google search. We help companies with employee recognition so the idea of a gift was a natural way to share what we do. The Kango part refers to kangaroo and represents our goal to have an animal represent us. That said, many people think our logo looks like a fox. In any case, people seem to remember our name even if they don't know the animal.

Thanks to Todd Horton, KangoGift!

13) A Name Which Resonated Online

I've spent the last 4 years as a professional SEO so, when we decided to choose a business name, it was important that we chose one that our target online audience would be able to understand when coming to our website. Our business service is based off of the hit TV show on MTV called Catfish The TV Show and we help people find out if they've been catfished using social profiles online. We wanted to target the people who knew what catfishing was and would be researching on how to find out if they've been catfished online. We did some research online using Google Trends and other keyword software and found out that people were using the term ‘catfish' to describe meeting someone online who was lying about their identity. After confirming that the website was available, we decided to go with Social Catfish as the business name. Our business has evolved and we've expanded our services but, the core of what we do is the same and are glad with the name that we decided upon as we've been able to carve out a great niche online that wasn't really being filled.

Thanks to David McClellan, Social Catfish!

14) Updating My Fashion Sense

MyWardrobe, LLC came about because once upon a time I was not fashion savvy but rather fashion lazy… all my clothes were either black or gray because it was just easier that way and I was in a slump. It wasn't until I had a fancy event to attend that I came to the realization of the fashion trap I fell into. I missed going to the fancy event because nothing in my closet would have been appropriate… it was then that I realized I needed to update MyWardrobe and hence the name for my business… MyWardrobe. The website name came about when I finally updated MyWardrobe and I was adopted into the cool kid fashionista society (in my mind of course)…and because I'm a fashionista now I wanted to tell the world and for our members to recognize the fashion skills within so “my” for MyWardrobe and “me” for mesonista.

Thanks to Keesha Parsons, Mesonista!

15) Changing the Meaning of a Word

We came up with the name on night while we were spinning around on office chairs brainstorming. We had a whole list of names with the hope of trying to make science look cool. But they all came across as cheesy and did not stand out from the crowd. So we looked at each other and said asked “what negative names are used for science lovers?!” Professor Egghead popped right in, and actually sounded pretty cool. We realized that we can change the way people think about Eggheads! So we created the Professor and started the Academy in his name.

Thanks to Gary Tuch, Professor Egghead Science Academy!

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