17 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.
1) A Vendetta
Vendedy is a vendetta for street vendors and its root name “Vende” is translated in English, Spanish, Portuguese, Creole etc as a scrappy street vender . Vendedy is the first mobile network connecting global travelers to street vendors of the developing world. Products purchased locally on the network are dropped off at a tourists hotel. Launched from Haiti and scaled across Latin America- the social enterprise aims to digitize the $10trillion street vending industry and leverage tourism to alleviate 2 billion people out of poverty. The motto is to #disrupthenorm so the vendetta way of being is embedded in the name.
Thanks to Christine Souffrant, Vendedy Corp!
2) Research prior to purchase
In 2006 this, me and my brother had just received our first round of founding which we promptly used to print promotional materials for trade shows. At the time the RoadLoK's name was HamptonLoK, and unfortunately after having all materials printed with that name we received a cease and desist letter from another HamptonLoK that had been in business for some time. Be sure to research your name before expending any funds on printing. You need to 100 percent certain of your name, or investors might turn to other entrepreneurs that have done their homework.
Thanks to Adam Xavier, RoadLoK!
3) Unintended Meaning
When the idea for the Social Networthing platform hit me it didn't immediately have the catchy name it does today. Originally the site had a very different title and unbeknownst to me, the name she had chosen had a rather adult meaning. After being informed by close friends of the situation, I changed the name and found much greater acceptance from the public as a whole. Do your research and make sure you aren't being lude, disrespectful or just oblivious by choosing a name that might carry some negative pre existing connotations.
Thanks to Jenny Q. Ta, Sqeeqee!
4) Several Reasons
I chose my company name, LIDA360, for several reasons: (1) I was certain that I wanted my name reflected in my company name. I was putting 100% personal and professional equity in the business, and my name would be a reminder to myself and my clients that this business offer was from me and the experience, values and skills I brought to the engagement. Regardless of whether I built out a team of professionals to work alongside me, the accountability and vision lies with me. (2) That said, I couldn't use my last name as it's a well-known French car. I didn't want people calling my company looking for auto parts. (3) The “360” represents the holistic and fluid nature of brands. When done correctly, corporate and personal brands continue to grow and mature, but they have anchors. “360” represented that to me, and it was short. (4) I capitalized the LIDA to show confidence and brand boldness. There is no space between LIDA and 360 to intentionally show the boldness of the brand and the commitment to a brand promise that speaks to forward, intention and legacy.
Thanks to Lida Citroen, LIDA360!
We used brainstorming to come up with as many words to describe our company. We then use the thesaurus to add to the list. We mixed combined the list and set it to our team and potential customers. We refined our list over 6 rounds and came up with Castagra (We make Castor oil based coating products).
Thanks to Tatsuya Nakagawa, Castagra!
6) Related to what we offer & ambiguous
What my company does is help mentor and find investor for teen entrepreneurs/startups. I wanted to find a name that had relation to what we offer, while at the same time a bit ambiguous to draw someone in. Myself and the creative team spent hours with a white board, laptop, and dictionary looking at words and how they could represent us. Incubator is the term that perfectly defines what we do, but it was boring and bland. While we had a list of 3 terms, nothing really hit home like incubator. One of my creatives was playing around with the word on his laptop, when he put a dot after the C and loved it. He presented it and I immediately knew that was it. From there we took that as our home run and started the design
Thanks to Aaron Easaw, INC.UBATOR!
7) So people know what we're doing
The name of my business is Life Coach Spotter. I would've preferred to choose a unique, made-up word, such as Zynga, Twitter, or Yahoo. However, because life coaching is still a new concept and in its infancy, I wanted to use the term “life coach” in our name so that people know what we're about. My next big challenge was finding an available domain name because many of the obvious ones were already taken, such as LifeCoachFinder.com or FindYourLifeCoach.com. So I had to be creative and think of synonyms for the word “find”. One that I came up with was “spot” — as in, to “spot” a new restaurant. So Life Coach Spotter it is! And now I'm married to the name, until we rebrand it one day in the future.
Thanks to Tom Casano, Life Coach Spotter!
8) Childhood memory
In second grade, my best friend and I started a club called the Dragonflies (we spent a lot of time catching frogs at the local pond), which entailed occasional meetings between ourselves and some friends. The topics of these meetings ranged from how to acquire grappling hooks and ninja throwing stars (one of our members stole a magazine that sold these items from his older brother) to the overthrow of our rival club, which was really just one kid who hung out in a clubhouse his parents had built for him. The overthrow, outlined in detailed pencil-drawn attack plans, often included tanks and heavy artillery, and, of course, grappling hooks and throwing stars. Although the Dragonflies had no rules about lifetime membership, when it came time to start my own business twenty years later, no other name seemed appropriate.
Thanks to Geoff Hoesch, Dragonfly Digital Marketing!
9) It's okay. Life happens.
I want people to know it's okay. Life happens. I chose the name “Real Life Counselling” as my company name because life happens, and sometimes life is not as “peachy” as we want it to be. However, it's important for people to know that there are trained professionals available, who understand and “get it”. We are all human! Real Life Counselling was founded out of my love for counselling, as I struggled with social anxiety for many years in my youth. My passion is to help other people overcome their anxiety and embrace life with less fears.
Thanks to Ashley J. Kreze, Real Life Counselling!
10) People won't forget
We sell what we call “kitchen self-sufficiency.” My husband suggested “Pantry Paratus.” I gave him a strange look and asked for a definition. “You don't know what ‘Paratus' means? I thought everyone knew what ‘Paratus' means…” Apparently, it is a known Latin term in both military and in preparedness circles. Every time someone looks at me strangely and asks me the question I asked him so many years ago, I laugh again at that initial conversation–but the name has worked for us! “Paratus” actually means “ready” or “prepared” and we sell items like dehydrators and pressure canners, helping people fill their own pantries with fresh foods from their own gardens. Once the name is defined, they never forget it.
Thanks to Chaya, Pantry Paratus!
11) Evoking emotions & feelings
I selected a name for my business to evoke certain emotions and feelings in people. I wanted Silk to be part of the name because it automatically conveys feelings of luxury, high-end and exotic. The Strand was to signify that the products are accessible even in far away places. I initially thought about functional names that represent the business better, but opted for a feeling-based name because I think that it sticks better with people. We could have very well been called Indian Designer Clothes Shop instead of Strand of Silk, had we not made the decision that we did!
Thank you to Vivek Agarwal, Strand of Silk!
12) True identity
Choosing the business name is a critical step for an entrepreneur: it’s the moment when you give a project a true identity. You can change your business strategy, your products, your team, but your business name will stay the same forever. When I started thinking about my business name, I wanted it to describe who our company is, what we do, who we are. The one thing I’ve learned though is external factors can impact the name that you choose: the name needs to be unique, to make sense even in a different language, and for a web-based company the domain name needs to be available.
Thank to Julien Bouyssou, BillXperts.com!
13) Easy Association & Easy to Remember
When we chose the name of our business, we wanted two things: to be easily associated with what we do (hence ‘translation') and simple to say and remember (people have been using inboxes for emails for more than two decades). Besides, since our translations are actually sent to the client's inbox. It makes perfect sense, right?
Thanks to Alina Cincan, Inbox Translation!
14) A Shift
The name Kemcore was a adopted as a shift from our previous trading business of mining equipment to mining chemicals- thus Chem ‘Kem”- Core- “Core business”. We are a one stop shop for all mining chemicals serving various mining regions. Our platform takes the hustle out of sourcing for chemicals from China and Asia.
Thanks to Calisto Radithipa, Kemcore!
15) 3 Ways
The name can be understood in 3 ways: (1) (TravelingMad) – Short for Madeline (2) Mad as in being upset (3) Mad as in a craze. Through my business I educate students on the benefits of travel and study abroad. I also help adults plan vacations. I've visited 21 countries so far and am always ready with my passport!
Thanks to Madeline, Traveling Mad!
16) We wanted a name that works well on search
As boring and unsexy as it may sound, it is very important for a business today to have a name that works well in Search (Google, Yahoo or Bing). With this is mind, we named our company Spoken English Practice. The keyword “Spoken English” is of great importance to us and we wanted to come up with a name that includes it. This makes life a lot easier when it comes to SEO – we have our main keyword in all our website URLs. Are there downsides to having a company name that is not super exciting? Sure, but the visibility we get with Search Engines greatly outweighs the downsides.
Thanks Ross, Spoken English Practice!
17) It was straightforward
The process for choosing my name was pretty straightforward. My website rates and reviews merchant services, so that's where I got the “Merchant” part. The second word (Maverick) was chosen because my whole idea with our reviews was to be very unorthodox and unbiased. I wanted our readers to know that we were honest with our ratings. You put the two together and you have a nice alliteration.
Thanks to Amad Ebrahimi, Merchant Maverick