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24 Entrepreneurs Explain How They Came Up With Their Business Names

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The idea of exactly what your business is going to usually come 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-Paired the concepts of navigation and physician

Photo Credit: Nicole T. Rochester

I am a physician and former caregiver to my amazing dad, who passed away in 2013. While coordinating his appointments, translating medical lingo, and advocating for his needs during hospitalizations and nursing home stays, I realized that navigating healthcare is extremely complicated and frustrating. If I was struggling as a physician, I wondered how  everyone else was faring, particularly those without a background in medicine. I decided to create a company to help those with chronic illness and their family caregivers navigate the healthcare system. I paired the concepts of navigation and physician and came up with Your GPS Doc.

Thanks to Nicole T. Rochester, Your GPS Doc, LLC!

#2- A name to push back against antiquated industry practices

Photo Credit: Michael Weinhouse

The name Logical Position stemmed from the idea of realizing the full potential and unique needs of each clients’ online advertising. We chose the name to push back against antiquated industry practices that cost clients extra money without getting them amplified results. Practices were running rampant, such as convincing clients that more advertising dollars always means greater returns, or that it’s always a good investment to pay high costs for the first position on the search results page. It’s true that the first position could drive twice as many clicks as the second position, but it could cost three times as much for each click, which may not make sense for every advertiser. Instead, we discover the position and budget that will maximize our clients’ return on ad spend. When we find this, we have found the most “Logical Position” for our client.

Thanks to Michael Weinhouse, Logical Position!

#3- Used my name as part of it

Photo Credit:Tom McPhillips

I started my career in London, in 1976, painting backdrops and scenery for theater, opera and television productions, then moved on to designing live shows and music videos for Paul McCartney, Ozzy Osbourne, Judas Priest and so many more. Each design I drew was signed “A Tom McPhillips Design.” When I moved to the USA in the 1990s to start my own company, I wanted to keep my name prevalent but not too bold so “A Tom McPhillips Design” became “A-TOM-IC Design, Inc.” Twenty-five years later, ATOMIC is known in the live events and entertainment industry for quality production and design services, custom set construction and modular rental scenery.

Thanks to Tom McPhillips, ATOMIC Design, Inc.!

#4- Symbolize combined strategic wisdom of a sage and adaptable tactics of a frog-traits

Photo Credit: Mark Schmukler

Sagefrog Marketing Group, LLC was founded in 2002 as a two-person enterprise through the merger of two existing entities. The name Sagefrog was created to symbolize the combined strategic wisdom of a sage and adaptable tactics of a frog-traits that each member of our team carries over into their daily work. We created our business name by using a combination name system, essentially combining two words or phrases that symbolize the core values we look to broadcast through our brand and business services and embody in our team. We also chose it because Sagefrog is an original and memorable name.

Thanks to Mark Schmukler, Sagefrog Marketing Group, LLC!

#5- Saw a picture of a jellyfish

I came up with the name of my company, Jellifin, while relaxing with family members on Christmas 2016. I already knew that starting a company to serve customers in the U.S. financial markets would require a lot of money and a lot of time. Of which both requirements were not in my favor. So I needed to validate the idea for the company as quickly as possible. Using the Lean Startup methodology, I created a quick landing page but was stuck searching for a unique name for the company. Thirty minutes went by, and I saw a picture of a jellyfish flashed across the TV. I was immediately inspired. As a child, I found the jellyfish to be mysterious yet fascinating creatures. Coupled with my love of finance, I merged the two words, Jellyfish + Finance, and created Jellifin. The word was unique; it was simple, and it quickly rolled off the tongue. And so the idea for Jellifin was born and went live in under 2 hours.

Thanks to Andre Norman, Jellifin!

#6- An embodiment of the vision for my company

Photo Credit: Keisha A Rivers

My business name is an embodiment of the vision for my company’s foundational principles and future growth. KARS stands for Knowledge Always Reigns Supreme. As an educator by background, my goal has always been to move away from supplying static information (i.e., how to do something) to creating opportunities for clients to learn and grow by applying information and creating dynamic knowledge. The process of being able to work with clients to facilitate outcome involves not only assisting them to achieve goals and specific outcomes, but it involves doing that through the focus on learning, growth and development. The KARS Group LTD is therefore a group of professionals and experts from a variety of backgrounds who work with clients to acquire and create knowledge which can be applied to situations and in a variety of scenarios. After all, information is static; knowledge is dynamic–ever-changing and always growing.

Thanks to Keisha A Rivers, The KARS Group LTD!

#7- Blend of two names

The initial concept was to create a podcast to share ideas from business books with the professional community. Because my aim was to do it in English and in Spanish, I wanted a name that sounded well, that were easy to spell in both languages, and–preferably–that was available as a .com. After many hundreds of names I chose ideagurus. It fit the criteria (except the .com) BUT there was already another podcast with that same name… OH, NO! Back to the drawing board. Hundreds of names later, I could not find a name that fit my criteria. I read many naming books, and consulted with a friend of mine who is a branding expert to help me out. Nothing. Then one evening, my husband was sitting in the kitchen and he said, how about a blend of entrepreneurship and gurus: EntreGurus? It fit the criteria perfectly and it was indeed available as a .com. Plus, all the social media profiles were available. How cool is that? It was meant to be! It started as a blog this January and the podcast will come later this year. Back on track! 🙂

Thanks to Helena Escalante, EnteGurus!

#8- Adopted universal symbol of announcements for name

Photo Credit: Ken Rhie

Trumpets have been synonymous with proclamations. Pharoah’s used it to signal their arrival, kings used it to make decrees, and even our modern military uses it to announce the day. So Trumpia, a software designed to help users propagate their message, decided to adopt this universal symbol of announcements for its name. Trumpia helps users trumpet their business’s message to all their contacts in the most powerful channel available today, text messaging. Because even though trumpets may still be effective, let’s be honest: text messages are more viable for most people.

Thanks to Ken Rhie, Trumpia!

#9-  Name that spoke to the next generation of students

When I was lecturing my medical students 3 years ago, I quickly realized that within 5 minutes, half of the class was logging onto Facebook or Youtube. It hit me that the 1 hour sage on the stage lecture was not appropriate for millennial learners. I wanted to create a new way for them to learn. I personally recruited over 100 of the worlds best medical professors to help create a new platform to teach medical education. We called it MEDSKL – pronounced MED School – but spelled the way that my students told be that they text School. We loved that it was only 6 letters, the domain was available, and spoke to the next generation of students.

Thanks to Sanjay Sharma, MEDSKL!

#10- Always used the word

Photo Credit: Jordan Gross

I have always used the word comfy instead of comfortable. It’s such a fun word to stay! In creating a company that emphasizes getting outside of one’s comfort zone, I knew comfy had to be a part of it. I also have always been a big acronym guy, and when I was creating the essential components of a morning routine (Openness, Calm, Funny, Movement, and You), I rearranged them to find that you could make the word COMFY out of them! Thus, Getting COMFY was born.

Thanks to Jordan Gross, Getting COMFY!

#11- Evolved over time

Photo Credit: Sharon DeLay

My company’s name is GO-HR. It has evolved over the years, both the name and our focus. Initially, it was BoldlyGO Coaching. I wanted a name that instilled confidence, both in how people would perceive me, and how our work together would inspire them to pursue a career. As the business evolved more into HR and less about career transition, the business name became BoldlyGO Career and HR Management (the legal registered name). Our clients shortened it and just called us BoldlyGO HR. It was easier for them to reference and, quite honestly, we were more of an HR company. HOWEVER, two things kept happening: People kept asking us if it was named after Star Trek. No, while we like Star Trek, especially the Chris Pine re-boot, it was intended to be more about confidence than science fiction. People just can’t spell BOLDLY. I’m really not kidding. Our name was spelled: boldy, boldiddly, bodily, and so many other things. As a result of all of this, we took things into our own hands and shortened it all to GO HR. It’s simple and it is action oriented, which are two ways we like to convey it is to work with us – simple and action oriented. Our tagline is, You can’t GO without HR.

Thanks to Sharon DeLay, GO HR!

#12- Thought of a clever way to use my name

Photo Credit: Ina Coveney

Back in 1999 I was trying to think of a clever way to use my name Ina(rhymes with Lena) on my AOL Instant Messenger screenname in college.  After considering inapocket, inabottle and other such names, a friend  suggested inanutshell’ and it stuck in my mind as playful, cute and a great play on my name. Of course, someone had already taken that screenname, so I used 3 Ls at the time inanutshelll. When it was time to start my business, it was a no brainer. I dropped the extra L, and Ina Nutshell, LLC was born. My clients love the name. One prospective client commented they thought that Nutshell was my last name upon the first encounter. I thought that was great.

Thanks to Ina Coveney

#13- Non-obvious name

My business name is 10 Carat Creations , which is very upscale. I don’t make or sell jewelry, despite most people’s literal assumptions. Rather, it speaks to the caliber of businesses I create for my clients. I build online service businesses for sophisticated solopreneurs so they can get back to (or start!) working with clients as they travel the world. Business names don’t have to be obvious, and in fact are better when they just allude to your brand’s personality or work. I wanted my name to “feel” high-end and be the theme of my business. I also wanted something opposite of what’s typical in my industry. I think I accomplished what I set out to do, because very few people forget what my business is called!

Thanks to Nicole Faith Website, 10 Carat Creations!

#14- A business name that was different and reflected my beliefs

Photo Credit: Jeff Boss

I’ve always been one to swim upstream while everyone else swims downstream (no pun intended here), and after serving 13 years as a Navy SEAL, I wanted a business name that was different, one that reflected my personal beliefs because I want to do business with people who believe the same. The business environment of today is much like the battlefield–fast-changing, unpredictable, chaotic. However, chaos is also an advantage because it exposes growth opportunities, reveals undiscovered capabilities. It’s the rapid learners and adaptive leaders whose teams will achieve and maintain a competitive advantage, so that’s what I do: help leadership teams adapt to change by applying my experience as a SEAL to the chaos of today.

Thanks to Jeff Boss, Chaos Advantage!

#15- Changed the original name

Photo Credit: Leslie H. Tayne

In 2013, I decided to rebrand my business with the goal to stand out and break out of the shell of that stereotypical traditional law firm and financial services persona. The transformation journey began changing from our original name, The Law Office of Leslie H. Tayne, P.C., to Tayne Law Group, P.C. As a financial attorney and businesswoman, I was looking for a way to advance our company’s brand as we began to expand and grow. I wanted my firm to be established as a relatable and accessible go-to law firm who cares for their clients in a way where they felt more like a member of our family. I have always loved hearing my clients say they feel warm and welcome by not only me but my entire staff and that I am not the typical attorney. This was the catalyst that prompted my decision to change my brand name. The original name I chose for my firm had an old school feel to it. My staff is an intricate part of my businesses’ success. Adding the word Group into my brand name illustrated the team effort of my business. I wanted to be able to recognize everybody and not just myself. It allowed me to pay homage to my dedicated team.

Thanks to Leslie H. Tayne, Tayne Law Group!

#16-As in you unlock a door with a key

Photo Credit: Ky Trang Ho

Key by definition means crucial, essential, fundamental, major, chief, something that leads to the answer to a problem or provides a means of access. I want clients to connotate all of these qualities my services. Financial clearly states that my niche target market is the financial services industry. Media clarifies that I produce communications materials such as press releases, articles, etc. and get clients news coverage.

Thanks to Ky Trang Ho, Key Financial Media LLC!

#17- My first dog

Photo Credit: Katy Harper Doss

My marketing/PR/design business is named Here Molly Girl. Molly was my first dog, and aside from my husband and son, was the love of my life. I always found myself saying, “Here Molly Girl,” whenever I would give her a treat, take her for a walk or let her up on the bed with me. I was giving her things she loved, which made me happy too. That’s what I’m trying to do
every day for my clients. Molly passed away three years ago, but her memory lives on in my business.

Thanks to Katy Harper Doss, Here Molly Girl!

#18- Incorporated a Hebrew word

Photo Credit: Michal Chesal

My business partner Isaac and I came up with the name Baby K’tan. Both our families have strong ties to Israel and we thought it would be nice to incorporate a Hebrew word into the company name. The Hebrew word Ktan means little, so Baby K’tan literally means Little Baby. We get asked about the name quite a bit. The questions we get are usually split into two groups, those who have no idea how to say K’tan and those who are familiar with Hebrew and want to quiz us! We find that customers love to find out that there is a meaning behind it and that it is a cute play on words!

Thanks to Michal Chesal, Baby K’tan!

#19- From working late nights and weekends

Photo Credit: JayDee Mahs

When I first started ThirdShift, I owned and operated two other businesses – a computer training company and an online store for educational products. With an already very busy schedule, the only time I had available to establish my new business was working late nights and weekends – so it seemed appropriate to name this new business ThirdShift. My logo reflects a vintage timecard for punching the clock for those ThirdShift working hours. The name ThirdShift is also appropriate because I sell vintage and antiques. I’m giving these pieces a new life that previous first and secondhand owners no longer want or need, so it’s sort of like these items are going on their third shift with new owners.

Thanks to JayDee Mahs, ThirdShift Vintage!

#20- Bring to life the true nature of my beliefs

When thinking about a business name, my goal was to bring to life the true nature of my beliefs as the founder and the culture I wanted to create within my company. I was really fascinated by the idea of creating a laboratory for ideas and innovative problem solving as it relates to business strategy and brand development, which led me to decide on JaxonLabs.

Thanks to Tom Jackson, JaxonLabs!

#21- Rebranded and renamed after growth

Photo Credit: Ken Ungar

After 10 years of business growth, we had outgrown our company name and knew we needed to rebrand and rename our company. In marketing their businesses, we tell clients, “brand first, then go.” In this process we knew we needed to take our own advice. We started by identifying what words described “who we were and what we stand for.” This became our brand manifesto, representing the essence of our company. Then, we used that brand manifesto to guide our choice of company name.

Thanks to Ken Ungar, CHARGE!

#22- Alliteration

Photo Credit: Jeff Zinser

I learned Alliteration Ain’t Always Appropriate. I liked Right Recruiting because of two reasons. I liked the sound of the two R’s. And it resonated of a lean manufacturing process, which I thought was cool. Sadly, I didn’t think of Google-ability. Some people Google “Wright instead of “Right. Sometimes the search results can include every site with the words right and recruiting in it. If I were to do it again, I would try to find something more unique that is spelled in only one way instead of multiple options.

Thanks to Jeff Zinser, Right Recruiting!

#23- From a nickname

Photo Credit: Trisha Trixie

Years ago I had another business name and after my third trademark infringement, I was at my wit’s end. I hired a trademark attorney and his  advice was to name the business that represented me, my uniqueness and
offered a wide variety of services like I do. He asked me if there was a name, nickname or something that did that. I stated, I had used the name Trisha Trixie on forums and blogs and maybe I could use that. After researching and looking to ensure I would not have another trademark infringement, this became not only my business name but my brand, my reputation, my character. My business name is Trisha Trixie and Company. He also said to use that name everywhere and brand me over and over with that name. I am often teased that if you Google Trisha Trixie, to give your self sometime because you might be there awhile. Trisha Trixie is not only my business name, it is my brand now. It represents me. It is who I do not matter what I have done or am doing.

Thanks to Trisha Trixie

#24- From a huge list of names

Photo Credit: Alan Paul

We wanted to create a brand that would be known for being thorough, and going the extra mile, so choosing a relevant name for our business was integral to that. Having a name that stood out and made our business instantly recognisable was also incredibly important. Although we did consider a huge list of terms to name our business, the word ‘Detailed’ seemed to summarise what we were looking to achieve perfectly. We then purchased Detailed.com and made sure that everything we released on the site was in keeping with our name.

Thanks to Alan Paul, Detailed!

How did you come up with your business name? Tell us in the comments below. Don’t forget to join our #IamCEO Community

About Mercy - CBNation

This is a post from a CEO Blog Nation writer. CEO Blog Nation is a community of blogs for entrepreneurs and business owners. Started in much the same way as most small businesses, CEO Blog Nation captures the essence of entrepreneurship by allowing entrepreneurs and business owners to have a voice. CEO Blog Nation provides news, information, events and even startup business tips for entrepreneurs, startups and business owners to succeed.

One comment

  1. I actually came up with my business’ name based on my childhood nickname. I wanted something that embodied me and would stick with my company’s brand no matter what.

    KayCee Enterprises is an office management firm based in Media, PA. We run our business and customer’s business based on our motto PLAN…IMPLEMENT…GROW

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