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19 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- Group effort

Photo Credit: Lindsey Turnbull

MissHeard Media is a media and live event company that empowers and inspires tween and teen girls. The name MissHeard Media came as a group effort. Working with a group of amazing women I knew and trusted, we brainstormed all kinds of different names related to girls and empowerment. Originally, we loved the name Ricochet- the idea of girls rebounding sounded like something we wanted to celebrate. It turned out to be the name of a wrestler and a gun magazine. As a group, we thought about a play on words and eventually settled on MissHeard, which highlighted our youth audience, and a feeling that I wanted to combat: the feeling that girls often have of being misheard or misunderstood. Part of MissHeard is a blog where girls from around the world share their stories- our mission is to make girls feel heard and appreciated.

Thanks to Lindsey Turnbull, MissHeard Media!

#2- Symbolize uniqueness and the 4 C’s of diamonds

Photo Credit: Slisha Kankariya

A name has to be both memorable and meaningful. Four Mine is a play on words meant to convey both the scientific and technical aspects of crafting the perfect jewelry and the emotional components that are an integral part of purchasing jewelry. Four denotes the 4 C’s of diamonds (which are cut, color, clarity and carat) that determine it’s value as well as the emotional for a gift or engagement ring is for a loved one. Mine is to denote that our jewelry is all natural and comes from the earth, from a mine. It is meant to symbolize also that the jewelry is unique and personalized to the taste of the wearer or intended as a gift for someone they hold dear, someone that is mine. The name has been a great introduction to the core ideas that our brand was founded as well as our product offering. It’s also a great way to show that we put a lot of thought and care into not just crafting our jewelry but also the designs and the symbolic meaning that goes behind each aspect of our business.

Thanks to Slisha Kankariya, Four Mine!

#3- A name with competitive advantage in search

Photo Credit: Jonas Sickler

We knew we’d be relying heavily on organic search when we launched  ReputationManagement. Therefore, we chose a brand name that would give us a competitive advantage in search, but also one that made sense for our business. Our domain name clearly communicates our core services to potential organic visitors, and it’s also an excellent way to build a highly relevant, keyword-rich backlink profile. While exact-match domain names don’t dominate Google like they did in the past, they can provide a valuable ranking boost in a competitive space.

Thanks to Jonas Sickler, Reputation Management!

#4- Created a new word

Photo Credit: Shannon O’Keeffe

I was at a crossroads in my career and debating about starting my own sales and marketing consulting business. I went to see a numerologist who told me in a year it would be an optimal time to start a business as I would be entering year one of a seven-year cycle. I was relaxed thinking I had a year to come up with a name until a few days later he called profusely apologizing as he had miss calculated. I didn’t have a year, I had only two days! Nothing like a deadline, numerology or not to get the task done! First I brainstormed on names but every name I picked was taken. Next I asked people I worked with what I accomplished for them and used their responses to inspire me to come up with new names. Again, they were all taken. At 11 PM, one hour to deadline, I still didn’t have a name. Feeling the pressure I decided to clear my mind with meditation. I kept asking; what is the right name for my business? Still nothing. In my refreshed state, I reviewed what others said I had accomplished which was; empowering businesses with the ability to manifest sales results. I decided to create a new word that didn’t exist. It was literally just before the stroke of midnight, I came up with the two keywords consistently people said I did – Manifest and Ability. With that Manifestability Inc. was birthed!

Thanks to Shannon O’Keeffe, YOU Online!

#5- Align with the purpose

Photo Credit: Maristella

I’ve come up with my business name: Ebooks4fashion, because I wanted to create a platform of fashion marketing that helps fashion entrepreneurs, most women to start or to grow their business, through ebooks and online courses. Ebooks4fashion was a very short name, easy to remember and it works perfectly for my audience.

Thanks to Ebooks4fashion!

#6- Using the idea of Chicago sports team colors

NorthSide Metrics is a digital marketing agency based in the Chicagoland area. I grew up as a Cubs fan and from the start I may have liked the idea of using some version of Cubby Blue. That idea extended beyond the colors to the name when I started to think about how to position my agency as not just doing SEO or PPC. So often a marketing company will have a name that really makes it appear to only be a Social Media or PPC or SEO company and that was something I really wanted to avoid. Using the idea of that Chicago sports team colors and the fact that I was born and raised as a Northsider – things started to come together. The colors + location were combined with my love of data to bring in the metrics. I had a few variations of the name and after asking 3-5 people which they liked or hated I ended up settling in on NorthSide Metrics. It also helped that the domain and social channels were available.

Thanks to Dave Rohrer, NorthSide Metrics!

#7- Tell consumers what my business was about

Photo Credit: Patrick Holmes

When I started the company Home Air Quality Guides, I wanted a name that would instantly tell consumers what my business was about. I didn’t want to make up a name or choose something that was highly focused on being a catchy brand because those names often require a tagline to indicate the mission of the business. When you read the business name “Home Air Quality Guides,” you immediately know that you’re going to be informed about the topic of home air quality in the form of guides (or articles). Another reason I picked this name was because I wanted something that would cover a broad range of topics and not box myself into just one or two things. Initially, when I started the business, I focused on educating people about indoor air quality and how air purifiers can help improve it. However, I knew down the line that I also wanted to inform the public about home air cooling and conditioning. Last year, I expanded the site to include information about portable and window air conditioners. As you can see, a variety of air-related topics can fit under the umbrella and business name, Home Air Quality Guides, and I can’t wait to expand my educational offerings as the years go by.

Thanks to Patrick Holmes, Home Air Quality Guides!

#8- Developed a character that people could relate to

Photo Credit: Stephen Hockman

I came up with the business name Trusty Joe after doing a lot of research in my industry’s niche. I run a product review site and every other site doing the same type of thing was using a generic business name or one that was impersonal. What I did to make my business stand out from the crowd was develop a character that people could relate to. I named my mascot Trusty Joe because he is a person you can trust for honest advice when it comes to buying cool gadgets for the home. Instead of rehashing the same old product descriptions like other sites do, each review page features a story from Trusty Joe’s point of view. He talks about his journey behind researching, testing, and finding the top products for a particular home category and explains to the reader what he or she should or should not look for in a high-quality product. The name Trusty Joe made perfect sense for my business because the brand I want to establish is one that gives visitors peace of mind that they’re getting honest advice from a trustworthy source.

Thanks to Stephen Hockman, Trusty Joe!

#9- A name that included what the business does for clients or customers

Photo Credit: Devoreaux Walton

Business owners usually develop their business names in one of three ways: a creative name that has nothing to do with their business (ex. Purple Spaghetti), their first and/or middle and/or last name (ex. Emily Rose), or a name that includes what the business does for clients or customers (ex. Red Auto Repair). My business name was developed with the third way as previously mentioned. My business, Distinct Personal Branding, is a consultancy offering personal branding services for women entrepreneurs. I chose the words personal branding in my business name because that is the industry the business is in, and that is the service we provide. The word distinct was chosen for my business name because being distinct is one of the many results our clients enjoy from our personal branding services.

Thanks to Devoreaux Walton, Distinct Personal Branding!

#10- A name after a creek behind the building

Photo Credit: Elisse & Chef Dan Clark

When we bought the flooded, abandoned building that we’d restore and open as the *Elkhorn Inn* in 2002, we had basically one day to come up with our company name to meet a WV tourism deadline, and so named it for Elkhorn Creek which runs behind the building. Theatre was added because we have a copy of Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre on our property. What we did NOT know at the time was there is a tiny TOWN named Elkhorn about 10 minutes from us- and we are NOT in that town. LOL Within weeks, as we worked on restoring the building, we learned our error, as well as the illustrious history of our historic Coal Heritage Trail building- among other things, that it was built by Empire Coal & Coke Co. in 1922 as their Miner’s Clubhouse. Had we known all that, we most definitely would have named it after that! 15 years later, we still often have to explain that we’re not located in Elkhorn, WV…

Thanks to Elisse & Chef Dan Clark, Elkhorn Inn & Theatre!

#11- A quiet connection to the two people I love the most

Photo Credit: Robyn Lanci

A family is very important to me, so when it came time to select a name for my marketing/pr agency, I wanted something that was a quiet connection to the two people I love the most – my husband and son. So the Owl is a nod to my son, whose bedroom is Owl themed. And my teal branding is a nod to my husband and I, as our wedding color was teal.

Thanks to Robyn Lanci, Owl PR!

#12- Represent the next generation of medicine

Photo Credit: Max Spielberg

My co-founder, David Johnson, and I came up with the name “Genexa” because we felt it represented the next generation of medicine. Our company mission is to make medicine healthier and cleaner by leading innovation in the pharmaceutical industry. We’re pioneering the clean medicine movement, and we felt the name Genexa reflected our desire to push this industry forward towards a healthier place. As a consumer of over-the-counter (OTC) medicines myself, I found it shocking that there were very few clean options until Genexa. Many OTC medicines are made with potentially harmful fillers and binders like gluten, lactose, and artificial dyes – ingredients that many people are sensitive or allergic to. Genexa is one of the only pharmaceutical companies making cleaner OTC medicines free of these potentially harmful inactive ingredients. What we do at Genexa is important because we’re not only creating cleaner medicine options ourselves, but also pushing the entire industry to start offering cleaner options and increase transparency.

Thanks to Max Spielberg, Genexa Inc.!

#13-  Wanted a one-syllable name with recognition of being connected with the industry

Photo Credit: Suzanne Garber

Gauze is the world’s most comprehensive digital network of hospitals that connects and informs the 1.2Bn international travelers who may find themselves sick abroad. Our original name was MedConnect but, after workshopping it at a number of hackathons and polling likely users from the IERG—International Executives Resource Group —we determined that MedConnect was too sterile. We wanted to convey a one syllable name that had immediate recognition of being connected with the healthcare industry yet not being sold as a commodity but a service. Hence, Gauze provides protection (but we don’t cure)!

Thanks to Suzanne Garber, Gauze!

#14- Pay homage to the roots of the original concept of the primary product we sell

Photo Credit: Shawn Bercuson

We named the company Finnbin mainly because we wanted to pay homage to the roots of the original concept of the primary product we sell – a Finnish baby box. The other factors that we were considering are a brand name that is short, easy to spell and feels playful since (after all) we are a baby company. The most difficult part of the process was finding a name that had an available URL. Although the name now seems like an obvious choice to us, after we initially came up with the name we were concerned that people wouldn’t know how to correctly type it into a web browser or possibly might have the wrong initial connotation of the word bin. It wasn’t until I was talking to a friend about the business concept and mentioned a few names that we finally decided to run with it. That friend was so convinced that no other name would even come close to being as perfect as the name Finnbin that after I hung up the phone, I purchased the URL and began to work on the logo and website.

Thanks to Shawn Bercuson, Finnbin!

#15- Based on our business belief

Photo Credit: Michelle Ngome

The name and tagline* Line 25 Consulting – Taking You From Segments to Dimensions *hit me at once*. *It is a derived from basic geometry concepts. When it comes to business, marketing tends to be neglected or a massive undertaken for small business owners. There is a little bit of this and that but nothing streamlined, that is the segment. Our firm believes we are the *line* that will create and execute strategies and tactics that will take you from *segments* to *dimensions* in your business.

Thanks to Michelle Ngome, Line 25 Consulting!

#16- Meaningful name reflecting the business

Photo Credit: Nicola Knobel

Thinking about a business name can be so tricky! It has to be meaningful to you and also the reflect the business. So for us it was important to tie two together. Originally the business was called The Art of life, but realistically while that’s a great name and represented what we wanted, google search wise it was terrible and everyone had it as a handle on social media! So a year later I changed it to My Inner Creative where all the handles on social media were available and I went in hard boosting my SEO. I’m really happy I changed and can’t imagine it being anything else now!

Thanks to Nicola Knobel, My Inner Creative!

#17- Emphasize two important facets of my business

Photo Credit: Michael Roub

When I made the decision to start my strategic consulting firm late last year I wanted to emphasize two important facets of my business: (1) I wanted to work strategically and collaboratively with business owners at the most critical points in their business life cycles. These Inflection Points are precisely where business success and failure occurs; and (2) I had the expertise to provide a comprehensive perspective on their business and wanted to communicate that easily to my clients. This 360-degree perspective – strategic alternatives, operational and financial assessments, acquisition or exit strategies, competitive landscape – provides a business owner with more insight than that of a consulting firm that takes a more limited focus to client advisory. As such, the name Inflection 360 was born.

Thanks to Michael Roub, Inflection 360!

#18- From a personal experience

Photo Credit: Leland Dieno

I became a single father in 2014 and quickly realized that there was just not enough support out there that was not aligned with the extreme sides of the father’s rights movement for men who were looking to better themselves, and become or be the best dads they could be. Blogs were full of the term deadbeat dad , which I expected and understood, but where could those of us who were stepping up to the plate go to connect with each other and share thoughts? There didn’t seem to be anywhere that existed online, so I created it. I came up with the name and logo within about an hour and the brand quickly went from my random thoughts to an online clothing line, a coaching opportunity for me to mentor other men going through tough times and an outlet. It’s been on a steady incline since.

Thanks to Leland Dieno, No Deadbeat Society!

#19- Out of a joke

Photo Credit: Paige Arnof-Fenn

I started a global marketing and branding firm 16 years ago in Cambridge, MA and as were forming I jokingly referred to the women in the group as the Marketing Mavens & the guys as the Marketing Moguls & for short I called them Mavens & Moguls as a working name but never expected it would stick. I did research over e-mail with prospective clients, referrers, media, etc & tested ~100 names. Mavens & Moguls was one choice on the list & to my great delight & surprise it came out as a clear winner. It has helped us be memorable and stand out from the pack. Because I have a hyphenated last name half the battle is for clients to be able to find you when they need your help. I have had clients tell me they could not remember anything other than my first name & one word of my company so they googled Paige & Mavens and we popped right up. I was at an event one day and a venture capitalist started waving in my direction and shouted hi Maven! across the crowd, everyone looked my way and we ended up getting introduced to a portfolio company that hired us! Names contribute to your brand and in our case I think it has been a major plus. Maven is Yiddish for expert and a Mogul is someone of rank, power or distinction in a specified area. I like the alliteration and I think it sets us apart from other consulting firms. It shows a little personality & attitude and implies we do not take ourselves too seriously.

Thanks to Paige Arnof-Fenn, Mavens & Moguls!

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. Very clever ways to come up with a business name. I spent a long time thinking about the name. I wanted something that implied a gift and prank rats. The Gifted Rat. Play on words of a present and being smart.

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