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20 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- Latin name

Photo Credit: Jerèll Klaver

We are a natural handcrafted bath and body care company, and when we started our company, the values that we wanted to most promote for our business included healthy living, and salt. So after a lengthy search on names that were not infringing on any other Trademarks, we came across our future name SALUS ®, which is Latin for Health, Wellbeing, and vitality.

Thanks to Jerèll Klaver, SALUS®!

#2- Developed various ideas

Photo Credit: Marialuisa Curran

We came up with our business name by first writing down about a million ideas: words that resonated, things we love, people we admire, traits we considered reflective of our vision and mission, and attributes we aspired to showcase. We wanted to be conceptual and no so literal about our service offerings. We also wanted to be flexible as our business grows and diversifies. It needed to ring, be meaningful, and flow off the tongue. This is why we went through so many ideas and concepts before landing on a word that we knew we wanted to use: a word that embodies something solid and everlasting, Infinite. Then we paired it with a cool icon that represents wisdom and agility, Owl. My partner and I joked about being night owls so it all came together to become Infinite Owl Marketing and Design Studio, our full-service marketing agency for content and creative strategy and execution.

Thanks to Marialuisa Curran, Infinite Owl Marketing and Design Studio!

#3- Combined names of our products components

Photo Credit: Josh Wadinski

Two of the most important components of healthy beauty products are plants and antioxidants. All the better when we are able to actually get antioxidants from those plants. Our company is the crossbreed between these two — hence, the name Plantioxidants was born. In turn, we have a completely USDA organic skincare line where over 95% of all of our ingredients are organically grown plants, and each of our products is high in antioxidants (we actually measured each product!). This level of transparency with our customers is a key priority for the brand, helping them understand right away what products are safe and healthy for them to use.

Thanks to Josh Wadinski, Plantioxidants!

#4- Part of my name and who we are

Photo Credit: Rise Birnbaum

We’re a national marcomm agency, so I knew COMM was an integral part of our name. And my maiden name started with a Z, a strong letter, so opted for ZCOMM. I chose NOT to go with my full name, because my full name, ZYWOTOW would have been a bit much. Good for scrabble, but not so good for branding ; )

Thanks to Rise Birnbaum, ZCOMM!

#5- Considered the type of clients I hoped to work with and the company culture

Photo Credit: Scott Fish

Five Years ago I left my day job and started 32° degrees digital, an agency focusing on hospitality marketing. Before choosing the name, I looked at the type of clients that I was hoping to work with and looked at the culture that I wanted the company to have. We landed on 3 premises for our client’s success: Inspire – be seen by adventure seekers, Thrive – digital strategies to flourish, and Sláinte! – It’s time to have some fun. Travel, success and fun are core to what we do and who we want to work with. Wrapping it all together, our tagline Break the ice with consumers works well with the breaking point of water and ice – 32 degrees.

Thanks to Scott Fish, 32 Degrees Digital!

#6- Brainstormed for a few weeks

Photo Credit: Joshua Northcott

Coming up with our name was both fun and extremely frustrating all at the same time. It was so tough that we first opened our doors as a company under an old business name that I still had. After a few weeks as company, the 3 of us opened a Slack channel to consistently share name ideas that would pop into our heads, it was quantity over quality at this point. We knew we wanted something short and easy to remember. But the unfortunate truth is that a good name that we’d come up with might be available but the domain wouldn’t be or vice versa. I ended up working from home this particular day and I have my two dogs, Scully and Angus sleeping at either side of my feet. All of us at Hounder loves and has at least one dog. We even talked about having our dogs in our offices. I then thought to myself was would be a quick name that could reference a dog…it didn’t take long till “Hounder” popped in my head. I mentioned it to the team and instantly we knew we found our name. To this day, after two successful years, we continue to evolve and grow as a company and we still hear from folks all the time tell us how much they like our name.

Thanks to Joshua Northcott, Hounder!

#7- Comparing life to a journey

Photo Credit: J. Hope Suis

My name is J. Hope Suis and because my middle name is Hope, I have always collected anything having to do with the word. I also tried to live my life by that standard, faithfully looking for the ‘joyful expectation’ in whatever came my way. When I started my blog and website, my goal was to provide inspiration and motivation. I like the comparison of life to a journey, and since my passion was to encourage others to live their best lives now, I chose Hope Boulevard as the name for my enterprise. My trademark catchphrase is “Hope With Abandon.” To abandon is to have  impulsive freedom with a touch of wildness. I want everyone I reach to know the joy of having the freedom to hope without limits or barriers, to believe they have the tools within themselves to be bold, unique and achieve their own dreams. To that end, I am diligently working to make Hope Boulevard a resource and a home for all things encouraging.

Thanks to J. Hope Suis, Hope Boulevard!

#8- Based on what I sell and a spin on the word console

Photo Credit: Kimberly Urosek-Honeycutt

Names meaning:  Kin (Family)- Soul (Comfort for a grieving Soul). For me coming up with the product was a challenge, I didn’t realize how challenging and important the name would be. It’s as important as naming your child!  I had three goals: match the name for the intended industry and make the name easy to remember.  Most important, knowing this product was first of its kind in the industry, the goal was to make the products name as important as Klennex is to any tissue. Kimberly Urosek.

Thanks to Kimberly Urosek-Honeycutt, Kin-Soul!

#9- Developed from super-hero cues

Photo Credit: Jordan Barnett

We had a particularly interesting time developing the name for our men’s leggings business. Our products have historically been more feminine, however we had noticed a change in both wearing habits and attitudes towards clothing stereotypes. The challenge was infusing masculinity into a name i.e. somehow getting across the idea it’s permissible for guys to wear leggings. We thought about the most macho men that wear leggings, and sports stars came to mind, but then progressing that line of thinking led us to superhuman masculine figures – superheroes! Whilst doing some research into superhero cues, we stumbled upon the old comic books with the ‘KAPOW’, ‘KABLAAM, ‘BAM’ speech bubbles, and eureka! Kapow Meggings was born’’.

Thanks to Jordan Barnett, Kapow Meggings!

#10- Played around with several words

We wanted something short and catchy and something that explained what type of industries we covered. We played around with it for a bit and came up with Toys, Tots, Pets and More. We could of added Babies into our name but it just didn’t flow.

Thanks to Jim Silver, TTPM!

#11- My last name but a cool meaning behind it

Photo Credit: Adam and Meghan Merlin

While our business name is just our last name, Merlin Auto Group, we did select a tagline that has a great story and meaning behind it. After multiple brainstorming sessions and numerous opinions on what the tagline for our Ferrari dealership should be, we decided to choose the one that actually meant something and didn’t just sound cool. Most people probably assume the meaning of Dream It. Drive It. surrounds dreaming of exotic Ferraris and driving them; while this is true, there is also another meaning that really hits home with us. Since Adam was a little boy he dreamt of Ferraris and owning one one day. As he grew up, his dream of owning a Ferrari turned into a vision of owning the largest Ferrari dealership in the country. Fast forward many years later and now we own one of the largest pre-owned Ferrari dealerships in the country and we are just getting started. For us, the most meaningful part of “Dream It. Drive It.” is that in life, if you have a dream, you are in charge of your destiny and you should take all your drive and pursue what you are truly passionate about.

Thanks to Adam and Meghan Merlin, Merlin Auto Group!

#12- To feel organic and real

Photo Credit: Erica Hartwig

I am a photographer and the reason I picked this was because I want to document real Organic Moments for my couples. I want it to feel organic not posed or setup but, real. I want that moment when your dad walks you down the aisle and you are both crying before he gives you away. Also, a lot of photographers name their company Jane Smith Photography. I knew from the beginning that I was going to build my business and would have employees in the future. I could not just use my name and send John Doe to shoot a wedding. I am very happy I did this because here I am with several employees and a brand name.

Thanks to Erica Hartwig, Organic Moments Photography!

#13- After my grandfather

Photo Credit: J Franco

I chose my business name with my grandfather in mind. He taught me that integrity is very important. That your word is worth more than gold. That in everything you do you should put 100% of you into it! My grandfather’s name is Jose Guadalupe Franco. He used to sign his name J Franco which is my name and named after him. Franco Innovative – Business Design Media & Marketing is founded on those same principles of integrity, drive, passion, and to be innovative as he taught me to be.

Thanks to J Franco, Franco Innovative!

#14- Name that described our products

Our name came about in a very straightforward way. We wanted our brand name to convey exactly what we did, so that our customers would know exactly what we did, and what we were about, without having to do any research. Since we design products for travelers and adventurers, we figured Adventurist was a good, simple word that described our audience to a T, while at the same time using a unique word that was made up (not in the  dictionary). The second half Backpack Co. describes what type of products we sell. So in full, Adventurist Backpack Co. describes what type of products we sell, and who they’re for.

Thanks to Kelly Belknap, Adventurist Backpack Co.!

#15- Picked the name that reflected; Our brand, what we do, and give it personality

Photo Credit: Regina Marie Vatterott

People are usually surprised that we actually have a list of reasons behind the name. First, we are a health and wellness accessories company rather than a medical or healthcare company so we wanted to make sure our name reflected that distinction. For example, rather than being called something like MediSystems we wanted something more short and snappy like FitBit. A second reason for the name is that our first product and inspiration for starting the company is Ellie- The Smart Pill Box with Brains and Beauty. Ellie helps users remember to take their medications and vitamins. Since the product is related to memory, our logo is an elephant because they are known for their good memory. Ellie is short for elephant. A third reason behind the name is that we wanted it to actually be a human name so one day, users can talk to our products which is becoming more and more of a trend with names like Siri and Alexa.

Thanks to Regina Marie Vatterott, EllieGrid!

#16-Between a road and a street

Photo Credit: Brian McAlister

I was at the peak of my wholesale business and finally landed the whale account that people dream of. After PO’s were submitted, we were asked for proof of rights to sell the trademarked name!!!. As an amature, I had never purchased my trademark to save on funds and when the time came, it bit me in the $%#. During a mental breakdown, I found myself driving around town trying to drum up a new name. The two roads that occupied most of my time were the parallel streets of King & Fifth. After an entire rebrand, King & Fifth Supply Co. was reborn and we have gone on to sell thousands of beanies a year!

Thanks to Brian McAlister, King & Fifth Supply Co.!

#17- From a friend

Photo Credit: Yafa Crane Luria

I work with families who have kids and teens with ADD/ADHD. I coach both the parents and the kids on how to communicate with each other better, how to change negative behavior patterns, and how to partner with schools to achieve more success. Previously, my business name was Gifted With ADD and my friend had a life coaching business called, Blocked To Brilliant. I always loved the name of her business and thought, This is exactly what I do with my clients. They’re just blocked, but with coaching, I can teach them how to bring out their brilliance. With the Gifted With ADD name (which had a double meaning that I think Attention Deficit Disorder is a gift and that I think that many ADD/ADHD kids are also gifted), I would get all kinds of questions about the name, like, You think Attention Deficit Disorder is a gift? No way! and also parents who felt their kids were underachieving (even if they had a 3.5 GPA or higher). My friend decided to go in another direction with her business after she wrote a book, so I asked if she would mind if I bought the BlockedToBrilliant URL that she had released. She said, Sure! So that’s how I became Blocked to Brilliant.

Thanks to Yafa Crane Luria, Blocked to Brilliant!

#18- Around my two names

Photo Credit: Brandon Seymour

Back when I was teenager, one of the guys I was playing in a band with started calling me Beymour – he basically just replaced the S in my last name with the first initial of my first name. When I decided to start consulting, I wanted something different than my name, and for some reason, Beymour came to mind. It’s also sort of a play on words: Beymour = be more. It’s really funny when clients finally put two and two together.

Thanks to Brandon Seymour, Beymour Consulting!

#19- Inspired by a few things

Photo Credit: Stephanie Wiggins

My husband Mike and I launched travel and adventure dog gear company DJANGO in late 2016. The original name of the brand was actually Pacific Pup, but Mike and I quickly realized our dachshund’s name Django was a much more fun, bold, and memorable brand name. It is also a much more meaningful name for us both. I am a pianist and love jazz and classical music. I first heard the name Django after listening to Django Reinhardt, a famous Belgian-born jazz guitarist and composer. Mike is a software engineer and very familiar with a popular web development framework named Django. Django represents my love for music and Mike’s passion for coding. It’s also a strong and catchy name – perfect for a unique lifestyle pet brand with high-quality products and a lot of personality.

Thanks to Stephanie Wiggins, DJANGO!

#20- Out of a life experience

Photo Credit: David Engle

I started my business fresh out of a divorce. This was a point when I was reevaluating both my personal and professional lives. In preparation for a solo trip to the middle of nowhere so I could escape the business of everyday life and just be quiet and think, I sought out different people who had varying levels of involvement in my life, and that I trusted to be brutally honest with me, and asked them all the same list of questions. Needless to say, some of the answers I got were painful and if I were brutally honest with myself, they were also spot on. I thought about these conversations during my trip, and I found a common theme; I let things get in my way and create roadblocks in my life. The last night of my trip, I went to a small diner to grab some food before hitting the road to come home. I started chatting with an older fellow who you could tell had learned some wise lessons over the years. We traded some stories about life’s struggles over a couple drinks. When I stood up to say goodbye, the old man’s words hit me like a bullet, Make sure you live your life to its fullest extent. Never waste an opportunity. That moment is when LYFE (Live to Your Fullest Extent) was born.

Thanks to David Engle, LYFE Benefits & Insurance Solutions LLC!

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.

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