20 Entrepreneurs Explain How They Came Up With Their Business Names
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- Name representing a docking station
Alkalign is a holistic health and wellness brand that currently operates multiple boutique fitness studios and offers online group health coaching. It was important in the naming process to come up with something that represented what we do and what we stand for. It also had to reflect our plans for global expansion. We didn’t want to be so specific that we inhibited future growth (ie: Bay Area fitness studio) or so broad that we couldn’t connect the name with the mission. We came up with the name Alkalign because we wanted something that reflected both the focus on balance and alignment in the mind, body and soul. We took the word Alkaline, which represents water, well-grounded, balance, and also refers to the ideal pH state of your body, and combined it with our passion for alignment to form Alkalign. Like an alkaline battery, Alkalign is where you come to get your charge. It’s the docking station you return to Realign and Recharge.
Thanks to Erin Paruszewski, ALkalign Studios!
#2- What we do
Three years ago when I first had the idea for a tyre price comparison website, I started looking for a name for this business. I looked at other price comparison websites, I looked at those businesses selling tyres and then I researched the competition. Having pondered a variety of names for what seemed like a few weeks, it hit me, why doesn't the business name be what we do, comparing new tyres? Once I had a name, CompareNewTyres, I then checked social media and web domains. When I realised that all were available, I decided CompareNewTyres was going to be my business.
Thanks to Nicholas Smith, CompareNewTyres.com!
#3- Came up with several words and descriptors for the business
I had started my freelance business under the name of Design By Vani. When my client workload started to expand and demand increased for creative graphics and web design I decided that it was time to grow the business and hire a team to help support the incoming work. As a result, my husband and I determined it was time to also explore a brand name change that would be better suited to support a larger corporate image. We were on vacation and took the hotel notepad and pen and started to come up with several words and descriptors for the business. Initially, the top two contenders were Smashing Brand and Design An Experience. Somehow Smashing Brand never stuck and Design An Experience sounded more like a tagline. One of the concepts we discussed was this idea of spinning our clients ideas into something tangible spinning their ideas to reality. With those ideas I knew that Design in the name was a must as it's a quick way to recognize our focus in the marketplace. As we started sketching out names and pairing words with Design; the word Spinners just stuck. We wrote it out and had our ahah moment…that was it. Design Spinners was decided upon. It took several weeks beyond that to sketch and come up with the brand identity. We initially started with a spider hanging from the word Spinners because we are web designers, but in the end, our Spinner became our mark. It is simple, creative, memorable and is our official registered icon for the Design Spinners brand. Someday I might still have to play with a spider somewhere…just loved that idea.
Thanks to Vani Gundara, Design Spinners!
#4- Wanted something unique and memorable
Funkyheat came about as a direct result of the boring heating which was available at the time our business was in pre-launch stage. We wanted something that stood out, something that reflected the uniqueness of our Italian infrared heaters and something memorable that people could immediately identify with. Our touchscreen infrared heaters are manufactured by hand with the highest quality components. We don’t mass produce and the name funky heat encompassed this approach.
Thanks to Simon Sharp, FunkyHeat!
#5- Utilized play on words
I’m a museum professional, historian, writer, researcher, lecturer, and more, with a focus on firearms technology. I decided to call my business High Caliber History LLC. The name is a bit of a play on words. Of course, caliber is a tie-in to my focus on firearms history and technology. More broadly, things that are considered high caliber are generally regarded as being high quality, which is what I strive for in all of my work. By utilizing the play on words, I've created a name that conveys quality research and final content that is geared towards firearms, but isn't so on-the-nose that it comes off as unusual if I occasionally create historic content related to a different field – say, architecture or archaeology.
Thanks to Logan Metesh, High Caliber History LLC!
#6- Merged between my two children's names
Why I called by business Coreter was simply when I started it my second child had just been born called Carter, my first child is called Corey, so it’s just a mangal of their two names Core and ter. I had spent ages trying to think of a name, prior to naming the business I had just been trading as my own name, but wanted to become more professional as the agency grew. My big issue is last year I had my third child and she isn't in the name of the business. I don’t wanna change the name – it's something I love, but I will be having some awkward conversations in a few years to explain why her name isn’t part of the business name.
Thanks to Andy Halliday, Coreter Limited!
#7- My lectures and speeches
Fifteen years ago I entered the world of social entrepreneurship by starting an internship agency that matches students with organizations in my country of origin: Surinam. This idea arose from the belief that knowledge contributes more to the development of developing countries than giving money. This business was quite successful and on a frequent base, I was asked to do lectures and speeches on how I turned my belief into a business. It led to me starting another business in coaching and consulting in social entrepreneurship, which is called Belief in Business.
Thanks to Erica van Engel, Belief in Business!
#8- Thought of a word associated with intelligence
Our company combines marketing analytics with artificial intelligence. So when we were coming up with business names for it, we tried all of the startup tricks- removing vowels at weird places, (Nsights) replacing similar sounding letters (Kontentmetriks, Serendipiti, Metrix), or even combining parts of my and my co-founder's names (Brato, which was short for Brandon and Tony). They all either came out sounding ridiculous or we couldn't get the website domain for them. It became apparent that we needed to think more broadly. So I did word association with intelligence, which led to brain which led to cerebrum. We combined cerebrum, because our app had intelligence, with analytics. Thus Ceralytics.
Thanks to Brandon Andersen, Ceralytics!
#9- From an understanding and belief
I simply believed people needed there F.I.R.E back! The name of my business was more born than created though. I was in the midst of leading a corporate training and it hit me. People have lost the FIRE they once had. With that understanding and belief, I started helping people live a FIRE filled life which means they can be more: Focused – Intentional Relentless – Energized!
Thanks to Willie Bj Williams, Inspire The Fire Inc.!
#10- Based on the main idea of my product
I was creating a Q&A site, so it had to be question-related. From there, I looked for web domains available with a domain suitable for my purpose. Unfortunately, many of my beginning ideas were taken. After checking over 30 + domains, I finally found one that was available. From there, I took the words of the domain address and based my business name on it.
Thanks to Welton Wang, What If? HQ!
#11- Translated an English name to Spanish
I am a fashion show producer that specializes in luxury lingerie, swim, and resort wear. I wanted to come up with a name that can bring everything together, something that they all have in common, besides the obvious. So I thought, when wearing either, we're usually barefoot. Barefoot! That's it but I couldn't just call my company Barefoot Shows so I went to the translator and thought of all possible options and it came; Descalzo Shows. Descalzo is Spanish for Barefoot. I thought it was just perfect.
Thanks to Ashley-Victoria Smith, Descalzo Shows!
#12- Fantasy book character
I originally had a totally different name planned for my business in its inception, but as I got closer to my launch date it was clear it wouldn't work, and I needed to come up with something else. I eventually thought let's just use a made-up word, lots of companies do that! What instantly popped into my head was Ranavain, which is a name I've used online for years. I created it back in high school, as the name of a character in a fantasy novel I wrote (it's an adaptation of the name Agravain from the old King Arthur stories). I never finished the series, but Ranavain stuck, and it seemed as good a made-up word as any!
Thanks to Kim Stiens, Ranavain!
#13- The concept of velocity and our favorite sport
The word Velo is connected to the concept of velocity and our favorite sport – cycling. We have a lot of disciplined athletes on our team here at Velo, and when describing our focus and our mission, we agreed that our consistent and measurable results would help our growth-oriented clients to gain velocity relative to their competition. When IT systems are humming, support tickets are few and far between, security is handled, and strategy is ahead of the game, information technology provides our client companies with free speed – velocity they can use to outpace the competition and increase revenue and margin simultaneously.
Thanks to Taylor Toce, Velo IT Group!
#14- Name that reminded of the first adventure
My wife and I met in college in Indiana and soon after graduation, decided we were going to move to Chicago. That was our first time we had gone on our own adventure and we settled on a tucked back street in a popular neighborhood, Wrightwood Ave.. Fast forward 7 years and we decided to move back and start our own real estate business. It only seemed fitting that as we started this new adventure of being business owners that we name it something that reminded us of our very first adventure just a few years prior.
Thanks to Joe Horan, Wrightwood Homes!
#15- Based on my environment and genuine reflection
I launched my business on the south shore of Boston, MA—a tight-knit, coastal community filled with numerous small business owners who are making it happen, while eliminating the dreaded commute into the city. Our business name, Mooring Advisory Group, was created as a genuine reflection of the brand I had initially envisioned and hoped to bring to life. Firstly, the term Mooring is defined as a boat anchor, and my business was built on the concept that Marketing and Sales are the foundational anchors of your business, the stronghold through the ebb and flow of the general economy leveraged for growth and sustainability. It also symbolizes the coastal vibe of our boutique agency dedicated to top notch customer service, which can be lost in a large, city-based agency setting. Advisory Group represents how we serve and operate our business, as both advisors and strategic partners to our clients, versus the intimidating connotation that the words firm or agency can generate. Although our name does not boost our search engine optimization, I still believe two years later that it is the perfect reflection of our brand, and I'm very proud to be leading the charge.
Thanks to Nina Pfister, Mooring Advisory Group!
#16- In recognition of our routes
Fifty Blue is a strategic brand and marketing agency based in Portsmouth on the South Coast of England. Our name is derived from our location. Fifty relates to the latitude coordinates of Southsea and Blue is a nod to the big blue sea right on our doorstep. We feel proud of our routes and wanted this to ring through in our business name. Our primary focus as a start-up was on helping businesses local to us to embrace positive change through the power of marketing so wanted a name that made people reassured that we were local people trying to make a difference to other local people. The name also gives us room to grow. Again, focussing on the big blue, if you consider the earth’s surface is primarily water then in our eyes the opportunities for us are endless.
Thanks to Richard Harper, Fifty Blue!
#17- Reflect the services we offer
I wanted my business name to reflect the services we provide our customers: efficient, high-quality blowouts in 30 minutes or less. I started my business from a personal (ok, I’ll admit it: a little bit of a selfish) need: as a former standup comedian and on-air host, I was spending a lot of time in the gym, and subsequently a LOT of time at blow-dry bar salons. A workout and blowout could end up eating 3+ hours of my day, which is insane, no one has that kind of time, especially not busy women! Having experienced 20 minute ‘glam to cam’ hair and makeup transformations in green rooms, I could understand why a similar efficient beauty service didn’t exist outside the world of TV, so I created it!
Thanks to Erika Wasser, GLAM+GO!
#18-Name that shows the dichotomy in our store shopping experience
It took us six months and multiple renditions submitted to the Trademark office. We had specific criteria: our name had to be trademark-able, we had to be able to get the website, and it needed to be available in all 50 states. Most people don't understand how complex that is! We wrestled most with figuring out how to explain that fashion is something you don't have to pay a high price for. The name Uptown Cheapskate shows the dichotomy in our store shopping experience. Our customers find stylish clothes, quality brands, and a huge selection, but they also save up to 90% off original prices. That's the beauty of resale. The word Cheapskate had negative connotations for our grandparents, but it's a badge of honor for our customers who save when they shop with us.
Thanks to Chelsea Carroll, Uptown Cheapskate!
#19- Inspired by my wife
My wife is one of the millions of women that get a yeast infection when taking antibiotics. When my wife had to be on antibiotics for 30 days she described her yeast infection pain as being on fire down there I wanted to help, but there was nothing I could do. After the fourth day she was in tears, could barely sleep, and wanted to kill someone. Fearing that someone might be me I thought something cold might help and handed my wife a pack of frozen peas – about a second later I was informed I am going to walk around with an effin' pack of peas between my legs, just leave me alone! Like any other husband, I got the hell out of there as fast as possible. I searched the internet for something that might relieve her agony and found nothing. I drove to every pharmacy in Calabasas looking for a cold pack specifically for a woman's private parts. I saw cold packs for every other inch of the human body, but not for down there. While walking back to my car I had it . . . my Flash of Genius, I raced home, walked into the house, and told my wife that I was going to invent VagiKool(r) the first and only icepack specifically contoured and designed for the most sensitive and delicate area of woman's body. She turned her head and gave me one of those looks (you know the one I'm talking about) and said GREAT! You had better hurry up and make it before I kill someone! And that is how VagiKool was born
Thanks to Steven Peisner, VagiKool!
#20- A nod to my Swedish roots and the entrepreneurial spirit
Dala Communications is taken from the nickname Dala, which refers to the Dalecarlian horse, a cultural symbol of Sweden and a part of my own family heritage. The Dala horse represents a legacy of Swedish entrepreneurship and this same entrepreneurial spirit runs deep in my family, beginning with my grandfather who built a successful photography business after leaving Sweden and arriving in NYC in 1903 via Ellis Island. My father is also a successful business owner. Simply put, Dala Communications is a nod to my Swedish roots and the entrepreneurial spirit that runs deep in my family.
Thanks to Leah Williams, Dala Communications!