Storytelling

24 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- Evaluated what I was doing

Photo Credit: Janet Attard

I started my business back in the 1980s using my last name and the word, communications, (Attard Communications) as the business name because I was a writer. (I incorporated under that name, as well). But as my business grew and changed  somewhat, I went from being a writer to being a writer, and a content provider (essentially an online publisher) and forum manager on the early dialup online services, and my business name didn’t adequately communicate what kind of services my business performed. In 1990, I evaluated what I was doing and came up with the name Business Know-How, since I was providing facts and information about running and growing small businesses. I registered it as a DBA of Attard Communications, Inc., and trademarked the term as well.

Thanks to Janet Attard, BusinessKnowHow.com!


#2- Two streets

Photo Credit: Chris Echevarria

My brand name is the combination of the two streets I was raised on in West Orange, NJ. My house was on Weber Road and my Grandmother’s was on Blackstock Road. Both streets and places taught me things about life that are pinnacles to my brand. My grandmother taught me about authenticity and always remaining true to myself. My father taught me the importance of integrity in everything that you do. B&W is rooted in these principles at a product and brand level.

Thanks to Chris Echevarria, Blackstock & Weber!


#3- Doing the radio test

Photo Credit: Oliver Auerbach

For me, the hardest part about choosing a business name was to come up with a name that could be easy and memorable. Most importantly, it had to pass the radio test – meaning, if you were to say your company’s website name on the radio, would the listeners then be able to find it online, or at the very least say the correct one out load? My company’s name is GloriaFood. I absolutely wanted the name to contain food since it’s highly relevant to the service I provide (free online ordering system for restaurants). So, half of the work was done. To complete the other half, I took a list of names and did the radio test while I was talking with my wife over the phone. Gloria was the easiest name that passed the radio test. So if you’re trying to come up with a great and simple name for everyone to remember, then do the radio test. It’s a  bulletproof way of checking to see if you’re on the right track. Alternatively, you can also try calling a bunch of people, telling them your company name and then asking them to spell that for you. If the answer’s correct, then you just found yourself a winner.

Thanks to Oliver Auerbach, GloriaFood!


#4- Alphabets and an inspiring phrase

Photo Credit: Stan Reents

I wanted a business name that was (a) an inspiring phrase that people could easily remember and (b) began with the letter “A” (yes, really). I came up with “Athlete In Me.” First, it’s easy to remember. Further, when people say it out loud, it encourages them to think of themselves as an athlete. This is in-sync with our mission: to improve your health by exercising regularly. And regarding beginning with the letter “A”: On a long list of business names — such as, a list of exhibitors at trade shows, etc. — “AthleteInMe ” would be listed on the front page, near the top of the list.

Thanks to Stan Reents, AthleteInMe.com!


#5- Considered memorability and online tool suggestions

Photo Credit: Marc Andre

I chose the name Vital Dollar for my personal finance website because I wanted a name that would be easy to remember and would clearly indicate that the website is about finance. I used the online tool LeanDomainSearch.com to help me find .com domains that were available to be registered, and VitalDollar.com was one of the suggestions. I like that the name implies the significance of our financial decisions.

Thanks to Marc Andre, Vital Dollar!


#6- Personal finance journey.

Photo credit: Keina Newell

Sometimes it takes people a minute before they say, Awww, I get it Keina, Wealth Over Now! As a former math teacher, my logo plays off my love of numbers, specifically fractions. My company name came from my own personal finance journey. To achieve financial freedom, I had to think of the future I desired (wealth) over my present situation (now). My approach to budgeting allowed me to pay off consumer and student loan debt and save to purchase my first home before the age of 30! I now support my clients, as a financial coach, in reaching their financial goals by empowering them to weigh their financial habits and decisions against where they want to be a year from now, five years from now, and eighty years from now. Others may call it delayed gratification but I call it Wealth Over Now!

Thanks to Keina Newell, Wealth Over Now!


#7- After my daughter

Photo Credit: Brandice Taylor-Davis

The name of my online store is “Miracle’s Mommy.” The grand idea for my store is to eventually have mothers who are artists and artisans to vend their products through our site. I got the idea after having my rainbow baby and had seen many single mothers like myself looking for stay-at-home work. In everything I do I try to honor a past part of myself and so I named the company after my daughter who passed away. I wanted to acknowledge her because while I never got to parent her she made me a mommy.

Thanks to Brandice Taylor-Davis, Miracle’s Mommy!


#8- Genus name for onion

Photo Credit: Joy Levin

My primary line of business is marketing research consultancy. When I was starting my business, I remembered that someone I had worked with said that marketing research was like peeling an onion – you peel back layer after layer, asking people questions, to get to the core issue. That analogy really resonated with me, and I toyed around with that idea for a while. One day I looked up the genus name for onion and it was allium, so this led to Allium Research and Analytics. Over the years, people have asked me about the name – although the ones who are most interested typically have gardening as a hobby!

Thanks to Joy Levin, Allium Research and Analytics!


#9- After people who matter most to me

Photo Credit: Karen Thurman

The name Thurmanovich is a merging of my married and maiden surnames: Thurman and Piastunovich. Mom had a passion for art and instilled that in me. Dad’s great love of photography led to me becoming a photographer, and my sister’s creativity inspires me every day. My husband (also a photographer, and super creative) is my rock and helps me through the rough days all entrepreneurs face. It seemed only right that I should name the business after the people who matter most to me.

Thanks to Karen Thurman, Thurmanovich Gallery!


#10- Simply who we are

Photo Credit: Maya Frost

I launched my business, Compassionate Survivalist, in September. After learning that the most prepared demographic is white men over the age of 65, I decided to offer a positive and heart-centered way to encourage women to get what they need to stay safe and help others in an emergency. By literally putting compassion first, we are reimagining what it looks like to be prepared. With our pink branding and weekly safety valentines, plus our focus on self-care and compassion for others, we’re reaching an audience that would never buy from a camo-and-ammo website. As a social enterprise, we give a big percentage of our profits from the sale of our emergency kits to local groups helping vulnerable women and children in disaster-affected communities across the U.S.

Thanks to Maya Frost, Compassionate Survivalist!


#11- Define three things

Photo Credit: Kevin Tucker

Virginia seemed like a very big place back in 1998 when I decided to start this company under the name Virginia Lake Management. Today, Virginia is just one of more than 35 states we serve throughout the country. That’s why, in 2010, we chose to redefine ourselves with a name that better identifies who we are, what we stand for, and where we are going. We chose the name SOLitude Lake Management to more accurately reflect the principles that characterize our talented team, the unique markets we serve, and our personalized approach to the industry. The word SOLitude (which we pronounce as soul-itude with a long o) calls to mind the harmony found with the sun, self, land and water through appreciation and preservation of freshwater ecosystems and it better aligns with our goal of achieving ecological balance for each of our valued clients throughout the country.

Thanks to Kevin Tucker, SOLitude Lake Management!


#12- From the most relevant keywords

Photo Credit: Johannes Probst

When choosing a name, we tried to find one which contained the two most relevant keywords that described our business. Since we planned to register it as a worldwide trademark, we had to make sure that there was no other company with this name, and that the web domains didn’t already exist. As we brainstormed, we firmly decided on Sim, short for simulation. From there, it was obvious that the name should also pertain to our unique position as a cloud-based service, so we thought about scalability and this became the Scale. We then voted as a company and decided upon SimScale because it sounded the best and was available as a trademark. The rest is history!

Thanks to Johannes Probst, SimScale!


#13- Reflect what we’re offering

Photo Credit: Anna Rozman

Initially, when Mediametric was just founded, it was called Pandorama and was designed to aggregate fun news and trending content with a cute Panda being the logo. Unfortunately, the service proved to be unprofitable and it had to change. So we came up with a new idea. Since we had already created a powerful web-crawler and developed sophisticated language processing algorithms, we decided to create a media monitoring tool. Obviously, the name Pandorama didn’t work anymore and we needed a new one that would reflect what we were offering. Since our tool didn’t JUST monitor press but incorporated different metrics like Facebook reactions, citations, various indices etc. we wanted this to stand out and the idea of the name came quite easily: Mediametric – metrics for measuring media.

Thanks to Anna Rozman, Mediametric!


#14-By being Descriptive

Photo Credit: Pulkit Gera

Being creative and clever with your business name is fine, but as a small business, I chose to be descriptive when choosing *B*logging Done *B*etter  as my business name. This helps potential customers instantly recognize that my business is for bloggers looking to get better at their craft. This brand name also has a nice repeating *B* sound to it which helps people remember it easily. This is the same strategy used by big brands like CocaCola, Dunkin Donuts and KitK at (Nestle) to make their names memorable.

Thanks to Pulkit Gera, BloggingDoneBetter!


#15- Combined two words

Photo Credit: Scott Perry

I wanted my business name to be appealing while also reflecting its purpose. Since my business, if focused on Baseball and Softball catchers, I knew I wanted the work “catchers” in the title. I also wanted visitors to my website to feel welcome, and to know they have come to the right place. Thinking more on this latter point, the word “home” kept coming to mind as a welcoming place for people. Plus, “home” doubles as an actual location for where catchers play on the Baseball or Softball field (ie, home plate). Thus, combining those two words made total sense to me, and Catcher’s Home was born.

Thanks to Scott Perry, Catcher’s Home!


#16- Based on available domains

Photo Credit: Jon Sterling

Funny enough, I chose my business name based on the available .com domain name. I had a few ideas, but finding a great .com is always a challenge and gets harder every day. The other domain extensions (.net, .co, .info, etc.) just don’t do it for me. Potential customers are more confident in what I’m doing and saying because I have a relevant .com domain name instead of one of the others (because the clever domain extensions are not widely accepted yet). It was also important for the name to be something that’s easy to say and spell. You can be a bit too clever when trying to find the perfect name and I didn’t want to make it hard for people to find me. I kept it simple and clean.

Thanks to Jon Sterling, The Sterling Report!


#17- My cats

Photo Credit: Shane Hebzynski

I suppose I came up with my business name subconsciously. I had been trying to come up with what would become 3 Cats Labs for days. One morning I woke up and I had the name and logo in my head, crystal clear. Your mind can do some amazing things by itself. I do have 3 cats and they keep my company while working. I love the name and it sticks in people’s minds once they hear it.

Thanks to Shane Hebzynski, 3 Cats Labs!


#18- From a Finnish word

Photo Credit: Allison Howard

We rebranded recently and did not take lightly the task of choosing a name that reflects our brand and mission. At Nollapelli we exist to give skin-conscious consumers a new way to care for their skin. Focused on balancing moisture, temperature and friction, our patent-pending fabric for bedsheets and pillowcases helps consumers wake up looking and feeling their best. The name Nollapelli is derived from the Finnish word for “love” and gives a nod to “pellis,” the Latin word for “skin.” In addition, the word itself has balance, from the syllables to the symmetrical double L letters. The moment we said this name out loud, we knew it would perfectly reflect our mission of helping consumers love their skin and further communicate our mantra of finding the right balance to achieve comprehensive wellness.

Thanks to Allison Howard, Nollapelli!


#19- French translation

Photo Credit: Aran Galligan

Aide-memoire translates from the French literally as a memory aid. The term resonated with me because I see jewelry as a way to commemorate a special time in your life. When I was a child, I loved opening my mother’s jewelry box and asking her to tell me about some of the pieces. Some were costume jewelry and some were nicer, but one of my favorites was a charm bracelet with ornaments, including a little cuckoo clock. She could tell me where she had bought each charm and a story about it. That piece of jewelry helped her remember special times, places and people. When I started Aide-memoire Jewelry I wanted to create beautiful, affordable future heirlooms that people could use to commemorate a time and place, and I thought the name fit perfectly.

Thanks to Aran Galligan, Aide-mémoire Jewelry!


#20- Inspired by a Bible verse

Photo Credit: Vlad’ Joseph

The inspiration for my business name came from 1 Corinthians 10 verse 31. So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. I wanted a name that reflects the mission of my business, has an edgy touch while being easy to remember. I found Glory to be catchy, memorable and reflective of our mission. The edgy touch, however, was lacking. I decided then to substitute the y for an -e leading to Glor-e which is pronounced glory.

Thanks to Vlad’ Joseph, Glor-e!


#21- Feeling of symmetry

Photo Credit: Chad Rico

I came up with Gold & Gems when I was 13. I was in high school and drawing in class and writing. I liked it because there are fours letters in both words and it gave me a feeling of symmetry. Also since both Gold & Gems are precious and valuable stones, everything that falls under the Gold & Gems moniker is precious and valuable too!

Thanks to Chad Rico, Gold & Gems!


#22- Considered two things

Photo Credit: Ray Liceo

Sene offers an entire wardrobe for men and women that exclusively uses custom sizing. It’s a brand new approach to custom clothing that combines sleek modern design with on-demand manufacturing. As context, we’re building our business with the CMO of Alexander Wang, former COO at Kickstarter and the retail design lead at Google. My background used to be in brand consulting and a big part of my job was coming up with names. Sene means uncountable in old-french, and for us, it’s about moving beyond a standard size. I knew I wanted the name to be an empty vessel that sounded familiar and was extremely simple (aka four letters). I just wrote down a bunch of names and kept riffing and landed at Sene!

Thanks to Ray Liceo, Sene!


#23- A name that means island of bliss

Photo Credit: Adham Sbeih

We named our company Socotra Capital. Socotra is name that means island of bliss. It was also a safe haven for merchants in the era of Marco Polo. We started the company a month after the Lehman Brothers collapse, wanting the name to evoke that sense of ‘safe haven’ for clients. Unfortunately for us, six months after we launched our name, the island of Socotra was in the news. It had become a launching point for the Somali pirates that were attacking ocean freighters!

Thanks to Adham Sbeih, Socotra Capital!


#24- Rebranded and changed the name

Photo Credit: Hank and Sharyn Yuloff

When we moved to Sedona, Arizona, we thought it would be great time to update our company image. We jettisoned a 20-year-old name, Promotionally Minded, which was known as primarily a promotional products company and upgraded to Sedona Marketing, to reflect that we were now doing mostly business coaching. After the first year, we went through out analytics and found out that we had made a mistake. People were searching for US, Hank and Sharyn Yuloff, not the company name so for the second time in 15 months, we went through a complete rebranding to Yuloff Creative Marketing Solutions. As business coaches, we do NOT recommend making a change twice in 15 months but we needed to make a course correction and it has been a profitable decision.

Thanks to Hank and Sharyn Yuloff, Yuloff Creative Marketing Solutions!


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

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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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