26 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- I turned to the internet
Coming from an agency background our historic method was to get half a dozen creative people together to brainstorm approximately 1000 ideas. Shortlist 50. Rate those 50 from 1-10 on a variety of factors such as length, readability, how easy is it to say etc.. This dragged on for over a month. Finally, at our top 10, of course you find many of them don't have an available .com, or if they do – it's for sale at a hefty price. Disparaged I turned to the internet, and found two gems: leandomainsearch dot com (my favorite) and domainr dot com. Being more technical than creative, I struggle to come up with exciting names, but scanning an auto-generated list of 1000's of ideas that all have available .com names – I found it very easy to identify some great ones. In the end we went with MirrorTrip for the grand total of $18 on Godaddy.
Thanks to Reece Griffin, MirrorTrip!
#2- The fact that I reject snooze-news resumes
I named my business ‘Not Your Mother's Resume' because I reject snooze-news resumes from the past that follow rules from the Fresh Prince era. Before I started my business, I would write resumes for friends and family. They’d say things like ‘wow I didn’t know a resume could have this much personality’ or ‘I thought I had to say generic things like hard worker and ‘team player.’ I reject everything boring and lifeless to write modern and eye-catching resumes that would not have been acceptable when your mother was job searching.
Thanks to Chelsey Opare-Addo, Not Your Mother's Resume!
#3- Inspired by my 2 rescue dogs
For 6 years before starting my business I enjoyed the presence and companionship of 2 rescue dogs that were truly my best friends. So, when I decided to open my digital agency, 2 Dogs Media, it was a no brainer to use them as my inspiration. To play up the name even more, I use when you need a best friend on the web as my tagline. People love – and trust dogs and I wanted my business name to reflect that same level of friendship and trust. It clearly worked because often when I have a new potential client call – our first few minutes are spent talking dogs. If that does not kick off a great business relationship, I do not know what will!
Thanks to Jill Caren, 2 Dogs Media LLC!
#4- A process I went through
For me, the name had to be deeply personal AND highly descriptive. After reaching the pinnacle in my career, I also found myself on the edge of burnout, exhaustion, imposter syndrome, and relational neglect. I found out the hard way that being a driven, high-performing leader is amazing—until it’s not. I knew that if I didn't make some serious changes, I would burnout, harm my company, and probably face divorce. So I made the terribly difficult decision to resign, take time off, reconnect to myself and my family, and embark on a new journey to understand how I arrived at that point. That process led to what we termed a total ReCreation, as a leader, husband, father, and person. This also led to a new mission: I want to give that same gift of ReCreation to others, hopefully before they get to where I was! So, I completed a Doctorate in Executive Leadership and combining wisdom and practices from a variety of neurological, scientific, historical, business, and therapeutic experts, I teach leaders
to defeat overwhelm, take control of their lives, build their unique scorecard, and focus on what matters most. I named my business, ReCreate—a transformation company focused on optimizing business and leader
Thanks to Jeremy Bedenbaugh, ReCreate Solutions!
#5-My co-founders' wife came up with it
As much as I would like to take credit for the name it was my co-founders' wife that thought of it. We wanted to create something that was simple and had a catchy name, and since toilet paper comes on a reel we thought it was the perfect fit for our brand.
Thanks to Derin Oyekan, Reel Paper!
#6- Checked on two things
We came up with our business name by exploring a name that would be both thought-provoking and have a shroud of curiosity behind it. We went back and forth for what seemed like weeks until we settled on Bespoke Extracts. Bespoke by definition means made for a particular user/customer. So, we thought that was fitting as we try to tailor our products to some very specific niches, like sports, pets, health-conscious individuals, and so forth.
Thanks to Danny Pollack, Bespoke Extracts!
#7- Renamed the original name
In 2017 we decided to create a new business that was focused on serving the care needs of seniors, we originally named it MySeniorChoices. But when we chose that business name we went about it completely backwards. In our first year we invested thousands (many, many) of dollars on web development, marketing materials, logos, and branding and our local market was starting to become familiar with our name. Going into our second year we decided that it was time to trademark our business name and logo. However, after meeting with a very reputable Trademark Attorney he let us know that our business name was not likely to be awarded a trademark because it was too general, had too many common words, and there were existing businesses with similar names that would cause confusion. After much deliberation we ended up renaming the company to Senioridy and redoing almost everything: logo, collateral, website and all. Not checking with a good trademark attorney prior to branding everything was probably one of the most expensive mistakes that we've made on our business journey (so far anyway).
Thanks to Cindy Moore, Senioridy.com!
#8- During a trip
My company, Cat in the Box, makes whimsical cardboard box playhouses for cats. Cats are crazy for cardboard boxes. If you've ever spent 3 minutes with a cat, you already know this. If you don't, Google “cats in boxes” and you’ll get about 121 million hits, mostly goofy photos and videos of cats squeezing into boxes they clearly have no business squeezing into. The idea for this business came to me during a trip with my mother to her cat sitter. The sitter is a woman who clearly cares about home decor. But on this day her carefully styled living room looked like the inside of a UPS truck: cardboard boxes everywhere. She sheepishly, explained: “They’re for the cats.” I already knew that cats like boxes (there’s actually some pretty serious science to explain it), but it got me thinking, why do cat owners put up with dirty, ugly Amazon boxes in their homes? Why not attractive, fun, cat-safe boxes? Cat in the Box boxes are made in the USA, eco-friendly, and imprinted with human-grade soy inks. The name of my company isn't clever, but it's effective: every box-loving cat owner knows immediately what my company must sell.
Thanks to Dawn LaFontaine, Cat in the Box!
#9- My partner screamed it out
Our story of how we came up with the name is a bit strange. My partner and I were in college on Long Island and that’s also where we grew up. The thoughts were LI Shades Co, Island Shades, things like that. Nothing really worked and we didn’t want to be limited to the area either. When we did brainstorm sessions we would play tons of video games and talk about everything. One night we were playing Call of Duty and my partner screamed out INCOMING TOMAHAWK, and something just clicked. I looked over to him and said Tomahawk Shades? And all I got back was a blank stare. I asked is it good or bad, next thing I knew we had our company name and the rest is
Thanks to Andrew Shapiro, Tomahawk Shades!
#10- Came to me while on a walk
In 2017 I launched MISGIF, an experiential photo marketing agency that specializes in custom photo booth, GIF and video experiences for brands. After strategizing for one month about what the mission of my new business would be and what I wanted the brand to represent the name MISGIF came to me while on a walk brainstorming phrases that rhyme with GIF (pronounced JIF like the peanut butter brand, which the creator of the GIF Steve Wilhite says is the correct way of saying it, though many will disagree.) The word mischief came to me randomly, which kind of rhymed with MISGIF, and it felt perfect. I wanted my company name to be a clever play on words, elicit conversation about our specialty which is GIFs, and reflect that we're not afraid to break the rules and do things different aka reimagine how photo booths can be used as a marketing tool for brands. While MISGIF gets pronounced incorrectly oftentimes, to this day it's a great conversation starter and allows us the perfect segway into educating our clients and partners about what a GIF is and why our GIF Booths are a must for virtual events.
Thanks to Jessie Whitfield, MISGIF!
#11- Inspired by the most beautiful Doe's (Deer) from Asia
I went on a trip to Japan and came across the most beautiful Doe's (Deer) from Asia. I saw how long and beautiful their lashes were, and it inspired me to start my own line of eyelashes. The lashes that I create are very natural looking that accentuate the beauty of anyone that wears them, just how the lashes of Doe's capture their natural beauty.
Thanks to Jason Wong, DoeLashes!
#12- Expresses my focus
After 14 years of designing brands for corporate clients and businesses, I had a desire to work more directly with entrepreneurs, specifically those looking to claim their name online, build their presence, and leave a legacy. I wanted to help them build an online home that would professionally represent who they are, and bring all of them into the picture, both business and personal. People want to know the person behind the brand and I encourage my clients to consciously create their online presence as a way to differentiate themselves in the marketplace. This is why I decided on the name My Personal Brand as it clearly expresses my focus. I believe that building a personal brand is a powerful way to express your most authentic self in both business and in life.
Thanks to Sara Abate Rez, My Personal Brand!
#13- Because of my wife
She is Latin (Mexican) and because of her, I started a business back in 2009 in France called Vivalatina, an online silver jewelry business. The silver jewelry I was reselling came from Mexico and I wanted the people to remember the story behind the jewelry I was trying to sell. Everything from the reason to start a business to the origin of the jewelry was connected to her, that's why I choose this name, which I was not 100% convinced about at first. Now in 2020, I am the owner of Vivalatina Jewelry Brand selling from both websites to my French audience and to my US audience, we moved back to Mexico where I now have my own jewelry shop and 3 employees.
Thanks to Nicolas Tranchant, Vivalatina!
#14- Helped by a naming tool
I may be the least creative person ever. When it came time to choose a name for my business, I was full of doubt. After all, I knew I would be stuck with whatever name I picked for years to come. Fortunately, a course I took recommended a tool called NameMesh dot com. I threw in a few words related to my business and instantly generated thousands of creative name ideas. As a few great words began to stand out, I did searches on these and gathered even more options. I wrote my 5 favorite names on a whiteboard and slept on it. The next day my wife gave me her vote and that's how SavvyDoggo was born.
Thanks to Mason Hunt, Savvy Doggo!
#15- Out of an interest
My company name was born out of my interest in content creation and marketing. Content igniters are ideas, opinions, or new knowledge that ignite the creation and sharing of content. But, content igniters are also the people who put their heart and soul into creating content that inspires, influences and impacts others. Anything and anyone has the potential to be a Content Igniter.
Thanks to Mike Allison, Content Igniters!
#16- Wanted to change a perception
When you think of a color to represent women, you immediately think of Pink. But unfortunately, the color has such a negative connotation to it. I want to change that. For me, women wear so many shades of Pink – power, passion, poise, pretty. That's why I decided to name my company Pinkcareers. Every woman is different and so is her career journey. We celebrate all of their uniqueness and help them take charge of their careers from day one.
Thanks to Richa Bansal, Pinkcareers LLC!
#17- Bought the domain name first
We actually came up with the domain name first before we decide on the name. We looked through the available domains. We were struggling between DocPro dot com, which was taken and cost thousands of dollars to buy, and a lesser name that cost just a few dollars to register. Then I remembered Jack Ma paid USD 10,000 for the Alibaba domain name (an astronomical sum at the time and more than half of his net worth back in the 90s), I figured that the marketing effect from an easy to remember domain name is well worth the money.
Thanks to Kim Chan, DocPro!
#18- Showcase where I live
My small business – WildernessRedefined dot com – is so named because I'm a passionate outdoors enthusiast, I live in Scotland – which to a large extent is still an untamed wilderness -and I wanted to showcase that wilderness and the activities people could experience there – but from a different perspective; I wanted to* redefine* their expectations. Voila! WildernessRedefined.
Thanks to James Black, Wilderness Redefined!
#19- As suggested by a customer
I began with MoreThanDigital just out of frustration, that there was so much marketing and buzzwording out there when it came about innovation, digitization etc. So I kept on explaining to my customers that this all is way more than just these digital tools and they need to think wider. So when I started off with MoreThanDigital i needed a name and my customer called me and told me yeah, you and your more than digital all the time – So the name was born.
Thanks to Benjamin Talin, MoreThanDigital!
#20- Considered two things
Back in second grade, a group of friends and I created a club called the Dragonflies. I was club President and my best friend was club General. We met during recess and mostly discussed plans to infiltrate another club. Our meetings generally consisted of the group flipping through my friends' brother's ninja magazine and discussing all the grappling hooks and throwing stars we'd need to purchase for a successful assault on the other club. When it came time to name my company, Dragonfly was the natural choice. In addition to being the only other thing I had ever been a leader of, I felt the dragonfly accurately represented the brand I was trying to create: they can fly in all directions, and are therefore agile, and they eat mosquitoes, with represented our commitment to an ethical approach to digital marketing (not sucking blood from our clients).
Thanks to Geoff Hoesch, Dragonfly Digital Marketing!
#21- When I was vacationing
The Cocktail Sneakers story began years ago when I was vacationing in Nantucket and needed a shoe that was versatile—comfortable and functional enough for my active days, yet polished enough for after sunset. I envisioned a shoe that could take me confidently from sunrise to sunset in style without compromising on either. I needed a comfortable shoe that I could pair with capris as well as wear to a cocktail party. I realized that I needed a pair of cocktail sneakers, and in that moment, the idea for our brand was born. Cocktail Sneakers are designed for the busy, modern woman who does not want to have to choose comfort over elegance. Each of our unique dressy sneaker designs can transition from casual daywear to more formal evening attire. Our signature almond-shaped toe delivers a soft, feminine silhouette while our deep heel cup and shock-absorbing insole provide the comfort of an athletic shoe. We’re a two-year old brand that was founded by a team of women, for women.
Thanks to Susan Hassett, Cocktail Sneakers!
#22- Through a simple process
Being it was in 1992, before the internet was born and you had to have letterhead and envelopes designed, we wanted to start a bartending service here in Phoenix Arizona. As we began writing down various options, we also started working on a bottle of Crown Royal. A few hours later we came up with the name Pour Masters and our logo was the name in a helvetica font and the ‘O' in Pour was an alka seltzer pill as the bubbles ran up the side of the paper. It was a fun night. Still going strong 29 years later.
Thanks to Dave Forman, Pour Masters Bartending Service!
#23- Looked at Greek Mythology
I wanted to have a company name that my future associates could identify with rather than the last name of the owner (their manager). As I polled my friends and family for suggestions, one friend suggested that I look at Greek Mythology for some inspiration. I cross-referenced terms used within our industry looking for associations. One of them was headhunter, which so many people call us recruiters. (This connotation has never been a positive representation of our industry so I still have no idea how it was allowed to go mainstream). Anyway, I quickly discovered that Artemis was the Greek Goddess of the Hunt. And voila! I chose Artemis and even derived our tagline from it. Artemis Consultants – Delivering talent worth the hunt.
Thanks to Chris Gardner, Artemis Consultants!
#24- Thought of a welcoming, friendly idea
When I started Yellow Door Digital I didn't have a Yellow Door at all, but the idea painted the picture of welcoming, friendly, and skewed slightly female lead me to settle on the name. It's helped me the right type of clientele and the recall for the brand is high. I also have the opportunity to hint at my brand through yellow and mustard coloured clothing and accessories at networking events and zoom meetings. I now have a yellow door to my office and clients love seeing it when they visit face to face.
Thanks to Kerri Bennett, Yellow Door Digital!
#25- Went through a number of steps
For deciding my business name, I went through the following steps- Considered my offerings i.e. what am I going to sell. Selected a name that resonates with my target audience, market and industry. A name that evokes good vibes and positive emotions with the customers. Made sure that it sounds good and unique to everyone around. Easy to memorize and future proof.
Thanks to Eric Jones, Couture Candy!
#26- Merged two names
Finding a business name that had a blank slate and a domain available is very hard. I wanted a name that would have meaning behind it, but also stand out. I stumbled upon the concept “allo-mothering” that elephants do when a female elephant has a baby the whole elephant herd looks after that baby while the mother recovers and the baby grows. So at first, I was hoping for “Allo” to be the name, but Google used it for a product before. Next, I thought let me add another symbol in, and that is where “bee” comes in. I love bees and feel they're underestimated just like our founding team and workforce of women who have left the traditional 9-5. So I merged the two and we have the beautiful name Allobee – where we support your business from infancy to growth with our individual worker bees (experts) helping to build your business hives! We got the domain for $8.88 and started with a blank SEO slate.
Thanks to Brooke Markevicius, Allobee!