Storytelling

27 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- Through a process of elimination and narrowing down

Photo Credit: Patrick Connelly

Coming up with our business name, Stellar Villa, was quite a process. Initially, we started by sitting down, brainstorming as many names as possible, while writing each one down in a list. Once we had a list of about 100 names, we went through and eliminated our least favorite and narrowed it down to our top 25. The next step was to then search the New York State business database to see if anyone else was using these names. We also did a quick online search to see if any of those names might be associated with trademarks. This allowed us to knock a few more names off the list. Finally, we plugged the rest into our domain name provider to see which of the names had an available (and reasonably priced) domain name. This left us with about 10 names. We desired to launch a company selling artwork, but we didn't want our name to limit us in the event we decided to expand in the future. We chose Stellar Villa since it's a broad name that would allow us to sell art but also other home related products should we ever decide to.

Thanks to Patrick Connelly, Stellar Villa!


#2- When I was reading an article by Annie Prolix

Photo Credit: Hope Gibbs

Inkandescent™ Inc. was born on a train from NYC to DC in 2008 when I was reading an article by Annie Prolix in Amtrak magazine about Elizabeth Gilbert, author of “Eat Pray Love.” Annie called her writing, “incandescent,” and immediately into my head popped the name InkandescentPR dot com.

Thanks to Hope Gibbs, Inkandescent Public Relations!


#3- First we looked at our flagship offerings

Photo Credit: Tina Elven

They say ‘it's all in the name' and this couldn't be more true for our business! When we started our journey of providing unique gifts and activities for dog lovers, we thought we had a business name that was quirky and in line with a dog's mannerism. We were confident it was perfect, how wrong we were! It soon became clear that despite our enthusiastic planning, our name was not something that resonated with dog owners, nor was it one that they would search for. It was time to go back to the drawing board and revisit our mind map to consolidate our goals. First we looked at our flagship offerings and what they were trying to achieve for our customers. Our overall aim is to help families strengthen the relationship they have with their dog for them to live together in a harmonious way. We want children and adults to have fun with this and have developed some new concepts for the purpose of creating moments together.

Thanks to Tina Elven, Dogs Are Family Ltd!


#4- Imply convenience with endless possibilities

Photo Credit: Catherine vanVonno

When I first started my company more than 10 years ago, I was faced with the problem of quickly finding human resources to handle its fast-paced growth. Hiring overseas virtual assistants solved the need to fill out the vacancies and accomplished the dream of operating 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. My company is called 20four7VA because it is the same convenience with endless possibilities we offer our clients. Having virtual assistants from around the world, online businesses can stay open 24/7 because work is delegated and handled by people from different time zones.

Thanks to Catherine vanVonno, 20four7VA!


#5- From an abbreviation and what we wanted to do

Photo Credit: Andre Oentoro

I think Breadnbeyond is a pretty snappy one for our company’s name. Nope, we’re not a bakery business, and we never even used to be a bread company either. Why “Bread” For An Animation Company? It all started in 2009. In the first few years after I initially started this company, we focused on logos, branding, posters, banners – anything to do with graphic designs. Back then, “Bread” was actually an abbreviation for Branding and Animation Designs – BREAD. So, the name was picked since the solution at the time focused on helping clients to strengthen their brand and improve their company’s image. If we want to get even more philosophical, though, it’s actually more than an abbreviation. I think that bread is a popular food in almost all cultures of the world. It’s the food that unites the majority of the world’s civilizations. I can also say that bread is a symbol, a bond, a value.  When bread can be a popular staple food for most countries in the world, we also aimed to be that one “staple” company our clients would ever think of when they need any design for their business. From the very beginning, I also always want to reach out and attract international clients. So, the name bread sounds catchy and easy to remember for all people around the world. No matter what country they’re from and the language they speak, they must be familiar with the word “Bread.” Meanwhile, “Beyond” simply means that we aimed to do more than mediocre graphic designs and determined to exceed or surpass our client’s expectations. I thought that Breadnbeyond was such a unique name, and it would be the perfect way to represent the kind of company we hoped to build. It certainly is a name you can remember and tell your friends about, right? There you have it. That’s where the name Breadnbeyond was born, and the rest is history.

Thanks to Andre Oentoro, Breadnbeyond!


#6- Demonstration of who we are

Photo Credit: Chris Riley

When we were trying to decide on a name for our business we tossed around a lot of flashy sounding names before remembering that in the healthcare industry people aren't looking for flash, they're looking for help.  So, we decided to be as straightforward as possible and chose to simply name our business USA Rx because we wanted it to be clear that we were a business that helps Americans (hence the USA) gain access to prescription drugs (hence the Rx).

Thanks to Chris Riley, USA Rx!


#7- From some famous words

Photo Credit: Aviva Samuels

You may now kiss the bride! are the famous words that people always think of when they are recalling a wedding ceremony. When it came time to starting my wedding planning business, I immediately thought you may now kiss the planner!” for a job well done! And at that moment, Kiss the Planner Inc. was born. It is truly a joy when my clients tell me after the wedding how wonderful everything and ask if they may kiss the planner!

Thanks to Aviva Samuels, Kiss the Planner!


#8- From the idea of shifting the balance

Photo Credit: Tyler Pinckard

I launched my company, Coffee Shift, after visiting Colombia, being blown away by the quality of coffee I tasted in the country's Coffee Axis region, and then learning that coffee farmers there often operate at a loss when they sell their beans. I engineered a way to use blockchain to bypass the coffee middlemen, pay growers directly, and even let customers send a monetary tip to a coffee farmer. The whole idea is to shift the balance of power from corporations back to the bean growers.

Thanks to Tyler Pinckard, Coffee Shift!


#9- As mentioned by my husband

Photo Credit: Beth Jacques Chen

I had a very long list of potential blog names in my phone. Every time I thought we came up with a good one, I ran into some sort of roadblock like the domain wasn't available. After about 6 months of brainstorming, my husband turned to me one night in the middle of a tv show and said ‘bon aip petit!' I said it was perfect. The domain was free and I made it mine before I went to bed.

Thanks to Beth Jacques Chen, bonaippetit.com!


#10- Tried a few different synonyms

Photo Credit: Evan Mendelsohn

We wanted a name that conveyed the playful nature of our products and also reminded people that our first clothing items were centered around the Christmas holiday. We tried a few different synonyms and when we said Tipsy Elves out loud it immediately clicked. We knew we had a name that was fun, easy to say, and easy to remember.

Thanks to Evan Mendelsohn, Tipsy Elves!


#11- Turned to a naming agency

Photo Credit: Kenneth Richard Clark

1-800-Translate was our company’s name for many years, until I found out that some clients were too embarrassed of our name to tell others they used our service. I had known for a while that phones had fallen out of favor, but this was the catalyst I needed for a rebrand. So, I turned to a naming agency in search of a new name. The agency looked for one that reflected what we do now: provide a range of specialized services for high-stakes clients. They gave us 50 names, but in the end I chose Responsive Translation for its associations with tech and good service.

Thanks to Kenneth Richard Clark, Responsive Translation!


#12- From the common self-reflection practice

Tying a name to a backstory is important for business identity. Dear Babe Boutique gained its name from the common self-reflection practice of writing ‘love notes’ to yourself. Our boutique donates a portion of all profits to mental health resources for those without access to it, especially teens and young adults. Both of our founders have struggled with mental health, and have found solace in counseling, journaling, and lots of self-reflection. Practicing self-love can include writing love letters addressed to yourself, as advised by many psychologists, to boost self-esteem, release trauma, and gain closure on uncontrollable events. “Dear Babe” works as a way to tie our mission to our character, while also being compact and recognizable as a brand name.

Thanks to Danielle Sheerin, Dear Babe Boutique LLC!


#13- After several brainstorming sessions

Photo Credit: Valerie Di Maria

When Clare DeNicola and I decided to start a full-service marketing and PR firm 10 years ago, we knew we didn't want to take the usual agency branding route: put our names on the door. Our goal was to create a memorable brand that stood for something. After several brainstorming sessions, we came up with the10company. The significance of 10 is multi-faceted. It means aiming to score an excellence rating of 10, on a scale of one to 10, on every client evaluation. Based on our experience as clients in our previous in-house C-Suite roles, we developed the 10 tenets of client service. These include Vision, Passion and Execution. The letters io in each word are graphically represented as 10 in our materials. And it has a financial aspect as well. We promise to reinvest 10% of fees spent with us on complementary services, such as training and industry reports, and have a 10% performance pricing plan tied to measurable deliverables.

Thanks to Valerie Di Maria, the10company!


#14- Thought about my own experience

Photo Credit: Andrea Wilson Woods

The name for my health-tech, social-impact startup Cancer University (Cancer U) was a lightbulb AHA moment. I've been a cancer patient advocate for almost two decades. My cancer story goes back to my twenties when I became the guardian of my younger sister Adrienne. She was eight years old at the time and I was 22. I raised Adrienne for almost seven years until she died from stage IV liver cancer at the age of 15. After her death, I
founded a nonprofit dedicated to primary liver cancer. A few years ago, I co-founded Cancer U, an online membership platform for cancer patients and caregivers. I kept thinking about my own experience. Less than 48 hours after an ER doctor told me my sister had tumors in her liver and lungs, I had to make major decisions about her treatment. I was overwhelmed. I couldn't even pronounce the name of Adrienne's cancer. I was swimming in a sea of acronyms. I felt like I was going back to school. Voila! Cancer University was born.

Thanks to Andrea Wilson Woods, Cancer U!


#15- Based on the concept of my business

Photo Credit: Sarah Angel

The concept for my business is expressing inspirational messages and uplifting statements in neon lights. And so the very straightforward Say It With Lights was born. I started out with an Instagram account under the same name dedicated to sharing the most aspirational content in my niche and have over the years grown a small neon-loving community on the platform. Today I offer small commercial neon signs through my website as well as printed or embroidered accessories and apparel. The name Say It With Lights is strong enough conceptually that I can expand on product offerings beyond physical neon signs, while at the same time being concise in telling my customer what to expect from my business.

Thanks to Sarah Angel, SAY IT WITH LIGHTS!


#16- Changed from the original name

Photo Credit: Josh Goodman

I bought the LLC a few years before but didn't use the original name, Innovative Tap Solutions. My business partner and I had only 2 weeks to come up with a new name and didn't feel that Innovative Tap Solutions had the power to build a brand. We went through a brainstorming exercise over the next few days where we asked friends and family for suggestions but didn't end up with much to show for those efforts. We tried to get creative and went down the path of different Greek and Latin words for speed, taps, party, etc., but none of the names ended up making sense or sound good enough to build a company around. We were originally leaning towards the mountain where the Greek God of partying was born, Nysa or the actual Greek God for partying, Dionysos, also called Bacchus, but the names didn't excite us, and we didn't want to have to explain it to everyone who
asked, not to mention that the website domain wasn't available! With only a few days left to figure out our name, I texted my business partner asking his thoughts on the name, PourMyBeer, and he loved it, we found out that the website was available, and here we are!

Thanks to Josh Goodman, PourMyBeer!


#17- A name that identified with our product

Photo Credit: Jay Perkins

When we started our business, Kettlebell Kings we were focused solely on one niche product, kettlebells. The thought process that went into this was wanting to included the word kettlebell in the name for branding and SEO purposes. Since, we were only focused on kettlebells, we wanted a name that identified specifically with that item. Our vision was to create the most wide selection of kettlebells on the internet, so we toyed with names like ‘Kettlebell Superstore, Kettlebells Plus, More Kettlebell (after an SNL skit about cowbells) and names that we thought implied a wide selection. We ended up coming up with Kettlebell Kings and because we felt the ‘Kings' aspect conveyed that same message that we wanted to convey and more. The ‘Kings' implied that we had everything and we had the most types of kettlebells. Additionally, it was alliterative and we felt easy to remember. Lastly, it had done wonders from a branding standpoint, because of the nature of what we sell and the name, the logo is very natural. We used a stylized version of a King's face like in a playing card, inside the general shape of a kettlebell. You can view this on our home page. We felt that we did really well as far as a name that so encompasses what we wanted to convey as a brand, but that also the logo looks so natural and implies exactly what we sell and are about. We received repeated feedback from customers who want our equipment because not only is it high quality, but they love what the logo looks like.

Thanks to Jay Perkins, Kettlebell Kings!


#18- Tried out dozens of name and adjective combinations

Photo Credit: Merilee Speigner

When I first started my online business, my main goal was to help people pay off debt, make money, and increase their net worth through budgeting. I believe budgeting is the key to money success for middle-class people, and I help them to figure out how to do it through my digital products and coaching services. So, I wrote down a list of 20-25 names that involved the word budget or budgeting in some way. I also made a list of 10-15 adjectives that could go with it and that would inspire people to not be afraid to get started. I tried out dozens of combinations and eventually decided on Easy Budget. I love the name of my business because it's simple and it goes perfectly with what I do and what I share!

Thanks to Merilee Speigner, Easy Budget!


#19- Based on wonderful and positive memories

Photo Credit: Anne Clark

When I was creating my food blogging business, I wanted a name that really meant something to me and really described what my blog was all about. My Kitchen Serenity was an easy and natural choice. I grew up with parents and grandparents who loved to cook, and with our south Louisiana heritage, cooking was as much about the family as it was about the meal itself. I think because of those wonderful and positive memories growing up, the kitchen has always been my serene place. In the kitchen, I can cook and experiment with different ingredients and spices. I can be creative. I can prepare an expression of love for my family. But most of all, I find my kitchen relaxing and peaceful. It is my place of serenity. Hence, the name of my business – My Kitchen Serenity.

Thanks to Anne Clark, My Kitchen Serenity!


#20- A representation of me

Photo Credit: Margaret H. Geiger

My birthday is on December 31 – the biggest celebration of the year.. New Year’s is a time for setting goals. It’s a time to reflect on the year and make changes to improve yourself, your business, your personal life, etc. And that’s what I do for small businesses. I help them see their full potential and embark on a new journey of opportunity, growth and success. When you work with Twelve31 Media, you get a fresh start.

Thanks to Margaret H. Geiger, Twelve31 Media, LLC!


#21- After myself

Photo Credit: Randi Levin

I spent the better part of my first year in business trying to come up with a clever and interesting name for my coaching practice that went beyond the pedestrian use of my own name. When I came up empty-handed on riveting and empowering business names, what I came to realize is that I am my own brand, and no one else can be that. By extension, if I am my brand, then I need to trade on my own name. The uniqueness that I was seeking was already available exclusively to me. Only I could be the founder of Randi Levin Coaching. Now in year seven of my business, I work really hard every day to stay true to my brand and to align all aspects of what clients know, like, and trust about me throughout social media, blog posts, quotes, keynotes, workshops and coaching sessions. Sometimes the thing we are searching for is exactly what we alone already possess. Naming my business after myself works well because I am my own product and only my name can reflect that.

Thanks to Randi Levin, Randi Levin Coaching!


#22- Using my Initials

Photo Credit: Brian Chung

I started with only my initials, but you couldn't say it out loud because your tongue gets tied. So now I'm using Alabaster which is a translucent type of gypsum or calcite that's usually white and often carved into ornaments. Other thoughts came to mind, but they all felt forced and strange. Or they'd been taken on the internet. I'm a minimalist researcher, so the first thing that came to mind was beautiful ornaments (and there are a lot of them), but those were all found on Facebook or the internet. I also had to make sure I wasn't using the same name as another company in my state.

Thanks to Brian Chung, Alabaster!


#23- Based on some significances

It's in the name, where the magic lies. Every business stands tall on the foundation of trust. People want to associate and partner themselves with a business on whom they can count on. I believe myself to be a dealer in hope and trust. I wanted these significances to reflect in the business ethos. As a content writing agency, I had the vision to position it as an agency on whom people can trust. So we combined the term Ink and trust reflecting the core value of a business that offers quality content and trust.

Thanks to Ahsanat Chaudhar, InkTrust!


#24- After testing several hundred domain names

Photo Credit: Marcin Kolago

We are a website helping people enter the exciting cryptocurrency market. Our first thought to was to name ourselves Cryptoracle. It sounded like a perfect name, smooth, a combo of crypto and seer powers, really perfect. We chose it, and then we discovered Oracle is suing all crypto companies with Oracle in their name. We decided to save ourselves the legal hassle and change. We wanted something short, associated with crypto and with a .com domain available. That was an almost impossible task, after testing several hundred domain names we stumbled upon Coinerro. It was first of all free, rolled off the tongue in a kinda Spanish way and there was no other startup using it. Works great for us, as long as you don't confuse it with Coin Error 🙂

Thanks to Marcin Kolago, Coinerro.com!


#25- While watching the Discovery Channel

Photo Credit: Mike Cohen

I spent quite a bit of time trying to come up with the name for my business and had a list of about 50 different options. While watching the Discovery Channel, I came across the show Deadliest Catch, and became a fan. If you're not familiar, the show chronicles the crab fishing industry and takes place on the Bering Sea. The word Bering stuck with me, and the more I thought about it, I figured it could be used to position my business. The Bering Sea is some of the roughest ocean on the planet, and sometimes the insurance procurement process can be a rough journey for consumers. I figured Bering Insurance Partners could help consumers navigate the rough waters of insurance and have used that terminology countless times. I even have a compass rose built into the logo to keep with the same theme.

Thanks to Mike Cohen, Bering Insurance Partners LLC!


#26- Latin word for orange or golden

Photo Credit: Marlieke Kemp-Janssen

Deciding on my business name didn't happen overnight. I was looking for something unique, but also a name that has a meaning for me. My shortlist with English names didn't satisfy me and so I started thinking about other languages. That's when I came up with Aureum, the Latin word for orange or golden. I like the color orange as it combines the energy of red and the happiness of yellow. Also, orange is often associated with joy, sunshine, and the tropics. It also represents different characteristics I highly value and which have guided me on my road to becoming a business owner: enthusiasm, creativity, success, encouragement, and fascination.

Thanks to Marlieke Kemp-Janssen, Aureum Hospitality Advisers!


#27- After a magical, mythical place

Photo Credit: Drew Dull

2 East 8th was the address of the first apartment building that we lived in when we moved to Chicago from our respective small home towns. At the time, it was about 70% students. It could be a crazy place (the stories we could tell). But it was also an engaging and inspiring place full of art students. Filmmakers like us. But also musicians and makeup artists, fashion designers, painters, photographers. It was a daily occurrence to witness someone creating something. That is the opportunity and atmosphere that we hope to create with 2 East 8th Productions and why we chose to name our company after this magical, mythical place.

Thanks to Drew Dull, 2 East 8th Productions!


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

Mercy - CBNation

This is a post from a CBNation writer. CBNation is a Business to Business (B2B) Brand focusing on increasing the visibility of and providing resources for CEOs, entrepreneurs and business owners. CBNation consists of blogs(CEOBlogNation.com), podcasts (CEOPodcasts.com) and videos (CBNation.tv). CBNation is proudly powered by Blue 16 Media.

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