The idea of exactly what your business is going to do usually comes first. Second, 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 has the right ring to it. Even still some people study foreign words for the perfect meaning behind their chosen business. Whatever the inspiration or relation may be, naming 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.
Here is what some CEOs said about how they came up with a business name.
#1- Through brainstorming
I did not want to name my agency after my surname because I thought that was boring and would make my company sound like a law firm. So when brainstorming ideas with my wife, a marketing guru, we settled on LEVEL PR because it a) echoed the company's mission statement (to level up the brand awareness of tech startups) b) reminded me of video games, which I love and c) included the name Lev, which is my son's name. The name really checked off multiple boxes and to this day, it still rings true.
Thanks to Scott Rosenblum, LEVEL PR!
#2- By personal status
I’m well known for being a “Cheetah,” which means I move very fast and can quickly change directions. The idea of being a Cheetah emerged while in marriage counseling at 33 years old when my first marriage was ending. Five years later when I was launching my company, we had to come up with a name. I just took a quick glance around my office at all the cheetah pictures, statues, and posters friends had given me over the years to come up with the name ─ Cheetah Learning.
Thanks to Michelle LaBrosse, Cheetah Learning!
#3- Defining company mission
When my Co-Founders Leslie Alvarado and Dr. Aubrey J. Grant and I were thinking of the name for our company, we knew we wanted to include the word “equity” because that’s what we’re working to achieve through our innovative use of Virtual Reality technology to combat implicit bias. Because we all went to Davidson College and that was the thread that initially connected us. The cafeteria at Davidson is called Vail Commons. It’s a place where all students come together and gather for meals. As soon as the name Equity Commons came to us, we knew it was perfect.
Thanks to Whitney A. White, Equity Commons!
#4- To promote well-being
The name “Animal Fair” was selected to encapsulate the fusion of celebrity and pop culture with the animal realm. Through this platform, my mission is to disseminate knowledge and advocate for the adoption of animals, irrespective of their breed, size, age, or color—be they dogs or cats. Moreover, we proudly showcase celebrities and their cherished rescue pets, further underscoring our dedication to promoting animal well-being.
Thanks to Wendy Diamond, Animal Fair Media!
#5- To get engagement of cancer patients
Knowing that better-educated and informed patients achieve better treatment results, even when it comes to cancer, I named our company XpertPatient for 3 reasons. 1) to help normalize and even promote the importance of being an engaged cancer patient right from the start; 2) to bring forward the value proposition of visiting XpertPatient.com; 3) to signal to potential sponsors ( large hospitals, pharmaceutical brands) that XpertPatient is playing an active role in enabling shared decision-making.
Thanks to Risa Arin, XpertPatient!
#6- Using relevant keywords
At Breachsense, the first step we did was to brainstorm relevant keywords and concepts related to data breach monitoring. We wanted something short and memorable. It needed to be easy to spell and pronounce. Next, we combined various keywords and checked which domain names along with the relevant social handles were available. This process quickly whittled down the options and made the best choice quite obvious.
Thanks to Josh Amishav, Breachsense!
#7- Using creativity and imagination
Entrepreneurs and forward-thinking business owners give their businesses a name that reflects the heart of what they love and care about. Just as we carefully make each pair of Foot Cardigan socks, our creative thinkers blend imagination, meaning, and a special connection into their brand. When we began Foot Cardigan, we looked for a name that would reveal our enjoyable way of selling socks. We chose “Foot Cardigan” because it matched our fun brand as it brings to mind cozy socks with a surprising touch.
Thanks to Daniel Seeff, Foot Cardigan!
#8- Using short and simple terms
As entrepreneurs and co-founders of our small business, we wanted our company to be memorable with a short, punchy name that any layperson outside our industry would immediately recognize and understand. Bidding for contracts, though? That's something everyone understands. We like the idea that the right mixture of information, writing, organization, and design can create a new element– almost like a chemical reaction. We joke that one day we'll be like Facebook and drop the “The” from our name, but until that day comes, we're The Bid Lab.
Thanks to Maurice Harary, The Bid Lab!
#9- Defining company purpose and aim
I wanted a name that would tie into what the business was about. I first came up with an alliteration, Empowering Entrepreneurs in Emerging Economies. That was way too long for a company name, so I called it EFour Enterprises, referring to the four “E”s and adding another one (Enterprises), which admittedly may be a bit much LOL. The logo explains things by highlighting the “E”s to show what they stand for and serving as a combination name and tagline.
Thanks to Donna Rosa, EFour Enterprises!
#10- Providing emotional connection
Our service is an intelligent application that keeps calls safe and protects users from scammers. We also had to have a name that was easy to remember, spell, and look for online. My first pick was “SmartCaller,” but we went with “CallerSmart” since that domain was unavailable. In a fast-connected world, where increasing digital scams and privacy fears have users searching for ways to protect their online lives, we had to have a name that stood out from our competitors but also provided a positive sense of security and emotional connection.
Thanks to Brian David Crane, Caller Smart Inc!
#11- To convey commitment to clients
When we were brainstorming for a name for our business, we wanted something that would reflect our passion for art and design while also conveying our commitment to helping businesses create impactful logos. After much contemplation, we settled on “ArtLogo” as it perfectly encapsulated our mission and expertise. As a leading e-commerce platform, we craft exclusive handwritten logos, signatures, and watermarks that elevate branding for business professionals.
Thanks to Cynthia Post, ArtLogo!
#12- Going through variations
The initial inspiration stemmed from the word “gather,” which encapsulates the essence of bringing people together and fostering connections. As this concept unfurled on the whiteboard, we explored variations and combinations, ultimately converging on “Gathar.” The deliberate alteration not only added a distinctive flair but also imbued the name with a sense of modernity and innovation, aligning perfectly with the company's mission to curate unique and delicious gatherings.
Thanks to Jodie Mlikota, Gathar!
#13- Getting feedback from the team and clients
Our first aid training business uses elite speakers and comedians to deliver CPR and First Aid training so we wanted something that would be memorable but also explain exactly what our style of training would be. We brainstormed words and asked our trainers what their main feedback from students was and came up with engage as the word that summed it all up and Engage First Aid was born.
Thanks to Nicole Carter, Engage First Aid!
#14- By taking suggestions
I made a list of all of the words I could think of that related to my doula business and how I wanted other people to see my business. I made use of the Thesaurus and asked a few friends and family members for suggestions. The word “birth” was obvious, as were the words “empowerment” and “support.” And since the work definitely required teamwork, the name Birth Empowerment Support Team just made sense! Since I also wanted people to know what type of business it was, I added two more words and abbreviated it to B*E*S*T Doula Service.
Thanks to Tracy Hartley, BEST Doula!
#15- By keeping it visionary and simple
A company name, in my opinion, should be easily relatable to your target market and express your vision, purpose, and objective. Another important strategy is to keep things simple. I tried many different online business name tools but in the end it made more sense to simply use the words people understand. I named my business “Everyday Recycler” because I want my community to embrace recycling as a part of their everyday life!
Thanks to Sarah Winkler, Everyday Recycler!
#16- Great past memories
I grew up in rural South Africa, in a small bush town called White River, which is nestled on the border of the world famous Kruger National Park. I had an idyllic childhood mostly sheltered from the atrocities of Apartheid with elephant and lion practically on my doorstep. Most of my family still live there today and although I have lived in Australia for over 23 years now, I still consider White River home. This is why, when I started my branding studio, I called it White River Design. It's that little piece of home that I get to have with me each and every day, and a reminder to never forget where I come from.
Thanks to Debbie O'Connor, White River Design!
#17- Showing unity and expertise
Inspired by the age-old adage “three peas in a pod,” our business name encapsulates the spirit of unity, mutual support, and our shared commitment to thriving in the marketing realm. Through Three Peas Marketing, we not only offer strategic expertise but also embrace the endearing symbolism of our name, reminding us that the best things in business, much like peas, come in threes.
Thanks to Elisha Salkeld, Three Peas Marketing!
#18- Defining approaches and USPs
The inspiration for “Venture Smarter” stemmed from our belief in the power of intelligent and strategic approaches to problem-solving. We wanted a name that conveyed our dedication to fostering innovative ventures while emphasizing the importance of making intelligent decisions in the world of technology and urban development. The term “Smarter” captures our mission to drive advancements that contribute to more efficient, sustainable, and interconnected communities.
Thanks to Jon Morgan, Venture Smarter!