Published in


13 Entrepreneurs Explain How They Came Up With Their Brand Name

As you already know, in order to help you find the perfect name for your business (and of course, the matching .com domain name), we have started our series of interviews called “Names with stories” where we talk with startup founders, co-founders, and CEOs about their sleepless nights and the time when they were brainstorming the perfect name for their business. Not only did they build great brands on those names, but they were also kind enough to share with us the stories behind them. In this blog, we’ve compiled a summary of their answers for those looking for the perfect name for their brand. So let’s start!

  1. Adrian Gradinaru, Founder and CEO of Sailo

“From the beginning, I wanted a name that was unique, meaningful and would help us build the right brand image in our customers’ minds. I was only considering options that were up to 8 letters — but the shorter the better. For example, is short and memorable however it is too general and encompasses much more than boat rentals to be relevant for our brand proposition. I also wanted to stay away from word combinations like “sailtime” or “onlineboat” as I felt that a one-word brand is more powerful. From playing around with sailing and sailor, “Sailo” was the winner as a friendly and memorable brand name.” — Read the Story behind the here.

Adrian Gradinaru, Founder and CEO of Sailo

2. Jonathan Siddharth, CEO and Co-founder of Turing

“Turing’s name works on several levels. First, the Turing Award is the Nobel Prize for computer engineers. Since one of our goals is to create opportunities for highly-skilled engineers so they can change the world, the name is a perfect fit.

Second, the “Turing Test” is the name of a test for artificial intelligence such that if the AI is sufficiently advanced, that means we cannot tell the difference between that AI and a human. Classical outsourcing companies throw people at this problem. But Turing uses the process and AI.

Third, Alan Turing, the father of computer science and AI, has a quote: “Sometimes it is the people no one can imagine anything of, that can do the things no one can imagine.” Turing is a foundational layer to the entire tech industry, so we felt it was a good brand. The name is also a nod to excellence in engineering that everyone that knows tech recognizes.” — Read the story behind the here.

Jonathan Siddharth, CEO and Co-founder of Turing

3. Jon Stephenson von Tetzchner, co-founder and CEO of Vivaldi

I was already using the Vivaldi name for my investment company at the time and we were looking for a name for the new company. It is not easy to find a name and my son asked me why I was not considering using the Vivaldi name. It was a good question and thus we ended up with using Vivaldi. We did consider other names, but Vivaldi was just a lot better than any other names we were considering.” — Read the story behind the here.

Jon Stephenson von Tetzchner, co-founder and CEO of Vivaldi

4. Sean Chou, CEO and co-founder of Catalytic

My co-founder Ravi and I came up with the name Catalytic. We wanted a solid, trend-proof company name that stood out in a sea of odd-sounding portmanteaus and awkward made up adverbs. I like names with a story that ties into the purpose of the company. I originally formed an LLC called Catalytic Labs because it tied into a vision of a technology startup researching how to help companies with massive, sustainable acceleration to business processes and operations. Plus, truth be told, I was able to grab I then pitched the name to my co-founder, who loved it.

Once we set up Catalytic Labs, LLC, we thought it was worth going after even as a long shot given that it was already taken. We used a domain broker to help reach out to the domain owner, who initially asked for much more than we were willing to pay. So, we countered with a reasonable but much lower offer. Many days went by and we thought it was game over. We told them we were not going to continue discussions, and that’s when they came back very close to our offer, and we jumped on it.” — Read the story behind the here.

Sean Chou, CEO and co-founder of Catalytic

5. Joseph Woodbury, CEO and founder at Neighbor

Essentially, the name comes from the fact that users on store their items with their neighbors. We’ve always wanted to place the focus on the people that make up our community rather than the services. People naturally trust their neighbors; they strive to be good neighbors to each other. We want to encourage our users to create that kind of community.” — Read the story behind the here.

Joseph Woodbury, CEO and founder at Neighbor

6. Sascha Mayer and Christine Dodson, Founders of Mamava

Mamava combines the words mama and va — which relates to go or goes in Spanish. Our company is dedicated to supporting breastfeeding mamas on the go.” — Read the story behind the here.

Sascha Mayer and Christine Dodson, Founders of Mamava

7. Dustin McAdams, Founder and CEO of PupJoy

My partner Bill and I wanted a brand name that highlighted what we stood for — creating happiness for dogs and their parents — and one that provided us with a broad umbrella with which to grow and expand the business. In the early days, we spend a lot of time exploring potential names. We always came back to the concept of “joy”… it just fit our fabric.” — Read the story behind the here.

Dustin McAdams, Founder, and CEO at PupJoy and his Director of Customer Experience, Brett Behringer. Also pictured are one of Dustin’s two mutts, Frankie (small one), and Brett’s dog Calvin (large one).

8. Jude Gomila, Founder and CEO of Golden

“I wanted a brand that is easy to remember and simple to replicate via word of mouth — a mind meme von neumann self-replicating marketing factory for the idea of what we were trying to achieve. I also wanted to imbed the incompleteness ideas of the mathematician Gödel into the brand as well. The actual registered Inc name is ‘Golden Recursion Inc’ — the concept behind this is that the company will produce useful tools and products by going around an iteration loop, over and over again.” — Read the story behind the here.

9. Lamine Zarrad, CEO of Joust

“Freelance professionals are our key demographic, so we looked into the history of the word “freelance.” Though the term “free lances” first showed up in Ivanhoe, it refers to a real phenomenon of unaffiliated medieval soldiers. From there we got to “Joust.” And, well, the URL for “HiredGun,” was already taken. (just kidding). In addition to the lance concept, the shield worked well for us because PayArmour, our anchor product, serves to protect freelancers.” — Read the story behind the here.

Lamine Zarrad, CEO of Joust

10. Phillip Akhzar — Founder & CEO at

“That depends on the language you’re using to translate! It can mean face as in the face of your company or Ark, as in the vessel from Noah’s Ark used to ensure the survival of life from the flood. The main definition is Latin for “a chest or strong box used in ancient times as a receptacle for money or valuables”. Sounds just like what we provide!” — Read the story behind the here.

Phillip Akhzar — Founder & CEO at

11. Graham Dodge, Co-founder and CEO of SickWeather

I wanted a name that expressed the idea of tracking illness like the weather, but I also didn’t want a name with the words “health” or “map” in it as those were heavily used in the industry, so I wanted something that stood out from the white noise of the marketplace. SickWeather was one of the options I came up with, and when I realized the TLDs were all available for it, then that was the final deciding factor — that I could acquire all the domains inexpensively.” — Read the story behind the here.

Graham Dodge, Co-founder and CEO of SickWeather

12. Scott Painter, CEO of Fair

“I’m a big believer that your company’s purpose should be associated with a larger human value. So when we first started talking about this idea, we kept coming back to the idea of fairness. It’s something all of us understand fundamentally from a very young age. There was never really any other name we seriously considered because nothing else could adequately convey all the layers of unfairness we were looking to address.I’ve been lucky to have founded several companies that addressed important improvements in automotive — from CarsDirect to TrueCar — but none of them were able to fully address the overall unfairness that the current model presents. So we wanted a name that reflects what we truly stand for in the world.” — Read the story behind the here.

Scott Painter, CEO of Fair

13. Jacob Smith, Co-founder and CMO at Packet

“We considered a lot of not very good names, but finally landed on Packet for a few reasons: it’s easy to spell, easy to remember, and it is tied to the one thing you have to buy from a cloud provider (network services). In networking, data is transmitted in small packages called “packets”.” — Read the story behind the here.

Jacob Smith, Co-founder and CMO at Packet

We hope this will be of use to you in the process of getting your perfect business name. If you have any questions, need any help with acquiring your EBM (exact brand match) domain name or just want to chat with someone about the process, book a free consultation at MarkUpgrade. We are always happy to hear from you.




Our small team incorporates 20+ years in the marketing and branding industries, as well as Domaining, Web Development, Search Engine Optimization, Search Engine Marketing, and Sales.

Recommended from Medium

Meeting The YouTube CEO

Allison Braley on the Power of Staying Curious in Comms

My first startup experience was 10 years ago but the learnings were for lifetime…

Navigating the Stages of Community Growth

Will Consumer Internet Unicorns Ever Become Profitable?

Joe Mahavuthivanij of Mythic Markets: Investing During The Pandemic; Where Should I Put My Money…

Applications open for summer diversity tracks

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Kristina Mišić

Kristina Mišić

More from Medium

How I used LEGO to solve a critical product issue

Ellas Media is a podcast production company dedicated to amplifying and empowering Latina voices.

Why You Shouldn’t Base Your Brand Voice on What Works for Wendy’s

Industry Best Practices For Effective Community Management on Social Media