Top 25 unique business name ideas. Ever wonder where some of the most popular company names came from? Names like Google, Nike, and Apple are all derived from acronyms. Acronyms are words made up of parts of other words or phrases that when put together form a phrase with an acronymic meaning. Use this list to help brainstorm your next business name!
Unique Business Name Ideas
This company is named after “googol,” which is defined as the number one followed by 100 zeros. Google was originally created in 1997 for Stanford University’s search engine project.
The word Nike comes from the Greek goddess of victory who was known as Nikē (pronounced NYE-kee). She personified speed and swiftness.
Apple was originally named “Apple Computer, Inc.” but changed their name to just “Apple, Inc.” in 2007. The name change was due to them expanding their business from computers to other consumer electronics.
The company got its name from the 3Ms of innovation: minerals, methods, and manufacturing. They use these three aspects in all they do.
Zipcar was named after two ideas: the word “zip,” and the idea of carsharing and renting out your neighbor’s car.
The name comes from a combination of the phrase “Zagat surveys,” which were created by the company’s founders, Tim and Nina Zagat.
In 1880, George Eastman chose to use his mother’s name “Kodak,” which was also a derivative of the word “accidental” in order to appeal to a wider range of customers. The letter “k” was used since it was the first letter of his mother’s name.
Warner Bros. comes from the Warner brothers, Harry, Albert, Sam, and Jack Warner. The three “brothers” in this case refer to Benjamin, Abraham, and Ehrich Weiss who were known as “the brothers,” too.
THE HOME DEPOT:
The company was founded in 1978 and took its name from founder and CEO, Bernard Marcus’ vision of a one-stop-shop where people could get home improvement products. Even though the founders decided against naming it The Home house or The Depot, they still used “depot” since it means “a store where goods are received and stored.”
Names with Acronyms
The founders of the company had originally intended to name it “Bandage.” However, they were convinced by Johnson & Johnson to change their name so that people wouldn’t mistake the product for a bandage.
The candy bar was named after President Grover Cleveland’s daughter, Ruth.
The company got its name from the first two letters of each of its founders’ last names: Ken Thomas and Frank Crowell.
The disposable diaper company got its name from the founder, Vic Mills’ attempt at reading a baby’s diaper. He misread “P”-for-paper as “P”-for-Pampers, and the rest is history.
This popular Danish supermarket chain got its name from an acronym meaning foodstuff (product naming at its best!) However, according to their website, it’s also a play on the word “helta,” which is Danish for healthy.
The company’s full name is actually America Online, but they’re more commonly known as just AOL. The company was founded in 1985 and got its name from its goal to provide American households with online access.
The laundry detergent company got its name from the phrase “taking it down a dirt level.”
The Pillsbury Doughboy was created in 1965 and, soon after, the company decided to name their line of refrigerated dough after him.
The chips were named after the Mexican Spanish word “dorado,” which means golden, yellow, or having an orange tinge. The company that makes Doritos says this is because of their signature orange tortilla color.
This popular Dutch candy company got its name from founder Tony van Marken’s childhood nickname, which was “nu-nu.”
The company got its name from its product, the LifeSaver candy. The first batch of LifeSavers was made in 1912 by Clarence Crane.
The gelatin dessert was named after one of its founders, Pearle B. Wait. He got the idea for the product after seeing a dessert made from agar-agar, a gelatinous substance derived from seaweed, in Japan.
The first paper towel was actually created in 1907 by J.P. Stevens & Company and it was called the “Angel Hair” towel. It was actually made from paper because cotton towels were too expensive to produce for large-scale commercial use.
The company that makes Vivitar brand electronics got its name from its founder, Hieu Tran Phuong. His first product was a watch that he bought for his mother that had the brand name “Viv.”
The popular citrus beverage was originally named “MDK,” which stood for Mike Doyle, Ken Knox, and Don Cross. However, when they went to register their trademark in 1996, they discovered another company owned the rights to the name. The drink was renamed “Surge” because it had a “surging rush of flavor.”
The skincare company got its name from one of their original ingredients – olethol, which is an early version of Olestra, a food additive that’s used to make many low-fat items. Olay was created in South Africa in the early 1940s by Graham Wulff and his wife, who was trying to fix a bottle of hand cream. They added water and glycerin to it and named the product Oil of Olay because they noticed “it made all the oil disappear.”
The famous Italian-American actor got his name from director Brian De Palma, who named him after John Travolta.
The popular camera company was actually named after the Eastman Kodak Company. They had no manufacturing or business ties to each other, however, they did have common ownership. George Eastman, who founded the Kodak company in 1892, provided the fledgling camera company with its first batch of film.
The world’s most popular search engine got its name from founder Larry Page’s favorite number – googol. A googol is the number 1 followed by 100 zeroes. Page and Sergey Brin named their search engine “googol” because they believed that the name would be small and unimpressive to others, but it would grow and become a very important tool as people were able to find almost anything by searching with Google.
The greeting card company got its name from founder J.C. Hall, who started the company in 1910 with a $15 investment. He named it “Hallmark” because he wanted his cards to be “the hallmark of quality.”
The razor blade company was actually founded by two men – King C. Gillette and William Nickerson, who came up with the idea for an easier-to-use razor. They originally tried selling the razor blade by itself and calling it “the Gillette Blade,” but then they later decided to attach their blades to a handle and sell the whole unit together.
The printing company got its name from the word “image,” which was combined with the suffix -fund.
CONSOLIDATED FREIGHT WAYS:
The transportation company got its original name in 1916 when founder A.B. Hammond changed it from Consolidated Power and Ice Company because he needed a more general term that would cover all of his transportation-related businesses.
The airline company got its name from the Mississippi Delta region, which is where the company was founded.
The fast-food chain was originally called “Th Wendy’s Old Fashioned Hamburgers” after founder Dave Thomas’ daughter, who was nicknamed Wendy. The name was shortened to “Wendy’s” in 1979.
The popular chain of donut shops was originally called “Duncan Hines Donuts.” However, the company changed its name to Dunkin’ Donuts in 1950 because they wanted a name that would be “more descriptive of the company’s product and image.”
The pen company was originally called “La Pasadita,” which is a Mexican city known for its black ink. They changed their name to Crane in 1888 after founder Lewis E. Crane, who bought out his brother’s share of the company.
The Danish toy company got its name from founder Ole Kirk Christiansen, who combined the Danish words “leg godt,” which means “play well.”
The scouring pad company got its name from founder Norman McCowan, who as a child saw soldiers cleaning their mess kits with a brand of steel wool. He decided to name his scouring pads “Scotch Brite” to cash in on the popularity of the steel wool.
The fast-food chain was originally called “Kentucky Fried Chicken.” The name was shortened to “KFC” in 1991.
The city got its name from Spanish settlers, who named it after the nearby Spanish fort, “Las Vegas.”
CIRQUE DU SOLEIL:
The popular circus troupe got its name from founder Guy Laliberte. He was inspired by the phrase “circus of the sun” and combined it with “Soleil” (sun in French). It was shortened to “Cirque du Soleil” in the 1990s.
The large film format was originally called “Smell-o-Vision,” but it was renamed “IMAX” after a Greek word meaning “cinema.” The giant screen is actually named after co-founder Grahame L. “Max” Rejthar, who thought that it looked like a giant M.
The gelatin dessert got its name from founder Pearle Bixby Wait, who named it “gelatin” because he believed that by doing so people would be able to remember the name more easily. (He also considered “Jelly Wait”)
The popular fast-food chain was originally called “McDonald’s bar-b-q,” which was shortened to just “McDonald’s” in 1948. The co-founders of the first restaurant were brothers Dick and Mac McDonald.
The video game company was originally called “Nintendo Playing Card Company.” The name was shortened to “Nintendo” in 1983.
The popular disposable diaper company got its name from founder Victor Mills, who combined the words “pamper” and “diapers.”
The sports drink company got its name from co-founder Lance Collins, who was a competitive cyclist. He got the idea for the drink while competing in the Tour de France and needed a drink that would replenish his energy.
The electronics company was originally called “Samsung Sanghoe,” which is a combination of the words “Sam” (three) and “Song” (stars), which are two core values in the company’s philosophy. It was changed to Samsung in 1938.
The popular online communication service got its name from founders Niklas Zennstrom and Janus Friis, who were inspired by the word “skype” (a portmanteau of “sky” and “peer”). They registered the domain name in 2003 and released the software later that year.
The electronics company was originally called “Tokyo Tsushin Kogyo.” It was shortened to “Sony” in 1958. Tsushin Kogyo means “Tokyo Telecommunications Engineering Corporation.”
The popular swimsuit company got its name from founder Alexander MacRae, who combined the words “speed” and “swim.”
The popular laundry detergent company got its name from founder William Procter, who named it after the phrase “tide comes in, tide goes out.”
The copy machine company got its name from founder Chester Carlson, who combined the Greek words “xerography” (dry writing) and “copying.”
The popular search engine company got its name from founders Jerry Yang and David Filo, who named it after the word “yahoo!” (an exclamation of joy). They registered the domain name in 1995.
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The popular plastic storage bag company got its name from co-founder Larry Wall, who had trouble remembering his own telephone number. He used to jot it on a bag when he put it in the freezer, and that’s how the idea for ZIPLOC BAGS came about.
There you have it – some interesting stories behind some of the best-known companies in the world. Did you know any of these?
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Top 25 unique business name ideas (Monthly 7000$)
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