What’s in a Name?

 In Jigsaw Blog

What’s in a Name?

You’re taking the big leap into running your own business, you have the business plan in place and you’re all set to embark on your new challenge  Just one slight issue – you have no idea what to call your company.

What’s in a name? A lot, when it comes to small-business success according to entrepreneur.com. The right name can make your company the talk of the town, however the wrong one can have people talking about you for all the wrong reasons.  A bit like naming your child the name of your business will be with you for a lifetime so making the right choice is crucial.  Ideally, your name should convey how unique your business is and the value and expertise you can offer your customers but how do you settle on something you like which also gets across your message.

When I started my business, Jigsaw Travel back in 1998 the challenge of finding the name consumed me for a long time. Should I use my identity and reputation and name the business after me or choose something more relevant to my industry?

After much toing and froing I chose Jigsaw Travel because it portrayed exactly what we do – we piece together all elements of travel.  I was delighted with the choice however to this day there are some people who just don’t get it.  Some people will love your brand identity others won’t so its important first and foremost to have something that resonates with you.

Some experts believe that the best names are abstract, a blank slate upon which to create an image. Others think that names should be informative so customers know immediately what your business is. Some believe that coined names (that come from made-up words) are more memorable than names that use real words. Others think they’re forgettable.

On the naming of Apple, Steve Jobs said he was “on one of my fruitarian diets.” He said he had just come back from an apple farm, and thought the name sounded “fun, spirited and not intimidating.”

Nike was originally called Blue Ribbon Sports and changed their trading name 5 years after incorporation.  It takes its name from Nike, the Greek Goddess of victory.

Founder Pierre Omidyar first had a web consulting firm called Echo Bay Technology Group. When he created the auction web trading site, “EchoBay.com” was already taken by a gold mining company, so he went with his second choice, eBay.com

Here’s a real personal one – The first two letters in IKEA’s name are the initials of its Swedish founder Ingvar Kanprad. The last two are the first letters of the name of the property and village where he grew up: Elmtaryd Agunnaryd.

Pepsi is named after the digestive enzyme pepsin, which breaks down food proteins.

Probably our best known home grown brand Virgin is a great example of personal relevance.  When founder Richard Branson and his partner started his first business, a record store, the two decided to call it “Virgin” because they were complete virgins at running and managing a business.

Whether you are working from home, renting a small retail outlet, launching an ecommerce platform or just dipping your toe in the water – remember one day the name you choose could be a global brand so choose wisely.

How did you choose the name for your business?  Are you launching a business and looking for inspiration on what to name it?  Share your comments below.


Lesley Millar is the owner of Jigsaw Travel.  To find out more contact us on 01698 283115 or email directly Lesley@jigsawtravel.co.uk

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