How We Named Our Company in 2 Hours (Day 10)


One Startup. 30 Days. No Secrets. Start at the beginning.

Name: A company name is probably important for all kinds of reasons. But for us today, a company name is important because we need to legally file our company, buy a domain and build a website. We already have a name for our first product as it somehow struck me while leaning into the frigid January wind on my walk home from the subway: Bees Knees Spicy Honey. Fortunately Casey also likes that name, but we want a general, overarching company name so we won’t be forever stuck with a brand centered around just spicy honey. Naturally, we must make a list!

We listed a myriad of potential names: some with meaning - Sweet Hots; some containing “Brooklyn” - Brooklyn Kitchen; some that meant nothing at all - Bivi’s Cafeteria. Ultimately, I was leaning towards Cagey Kitchen as a play on a business that would be scared to reveal its recipes and information. Casey, on the other hand, thought there was too much negative meaning. We took a step back and realized we needed a name that would reflect us and our product: a mix of two different people / ingredients that are unique to each other, but create something really great when combined.  

While considering various names and word combinations, we used the following as guidelines:

  1. Is the potential name easy to say, can other people make sense of it?
  2. Is the domain for the potential name available and cheap? (We referenced Instant Domain Search)
  3. Will the name work if we introduce other types of products in the future?
  4. Can we live with the name for a long time?

After both suggesting some heinous options, we hit our stride and soon settled on the name MixedMade as we feel the words go well together and actually reflect a deeper meaning about us and our product. Also, it was one of the first names we both actually liked. The entire process took about 1 hour each of private brainstorming and 30 minutes on the phone together. After confirming on Instant Domain Search that the domain was available we linked through to GoDaddy where we purchased the www.mixedmade.com domain for $2.17.

Now, just an hour after determining our name, we have our domain registered and have set up our Google Apps for Business trial, which let's us run Gmail as our company mail amongst other capabilities. We are, nearly, an actual business.

Bonus: we already received quick positive feedback on our company name.

         

Some of our decisions have been and will continue to be made quickly, but they are made with intent. Our worst enemy is a lack of decision and failure to execute. We would rather move forward to a point where we can test if anyone wants to buy spicy honey with a mediocre company name rather than spend months coming up with the perfect name, yet having no idea if the business can ever make money and grow.  You can start your company too, just take that first step!

Comment to let us know if you have any feedback on our name, or a good story of how you came up with yours.

 


2 comments


  • Morgen

    Thanks for sharing Hayden. It sounds like you have a good system in place, especially as it relates to relevant / optimal conversion. For sure, bustaname.com would have saved us some time on making up our own combinations. I like the idea of learning which choice is more likely to succeed before even pulling the trigger on the decision!


  • Hayden Bray

    Interesting strategy. I use the same strategy where I write down a bunch of words I like that are relevant to the site and then try and see what combinations make sense and are available. Thought I think http://www.bustaname.com is a better tool for mixing and matching terms than Instant Domain Search because it does it automatically and adds some variations like plurals and stuff like that. The one error though, that I think a lot of companies make, is that they don’t whittle down their list to a few different favorites and then do some testing to see which converts best. What some people do is test out a limited amount of Google ads with a few different domain names to see which brand is more click-worthy. Or they use the types of companies listed at http://www.facebooklikesreviews.com to try some limited social media campaigns and see which domain name ends up getting the most social buzz.


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