Today we kick off our new feature What's in a Name with a look at Jellyfish, Marketo and Influitive.

Jellyfish Online Marketing

Founded: 1999

Headquarters: Reigate, England and Baltimore, Md.

Number of employees: 260-plus

Specializes in: PPC, SEO and social, creative, display, analytics and digital marketing training

CEO: Rob Pierre

Was this the original name? Jellyfish has it's roots in Avondale IT, which was founded by Paul Walsh in 1999, around the same time PPC advertising was emerging. In 2005, Rob Pierre joined Avondale IT and the company rebranded as Jellyfish to focus exclusively on paid search. 

Who named the company? "When we decided to rebrand, we gathered the team together and offered a bottle of Champagne for the best name. Jellyfish was suggested by one of the original 15 employees and chosen by Rob and Paul," said Kevin Buerger, EVP and managing director for Jellyfish Online Marketing in the US.

How and why did the company take on this name? "We believe a brand is what a brand does. 

"We wanted a distinctive name like Jellyfish to become synonymous with the leading digital marketing agency, as opposed to merely explaining what we do. Our priority was selecting a memorable name that was easy to spell. Starting with A and brainstorming until we got to Z, we came up with a short list of names we liked and ultimately selected Jellyfish," Buerger said.

What tech company names do you envy? Spotify, Amazon and Hulu. "They're simple, easy to remember and unique," Buerger said. 


Headquarters: Toronto, Ontario

Number of employees: 110

Specializes in: advocate marketing

CEO: Mark Organ

Founded: 2010

Was this the original name? "Yes. There were a couple of other contenders before I settled on Influitive, however. My wife liked SkyeSol because those are the names of our kids: Skye and Solomon. But I don’t think the name of a company is a good place for the founder to express his or her ego. Influitive won out over the other ideas pretty quickly," Organ said.

Who named the company? "I named the company. I really enjoy the naming process. I named my last company, Eloqua, as well, and Influitive's conference, Advocamp. My favorite names are portmanteau neologisms, which are brand new words made up of two different words put together (e.g., smog is smoke + fog, Pinterest is pin + interest)," he said.

How and why did the company take on this name? "The origin behind the name is a mashup between "influence" and "intuitive." 

"I wanted a name that could be expansive enough to cover anything we wanted to build, yet still connote those two ideas: have increasing influence in an intuitive way for both influential people and for companies. My last company didn't have the most intuitive product in the world, so I wanted to have "intuitive" right in the name of the company this time," he said.


Company: Marketo

Founded: 2007

Headquarters: San Mateo, Calif.

Number of employees: 819

Specializes in: Digital marketing software and solutions

CEO: Phil Fernandez

Was this the original name? Yes

Who named the company? Co-founders Phil Fernandez and Jon Miller 

How and why did the company take on this name? "Our founders wanted to build something specifically for the marketing department, so having a name with the word 'market' was a big plus. In addition, they wanted something that was easy to pronounce and spell," Glen Lipka, chief design officer, explained.

"Why That Name?" is an occasional series examining tech company names. Got an idea? Contact Staff Reporter Dom Nicastro.

Creative Commons Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic License  Title image by jack dorsey.