what's in a name plaque

The companies we profile today have roots in science and more. 

One company returned to a high school chemistry class lesson that said elements can't be "broken down into simpler substances by chemical means." The parallel between that and customers' biometrics inspired their new name.

Another company also turned to science, using the name of a human nerve that helps form thoughts and facial expressions as the foundation of its name.

With that, we bring to you our latest installment in our What's in a Name series with profiles of Veridium, Buzzlogix and Qvidian.

Veridium

Founded: Veridium was previously known as Hoyos Labs, but rebranded in 2016. Hoyos Labs was founded in 2013.

Headquarters: Boston and London

Number of employees: 65

Names of CEO, and CTO: CEO James Stickland, CTO John Callahan

Specializes in: Identity access management with a special focus on biometric authentication

Was this the original name? No. Veridium was previously known as Hoyos Labs, but was rebranded in 2016. We wanted a name that reflected the essence of what we do. 

Veridium fits that bill: we verify your identity using biometric data. But why "ium" as the ending? 

Typically, elements have that ending, e.g., helium, lithium, magnesium. Because an element typically cannot be broken down into simpler substances by chemical means, it remains constant despite what changes around it. It is what it is. That’s how we think about your biometrics. They are what you are. Hence, Ver-id-ium. The perfect name for our new company — and for our mission.

Five members of the Veridium company posing wearing company-branded T-Shirts.

Who named the company? Veridium’s Chief Marketing Officer, Lori Cohen, led the renaming process. Lori gathered a cross-disciplinary group of employees to participate in a renaming workshop which she facilitated. Earlier in her career, Lori spent about 10 years as a branding consultant naming dozens of companies, so she was very familiar with the process.

How and why did the company take on this name? Naming a company today takes a lot of creativity. It is imperative to have a name that meets the criteria you set out for the company, but it must also be available online to build your digital presence. 

Today, so many great names are taken online (either by actual companies or people squatting on the URL) that finding a great company name is getting harder and harder by the day.

When thinking about our name this was some of the criteria we came up with: we wanted a name that said something about our industry, that worked internationally, and that was easy to say and spell. We ended up generating hundreds of possible names during our naming workshop, but ultimately picked Veridium. 

Why Veridium? It doesn’t sound like any of our competitors, there weren’t any trademark issues, and we could get the URL: VeridiumID, which is the name of our platform. Veridium met almost all of our criteria except one: It doesn’t start with a letter at the beginning of the alphabet. This is important because company names are typically listed in alphabetical order in most directories. This impacts where you are listed at trade shows, in online listings, etc. 

Despite this, the name Veridium checked off the majority of the boxes we required.

What names did you consider before this name, and why were they not chosen? In our first round we tested the following three names: 1U Technology, Truverity and Personian. 

While many favored Truverity, it was problematic when spoken in French, so we decided to continue brainstorming. In the second round we tested Unovera and Veridium. Once we discovered Veridium, we knew we found our match, and it tested very well.

What tech companies names do you envy? Apple. Not only because of its brand awareness, but it’s a recognized word at the beginning of the alphabet — it’s easy to both say and spell — and the company poured meaning into it so it’s instantly recognizable. 

Amazon, another “A” name, is a close second. Its name holds a symbolic meaning as it’s the world’s largest river, lending motivation as Jeff Bezos set out to build the world’s largest book store. Now, it’s one of today’s largest companies, truly showcasing the power of “what’s in a name.” 

We also admire Airbnb as it harkens back to the company’s beginning, while giving an idea of what the company does. Our favorite company names are ones that tell you a bit about what the company does, like Fitbit and Facebook. Made-up nonsensical names can be difficult to own without a large marketing budget. 

Buzzlogix

Founded: June 2016

Headquarters: Dallas

Number of employees: Less than 20

CEO: Scott Sims  

Headshot of Scott Sims
Scott Sims

Specializes in: Social media monitoring, management and analytics software.

Was this the original name? Yes

Who named the company? Scott and his co-founders (CTO Ioannis Makris and board members)

How and why did the company take on this name? We wanted to bring to market the next generation in social media monitoring and management software. Our app combines monitoring, management, analytics, with machine learning into one unified software app used by social media teams worldwide.

What names did you consider before this name, and why were they not chosen? We can’t remember the specific names now, but we did think about various names but wanted to make sure our name was not just a four- or five-letter word with no meaning.   

What tech company names do you envy? Google, because it’s such an amazing company that designs products that are simple for customers to use, reliable and cost effective. We developed our product to run on the Google Cloud for this reason.   

Qvidian

Year founded: 2010

Headquarters: Chelmsford, Mass.

Number of employees: 100 

CEO: Lewis Miller

Headshot of Lewis Miller
Lewis Miller

Specializes in: Enterprise-class RFP and proposal automation software. As a result of using Qvidian, more than 1,000 companies and 200,000 users worldwide win more business with better processes, improved productivity and more effective sales documents.  

Was this the original company name? It was the result of a merger between Kadient and the Sant Corporation.

Who named the company? A five-person committee of marketing, sales and product executives from both companies.

How and why did the company take on this name? Qvidian was born as a result of a merger of two fierce competitors in the proposal automation software market: Kadient and the Sant Corporation. 

With tensions high and neither organization willing to rebrand under the name of their competitor, executives and marketing leaders from each company met to come up with a new name. With the help of a professional branding company and a six-week exercise to understand our company’s character attributes, which involved asking questions like, “If your company was a color, what color would it be?" we eventually decided on Qvidian. 

Qvidian was the ultimate winner for two distinct reasons. The base of the name, vidian, comes from the Vidian nerve, a nerve that passes through the central nervous system to develop thought and expression in facial features. 

For a company that was developing software to enable sales teams to win more deals, the Vidian nerve represented the ability of salespeople to be thoughtful and express the value of their company, product and services. We viewed the Q as a strong letter and one that represented a variety of words that encompass the company’s work, like quality and quantitative. Additionally, it was our understanding that words beginning with Q tend to be words that people remember more easily.

What names did you consider before this name, and why were they not chosen? During our search, we tended to focus on names that could easily be protected and were available on .com, .org and .net domains. We did consider Bright for some time, though ultimately couldn’t commit to it as we felt it didn’t align with the brand or product.

What tech company names do you envy? Apple and Google for their significant brand recognition and reach.