Behind the Name

 
Our old pal Shakespeare knew what was up

Our old pal Shakespeare knew what was up

The Challenge of Naming your Startup

When Jose and I are out speaking with Customers about the ChipMonk brand, we often get asked, “what’s with the name?” Picking a good name for your startup is an incredibly important first step when setting out to launch a business. It can be a major headache too and often causes founders weeks of consternation as they wait for that lightning bolt of inspiration to give them that perfect name which fully represents who they are. Here’s an entire podcast episode describing Gimlet Media’s own struggle in this department: Gimlet 5: How to Name Your Company

Like Gimlet, some companies end up shelling out large sums of money to professionals (e.g., Lexicon Branding) to guide them through the process, but luckily for us, we were able to come up with something on the cheap that we felt was just right.

The ChipMonk Name

As we sat in our kitchen, snacking down on some of the first batches of our zero sugar, low-carb cookies, Jose and I tried to list out the attributes we thought our company should represent. Here’s what we jotted down

  • Wellness

  • Balance

  • Health

  • Energy

  • Zen / Mindfulness

  • Nutrition

  • Self-empowerment

  • Determination

  • Taking control of your life

  • Enjoying life

  • Conscious choice (good vs. bad, sugar vs. our sugar substitutes)

We also started thinking about the key ingredients that make our desserts so much better than their sugar-packed alternatives: our nut flours and our monk fruit sweetener.

We did some historical research on monk fruit and found that it was originally known in China as “Luo Han Guo”. “Luo Han” is actually an order of Buddhist monks who first cultivated the fruit nearly 800 years ago and “Guo” is a shortened version of the Chinese word for “fruit”. Monks are often seen as a symbol of balance and mindfulness, so it seemed like this word deserved a place in our name.

Such cuties! Chipmunks are our spirit animals!

Such cuties! Chipmunks are our spirit animals!

Monk fruit, a deliciously sweet super fruit that has been cultivated in the remote mountains of Southern China for hundreds of years

Monk fruit, a deliciously sweet super fruit that has been cultivated in the remote mountains of Southern China for hundreds of years

With nut flours, we started brainstorming about what is often associated with nuts. Squirrels first popped into our minds and then… Chipmunks! Those cute little guys popularized by Alvin. Chipmunks are known for zooming around full of energy and seemed like the perfect spirit animal for our company. High energy, fun-loving, determined (to get those nuts!), and a balanced contributor to our natural ecosystems.

So here’s the final math that solved our problem: Chipmunk + Monk Fruit = ChipMonk! It was as simple as that (minus the administrative complexities of making sure no one else had the name or web domain!).

So now you know, and knowledge is power. Next time you bite into one of our amazing cookies or cakes, be reminded that you are embodying the spirit of ChipMonk and its name by living a balanced life full of fun, enjoyment, balance, and consciousness.

Until next time!

- Your fellow ChipMonk, David

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