What’s in a name? Breaking down some local Fargo business’s branding

Written by: Fargo Inc Staff

A company’s name and logo—while seemingly straightforward on the surface—are often the product of days, weeks, even months (!) of internal discussions, redesigns and arguments about which shade of blue is the best representation of the brand.

So we asked five area companies, “What’s in a name?” Their answers didn’t disappoint.

Whats in a Name_Josh Christy


Josh Christy

When we started in 2008, we incorporated under the name “81designs” and about three years ago renamed as “Codelation.”

We were being seen as more of a design and marketing agency, but our strength was more in app and web development. When we were looking to rebrand, we wanted something with “code” in the name but we also wanted a good .com domain. We landed on Codelation, as we played off of the idea of code + elation, which really just fit with our view of what good code should be.

Whats in a Name_Codelation

The logo for Codelation is meant to represent code brackets < >.

Whats in a Name_Mark Anderson


Mark Anderson

The motivation for our name, BlackRidge, came from a desire to deviate from the traditional paradigm of bank-naming. Typically, the words “state” or “national” are used, along with an element of the local geography—“river” or “plains”—a city name or a family name.

Instead, myself and BlackRidge Executive Vice President Craig Weiss had a clear vision to create a unique, non-traditional banking organization—one centered on a solutions-focused and client-centric experience that was clearly unique by first impression.

After consulting with Craig, what stood out were two words, which, when combined, conveyed core brand attributes of this new organization: strength, professionalism, prestige and performance. “Black”—being in the black is better than being in the red, right?—and “ridge,” reflecting steady, advancing progress, like the peaks on a financial graph showing year after year of positive performance levels.

Whats in a Name_BlackRidge Bank2

Graphically, these brand attributes are reflected in the logotype—created in 2005 by local graphic designer Shannon Charpentier—which uses a combination of peak symbols with our formal name, BlackRidgeBANK.

Whats in a Name_MukaiSelekwa

Mukai Selekwa

When thinking of our name, we wanted something simple yet unique at the same time. It had to be able to give an impression to give an idea of what the business is about but at the same time be something that we can give our own meaning to. When thinking of a company that heavily utilizes tools of the internet, or even the “web”, we decided to go with Webblen. A name that is simple, memorable, and both gives a good idea of what the company is about and it has the ability to mean much more.

Whats in a Name_Webblen

Marriage usually requires a ring. For us, the ring represents the unification of different web services onto a single platform. The ring is also meant to represent the strong relationship we want to have with our customers.

Whats in a Name_Brian Brasch

PRx Performance
Brian Brasch

The PRx Performance name comes from the following:
• PR – “Personal record” From exercise to life, the PRx customer is always striving to hit a new PR. It’s a reminder that we’re all on our own personal journey to be the best that we can be.
• Rx – “As Prescribed” To do things the way we should in the gym and in life.
• Performance – The optimal execution of a prescribed workout. A promise to yourself to be #bettereveryday

Whats in a Name_PRx Performance

Orange is both a powerful color and my favorite. When we approached our design firm, they asked what colors we wanted, and I just told them we wanted something vibrant and that popped.

Whats in a Name_Amanda Mckinnon

Amanda McKinnon

When I officially started my business in July 2012, I had no clue what I was going to name it. But because I fully understood the importance of a name, I pulled together a focus group of marketing peers and family members and started the creative process.

One common theme that came back was that, by nature, I’m inspiring. I’ve also always been drawn to “m” words, and so they began to flow: mindful, marketing, magic, motivation, mission, McKinnon (my last name), momentum, and thus MSPIRE came to life. The “M” stands for all those things and more, with the foundation of the word “inspire” subliminally infused.

Whats in a Name_MSPIRE

I believe in branding so much that I recently went through a rebrand myself. I evolved as a business owner, and so my focus shifted. Therefore, my logo, tagline, colors and beyond needed to as well. My previous tagline was “Mindful Marketing, Inspired.” Now, it’s “Your Mission. Our Marketing Magic.”

When I started off, everything had a more corporate feel because that’s what I thought customers wanted. When I started asking, they said it wasn’t me. They were right. I’m not corporate. I’m a snarky, fun-having, get-it-done kind of person. I’m a “Bodacious Brander,” and now my brand represents that.

Share This Article
Fargo Inc! Publishes 12 Business Magazines Per Year!