What does the name UBEO mean?
Here is the short answer. UBEO is a description for a person who is analytical, likes to dig deep to find answers, and doesn't take things at face value. UBEO is also someone who cares deeply for others and tries to be helpful whenever possible. The word, itself, is rooted in astrology.
Spoiler alert: I didn't know any of this before I settled on it...
The full story behind the naming of UBEO
Prior to the creation of UBEO, LLC in 2017, I was informed by our CEO, Jim Sheffield, that we were separating from our former partners, and we would be beginning the journey of expanding our company nationally. Jim tasked me with the job of coming up with a name for our new company; NO PRESSURE!
I originally wanted to outsource this task given the risk associated with getting this wrong. I vetted a company called Lexicon. The cost was about $35,000 to get three good name choices that were available and safe. Jim said, "Hmm...you give it a try first. If you can't do it, then we will look at spending the money for outsourcing the task."
I spent 3 weeks locked in my office toiling through endless word lists. I was getting a ton of pressure to get this task done from our leadership team because they were waiting on the business name to kick off other processes they needed to get done - opening business accounts, email domains, website, etc. By this point, Lexicon was no longer an option because their process took 6 weeks and we needed a name ASAP.
I went through a ton of options, and then I hooked on to this word that started as an acronym: U-B-I-O pronounced You-Bee-O. I didn't have a meaning for it yet, but I liked the sound of the word.
By this point in the process, I had a routine of checking the patent and trademark office for availability and had a fairly intense search process to vet the name.
UBIO came back all clear.
Feeling good about the word, I pitched it to Jim. I asked him not to say anything; just sit with it for a few days and come back to me with his thoughts.
Jim came back to me several days later. He told me he had written the word down and stared at it passively. He said, "UBIO Sounds like a personal biotech company; "You"-BIO."
I hadn't looked at it that way. He was right. Then Jim said, "What about U-B-E-O?"
I visualized the logotype in my head. Nice round letters, very balanced, and the pronunciation was the same. I liked it!!! I ran back to my desk and searched for what I could find. Nothing came up on Google. I even entered into a language website. It returned the statement, "Does not exist in any human language." Brilliant! We made a new word!
I then began trying to attach meaning to the word via an acronym.
"Universal Business Equipment and Optimization." Horrible, I know. That was the closest I got to anything that made sense, and it was terrible.
Side note: You can't just pick any words to create an acronym - you have to be OK naming your company the full phrase. IBM is a great example. IBM sounds cool - very powerful - it lands solid. IBM is International Business Machines which is a very clear and powerful name for a company. It works as both an acronym and a name by itself.
I never got to an acronym. We agreed we would go sell the name, and our team would create the meaning around the word through our customer experience and our commitment to excellence.
We rolled out the name to the company at our annual sales launch. The sales team was a bit perplexed, but seemed enthusiastic. The very next day, I was helping a sales rep in the bullpen and I hear, "Did you tell that to Ronnie?"
A twinge of fear crept up, and then it happened. One of our senior reps handed me a printed, formatted article titled "What does the name UBEO mean?" My heart sank.
I had searched UBEO twenty times and got nothing, but I never did search full the phrase, "What does the name UBEO mean?" It was the first result on Google.
Then I read the blog; "A person who is analytical. Someone who is caring, helpful and likes to dig deep to find answers." I didn't play sports growing up, but I did a touchdown dance in that moment. I floated into Jim Sheffield's office and laid that paper on his desk.
He looked up with amazement and uttered, "Are you kidding???!!!"
Sometimes in life, the universe lines up for you. Our name could not have aligned better with the way we help customers everyday through our Business Technology Assessment and how our team of experts solve business challenges. The entire process was nerve racking, but in the end, it was meant to be.
Ronnie Hay is the Marketing Director for UBEO.