The Day it became AZUNA

It solved the funk in my basement!  It slayed the stench of my sons gym bag!  I was convinced. 

Now, all of a sudden in the matter of a couple of months I went from a guy who thought the only essential oil was Olive, to beginning to develop an expertise in the properties of different essential oils and what they can do. 

So I called up Keith and I convinced him to let me market their new, yet to be named, product.  Keith and his brother Ryan run a family business out of Buffalo, NY (Go Bills!) which is where we all live.  It’s a contract packaging company with a state of the art 140,000 SF manufacturing facility. 

So you’re telling me that not only is this product amazing, but we’ll get to make it in our home town!  And if it’s a hit we’ll get to create more good jobs for our neighbors!  In my head this story keeps getting better and better, but at this point it’s only a dream.  Now we have to make it happen.

First things first.  We need a name.

And there was one name that kept popping in to my head.  Kleenex.  Obvious, right?  No?  Let me explain.  Kleenex is hardly the only brand of tissue, but when people want a tissue they ask for a Kleenex.  I wanted a name that could inspire that type of brand recognition.  Say what you want about us here at Azuna, we may have a small product, but we don’t lack for ambition

So I went to the top of the tallest mountain and sat in silent meditation until the name Azuna came to me.  Just kidding   I did what all of us do when we have a problem to solve, I reached out to friends and family to help.

Unfortunately, I was striking out left and right and I was getting frustrated.  My friends had some good ideas.  My family had some good ideas.  Even I had some good ideas (pats self on back).  But by this time I had become extremely passionate about this product and only THE PERFECT name would do.  Then, another happy accident.

I was grabbing some lunch at my favorite diner in town when my friend Kent comes in and saddles up on the stool next to me.  After catching up on the kids and other general pleasantries I told him what I was up to and asked him if he had any ideas.   Kent is a terrific businessman so he’s someone whose opinion and input I put a lot of stock in to.  Additionally, he runs a company that houses and owns domain names so he was telling me about some of the domains they own that might fit.  He went through a bunch and then he said the name that would change my life, “Azuna”.

Azuna!  My goodness!  That’s it!  It hit me like a lightning bolt when he said it.  Azuna!  It sounded like some mystical goddess of fresh air.  It was perfect!  So I picked up the tab for his Turkey Club and raced out of the diner to go tell my partners.

Everyone loved the name and we got to work.  I’m sure I drove the design team crazy, but it was so important to me to get it just right.  I wanted classy, yet simple.  Sophisticated, yet clean.  Something you would see prominently displayed on a rack in Whole Foods (holler at me if you’re reading this Whole Foods peeps ). 

The design team, in my opinion, knocks it out of the park and so now we’re sure.  Azuna.  That is our name.  So I go to Kent’s office to buy the domain name.

“I want to buy the domain name for Azuna, how much?”

“About $25”, he said.

“But I thought you told me it was going to be $1,000?” I replied.

“Azoona is $1,000.  I don’t own Azuna.”

For anyone out there reading who has tried to bootstrap a business, you know how much that extra $1,000 means.  Another happy accident in our favor, and I can’t help but feel blessed.

Actually, you know what I really felt like?  If you’re around my age then you watched “The A-Team” growing up.  I felt like Hannibal.  And what did Hannibal always say?

 

Next week we will discuss how we developed the Whole Home Kit.