The Story of the Name “Rocket Media”

Ben Kalkman posted this in
Inside Rocket Media
on May 2nd, 2014

I’m often asked what the story is behind our company name. It’s a long story, but here it goes.

I believe a company name needs to have several characteristics for it to be successful, those being things like:

  • Does it stick?
  • Is it short & sweet?
  • Is it functional?
  • Does it tell a story?

I had been working as a sole proprietor and to move the business out of the sole proprietor state and into a real company, I had to come up with a name–something to identify my work, my brand.

“And I think it’s gonna be a long, long time…”

For those that have children or know folks who have had children, you might know the laborious process many go through when coming up with a name. My wife & I went through this hunting and searching process with our first. We spent many hours reading through name books, hearing from family and friends with suggestions and even searching online (although the internet looked much different then). We did this because we knew that something great was coming and our child deserved a name nothing less than great.

“Burnin’ out his fuse up here alone…”

To be honest, coming up with the company name was very similar. I hit the library to search for business records and names and, specifically, to look for other creative firms. I did a fair amount of research online and of course talked and listened to many, many, many opinions from family and friends. It didn’t take long before confusion and information overload took hold of my creative spirit. I had hit a blocker and it was called, “over thinking”.

I reached out to my business mentor during this quest for the perfect name and received some simple but great advice. He shared how some names just drop out of the sky, and that when inspiration strikes, take advantage. He also challenged me to dig into my childhood for inspiration and to recall things I was passionate about and enjoyed.

So I reflected and before I knew it, the inspiration hit me… rockets!

“I’m a rocket man…”

When I was in junior high, one of our 7th grade shop class projects was to construct a working model rocket from scratch. After completing our rockets the entire class went out to the track lawn and we took turns launching our rockets. We were graded on the specification requirements, craftsmanship and uniqueness of your work. But above all, you could only get an “A”, if it could fly. This project resonated with me and I was hooked.

That summer I became, “the rocket man”. I was fortunate to have a father who was an art instructor and a mother who was crafty in her own right. They both encouraged and enabled me to run with this new hobby. I remember going to craft stores looking at model rocket kits that I couldn’t afford, and then going home and creating them myself.

“And all this science I don’t understand…”

On weekends I’d take anyone interested over to the nearby field and launch as many rockets as I had engines. The thrill of the countdown, the ignition of the C6 engine, the screeching of the rocket into the blue sky, the “fingers crossed” hope that the parachute would open and then finally, the final resting place for the mangled, fiery brilliance you just witnessed. Oh, this was what life was all about that summer.

This was my inspiration. I knew the company name had to be about something relating to rockets. The passion and joy I had with model rockets in middle school was the same I now found in the work I was doing with design.

The next steps were all about finding a mate for the word “rocket.” I considered (and of course over thought) lots of variations - Rocket Design, Rocket Launch, Rocket Studios… Rocket Media was actually one of the first names on the list, but I had originally dismissed it because I thought it was too broad. However, I eventually came back to the name. After all, media was what I was creating for my customers – both print and web designs – and it left the door open for growth into other areas in the future.

Rocket Media it was.

“Ah, no no no…”

Sadly, was already taken at the time, but it didn’t deter me on my new name choice. I settled for (I was able to purchase the domain a few years later, but that’s a whole other story.)

Today, Rocket Media is still my passion. But now it’s more than just me. I’m proud of the thriving digital agency and amazingly talented people who design and create awesome solutions for our clients. We exist to inspire business to succeed and our name resonates well with our work.

The journey for that perfect name was accomplished, and I’m proud to be a part of this company. I was right on two counts–my first born is in fact great, and so is this company.

Ben Kalkman


Ben Kalkman is the CEO, founder and owner of Rocket Media. When he has down time from running a successful company, being the father to 6 kids, running half marathons and purchasing every new Apple product that comes to market… eh who are we kidding, Ben has no down time.