CarMax gallery image

Used Car Retailer

Many consumers felt that buying a used car was an unpleasant and seedy experience. Circuit City wanted to change that perception and make this type of purchase more enjoyable and professional. They hoped to create a unique atmosphere for the buyer where all the cars had warranties, a set price and documentation on past repairs and maintenance. The staff would be well-groomed, well-dressed and provide outstanding service in an attractive car-buying environment.

Circuit City preferred an easy to understand, automotive related name. Something short enough to really pop on signage and billboards but suggestive enough so that prospects driving by would have a pretty good idea of the concept. They also hoped for a name that supported their positioning of an optimal car-buying experience.

After the NameStormers presented a variety of names, Circuit City selected Carmax. It was short, easy to spell and not likely to be mispronounced. The “car” prefix directly related to the automotive business and the “max” suffix suggested the maximum value in a used car. The URL was also available and the name cleared preliminary trademark hurdles. The rest is history, with Carmax stores now a common sight in many markets around the country.


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