for Circuit City

Many consumers feel that buying a used car is an unpleasant and seedy experience. In 1993, 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 of past repairs and maintenance.

Circuit City knew they needed a a name that was automotive-related, easy to understand and suggested an optimal car-buying experience. They wanted something short enough to really pop on signage and billboards but suggestive enough that prospects driving by would have a pretty good idea of the concept.

After NameStormers presented a variety of names, Circuit City selected Carmax. It was short, easy to spell, and not likely to be mispronounced. “Car” directly related to the automotive business and “max” suggested maximum inventory, maximum service, and maximum enjoyment. For decades, Carmax has been a household name and continues to redefine used car shopping.