Names have always carried a significance which cannot be ignored. As business and
economic activity boomed at the turn of the century, the imperatives of
differentiating brands became necessary. Hence the most primal way of
differentiating brands is naming. Like CISCO does not stand for anything, it’s
just derived from San Francisco. Sometimes, brands are named after weird
things, but all have a history behind their etymology.
1. Google- The Accidental Name
Yes, Google Inc can also make mistakes. In fact its name was evolved out of a typo.
Originally named “Backrub”, the company was being changed to ‘Googol’, a word
for the number represented by 1 followed by 100 zeros. The name was spelt
incorrectly as “Google” in 1998 and it stayed.
2. Apple- The Inspiration
Consider the famous Apple story, with its famous Apple logo.
Although the name and logo design have no such connotation to the core purpose
of the business, it still has an interesting history. Apple is considered to be
the fruit that provoked Newton into inventing gravity. Hence Apple for Apple
Inc is an inspiration for constant invention and development.
3. Adidas-Not What We Think
Honestly speaking, how many of us really know the meaning of Adidas? I’m sure you must
be thinking “All Day I Dream About Sports” right? Well folks, it isn’t.
The name Adidas is actually derived from the name of the founder Adolf (Adi) Dassler.
4. Adobe Systems-The River
Adobe, the proprietor of magnificent software used by logo designers everywhere, was
originally named from the Adobe Creek
River that ran behind the house of co-founder John Warnock.
5. Caterpillar- The Resemblance
Caterpillar Inc was originally a merger between Holt Tractor Co. and Best Tractor Co. in
1925. A company photographer exclaimed audibly from a Holt tractor that the
tracks’ movement bears a resemblance to a caterpillar moving along the ground.
Thus the name came into existence and stayed.
6. Coca-cola- The Ingredients
One of the strongest brands in the world, Coca-Cola name is derived from the coca
leaves and kola nuts used as flavoring. Coca-Cola maker John S. Pemberton
altered the ‘K’ of kola to ‘C’ to make the name resonant and consonant.
7. Hotmail- HoTMaiL
The name “Hotmail” was selected out of many options that end in
“-mail”. As it was based on the HTML – the markup language used to
create web pages, to emphasize this, the original type casing was “HoTMaiL”. This was later
reverted to Hotmail.
8. IKEA- A Complex Name
The IKEA acronym has a very interesting history behind it. It is a combination of
the first initials of Swedish founder Ingvar
Kamprad plus the first letters of the names of the property and the
village he grew up. This formed Ingvar
Kamprad Elmtaryd Agunnaryd,
abbreviated as IKEA.
9. Mercedes- Daddy’s Little Girl
Most folks might know the meaning behind Mercedes Benz logo. But the famous car brand was originally named
after Emil Jellineks’ daughter, Mercédès
Jellinek. Emil Jellineks was the man behind the engine designed by
Wilhelm Maybach and Gottlieb Daimler and officially had his daughter’s name on
it. Mercedes was actually his daughter’s nickname.
10. Haagen Dasz- Foreign Branding
No guys…this does not derive from any of the North Germanic languages and
Scandinavian for that matter. It is simply two fabricated words meant to look
Scandinavian to the American eye. This is part of a branding strategy known as
foreign branding. The owner Mattus was of the idea that Denmark was famous for
its dairy products and had a positive image in the U.S.
11. Nike- Sign Of Victory
Alright, so the Nike logo was designed for $35, but it really goes with
the name. The company has adopted its name from “Nike – the Greek goddess of
victory”. No wonder a ‘swoosh’ was happily accepted by Nike, as it accurately signals a sign of victory.
12. Toyota- The Lucky Charm
Although the name was derived from the founder’s name Sakichi Toyoda, it was changed via
a logo design contest for a resonantly sounding name. The new name was
imprinted in eight Japanese letters, a number that is believed to be lucky in Japan.