In­sight into how some fa­mous global brands got their names

East African Business Week - - BUSINESS -

In our daily lives there are so many com­pany names we use and take for granted, but have you ever won­dered about the ori­gins?

Google was orig­i­nally an ac­ci­den­tal mis-spell­ing of the num­ber googol and set­tled upon be­cause google.com was un­reg­is­tered.

Googol is pro­nounced the same way and is the num­ber 1 fol­lowed by 100 zeros. It was pro­posed to re­flect the com­pany’s mis­sion to or­ga­nize the im­mense amount of in­for­ma­tion avail­able on­line.

Ja­panese ve­hi­cle maker, Mit­subishi is in two parts: mitsu means three and hishi (which is pro­nounced bishi when at the end of a word) means di­a­mond (the shape). Hence, the three di­a­mond logo.

Face­book stems from the col­lo­quial name of books given to newly en­rolled stu­dents at the start of the aca­demic year by univer­sity ad­min­is­tra­tions in the United States with the in­ten­tion of help­ing stu­dents to get to know each other bet­ter.

When it comes to biros, first to mind is Bic. Bic was named af­ter one of its founders, Marcel Bich.

He dropped the H to avoid a po­ten­tially in­ap­pro­pri­ate English pro­nun­ci­a­tion of the name, but yet chose to keep a creepy car­toon per­son with a bowl­ing ball head as the mas­cot.

Ama­zon Founder Jeff Be­zos se­lected the name Ama­zon by look­ing through the dic­tionary and set­tled on ‘Ama­zon’ be­cause the Ama­zon river was by far the “big­gest” river in the world (ac­cord­ing to drainage, not length), and he planned to make his store the big­gest in the world.

One the world’s most well-known brands Coca-cola is de­rived from the coca leaves and kola nuts used as fla­vor­ing.

Coca-cola cre­ator John S. Pem­ber­ton changed the K of kola to C to make the name look bet­ter.

Cu­ri­ous about Twit­ter? Well, hav­ing re­jected the name Twitch for their so­cial net­work­ing ser­vice, co­founder Jack Dorsey said they looked in the dic­tionary for words around it and came across the word ‘twit­ter.’

The def­i­ni­tion was ‘a short burst of in­con­se­quen­tial in­for­ma­tion’ and ‘chirps from birds’ and that’s ex­actly what the prod­uct was.

Sam­sung means ‘ three stars’ in Korean while LG is not from ‘Life’s good,’ though very catchy, but from the com­bi­na­tion of two pop­u­lar Korean brands, Lucky and Gold­star.

In 1924, Ru­dolf and his brother Adolf Dassler had jointly formed the com­pany Ge­brüder Dassler Schuh­fab­rik. How­ever, the re­la­tion­ship be­tween the two broth­ers de­te­ri­o­rated un­til the two agreed to split in 1948, form­ing two sep­a­rate en­ti­ties, Adi­das and PUMA.

Fol­low­ing the split from his brother, Ru­dolf Dassler orig­i­nally reg­is­tered the new-es­tab­lished com­pany as Ruda, but later changed the name to PUMA.

Ger­man sports­wear man­u­fac­turer, Adi­das was taken from its founder Adolf Dassler whose first name was short­ened to the nick­name “Adi.”

To­gether with the first three let­ters of his sur­name it formed Adi­das. The fact that it is also an acro­nym for “All day I dream about soc­cer” is just a fun co­in­ci­dence

Volk­swa­gen sim­ply means ‘peo­ple’s car’ in Ger­man.

When it comes desk­top pub­lish­ing the name that quickly comes to mind is Adobe.

The com­puter soft­ware com­pany gets it’s name from the Adobe Creek that ran be­hind the house of co­founder John Warnock.

An­other in­stantly recog­nis­able brand is Pepsi. Oddly enough, it gets it’s name from the di­ges­tive en­zyme pepsin and was orig­i­nally was mar­keted as a healthy drink that would aid in di­ges­tion

Bill Gates’ Mi­crosoft name orig­nated from a straight for­ward ex­pla­na­tion. It was orig­i­nally Mi­croSoft and the name was coined by Bill Gates to rep­re­sent the com­pany that was de­voted to Mi­cro­com­puter Softtware.

Skype is now a pop­u­lar way to com­mu­ni­cate and if you have ever won­dered about the un­usual name then won­der no more.

The orig­i­nal con­cept for the name was Sky-peer-to-peer, which mor­phed into Skyper, then Skype.

Fi­nally, there is Lego. It’s a com­bi­na­tion of the Dan­ish “leg godt”, which means to “play well.” Lego also means “I put to­gether” in Latin, but the com­pany claims this is only a co­in­ci­dence.

In other words, the name of your new com­pany can orig­i­nate from al­most any­where and any­thing!

BE­GAN WITH TWO BROTH­ERS: World record athelete, Usain Bolt dis­plays the puma show spe­cially made for him.

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