Popular Companies – How they were Named
Posted March 9, 2008on:
ABN AMRO – In the 1960s, the Nederlandse Handelmaatschappij (Dutch Trading Society; 1824) and the Twentsche Bank merged to form the Algemene Bank Nederland ( ABN; General Bank of the Netherlands) . In 1966, the Amsterdamsche Bank and the Rotterdamsche Bank merged to form the Amro Bank. In 1991, ABN and Amro Bank merged to form ABN AMRO.
Accenture – Accent on the Future. Greater-than ‘accent’ over the logo’s t points forward towards the future. The name Accenture was proposed by a company employee in Norwayas part of a internal name finding process (BrandStorming) . Prior to January 1, 2001 the company was called Andersen Consulting.
Adidas – from the name of the founder Adolf (Adi) Dassler.
Adobe – came from name of the river Adobe Creek that ran behind the houses of founders John Warnock and Chuck Geschke .
AltaVista – Spanish for “high view”.
Amazon*com – Founder Jeff Bezos renamed the company to Amazon (from the earlier name of Cadabra*com) after the world’s most voluminous river, the Amazon. He saw the potential for a larger volume of sales in an online bookstore as opposed to the then prevalent bookstores. (Alternative: It is said that Jeff Bezos named his book store Amazon simply to cash in on the popularity of Yahoo at the time. Yahoo listed entries alphabetically, and thus Amazon would always appear above its competitors in the relevant categories it was listed in.)
AMD – Advanced Micro Devices.
Apache – The name was chosen from respect for the Native American Indian tribe of Apache (Ind), well-known for their superior skills in warfare strategy and their inexhaustible endurance. Secondarily, and more popularly (though incorrectly) accepted, it’s considered a cute name that stuck: its founders got started by applying patches to code written for NCSA’s httpd daemon. The result was ‘a patchy’ server â€” thus the name Apache.
Apple – for the favourite fruit of co-founder Steve Jobs and/or for the time he worked at an apple orchard. He was three months late in filing a name for the business, and he threatened to call his company Apple Computer if his colleagues didn’t suggest a better name by 5 p.m. Apple’s Macintosh is named after a popular variety of apple sold in the US. Apple also wanted to distance itself from the cold, unapproachable, complicated imagery created by the other computer companies at the time had names like IBM, NEC, DEC, ADPAC, Cincom, Dylakor, Input, Integral Systems, SAP, PSDI, Syncsort and Tesseract. The new company sought to reverse the entrenched view of computers in order to get people to use them at home. They looked for a name that was unlike the names of traditional computer companies, a name that also supported a brand positioning strategy that was to be perceived as simple, warm, human, approachable and different. Note: Apple had to get approval from the Beatle’s Apple Corps to use the name ‘Apple’ and paid a one-time royalty of $100,000 to McIntosh Laboratory, Inc., a maker of high-end audio equipment, to use the derivative name ‘Macintosh’, known now as just ‘Mac’.
AT&T – American Telephone and Telegraph Corporation officially changed its name to AT&T in the 1990s.
Bauknecht – Founded as an electrotechnical workshop in 1919 by Gottlob Bauknecht . BBC – Stands for British Broadcasting Corporation.
BenQ – Bringing ENjoyment and Quality to life
Blaupunkt – Blaupunkt (Blue dot) was founded in 1923 under the name Ideal. Their core business was the manufacturing of headphones. If the headphones came through quality tests, the company would give the headphones a blue dot. The headphones quickly became known as the blue dots or blaue Punkte. The quality symbol would become a trademark, and the trademark would become the company name in 1938.
BMW – abbreviation of Bayerische Motoren Werke (Bavarian Motor Factories)
Borealis – The Northern Lights or Aurora Borealis, is the celestial phenomenon that features bursts of light in colourful patterns dancing across the night skies of the north. Borealis, inspired from the shining brilliance of the Northern Lights, was formed in 1994 out of the merger between two northern oil companies, Norway’s Statoil and Finland’s Neste.
BP – formerly British Petroleum, now “BP” (The slogan “Beyond Petroleum” has incorrectly been taken to refer to the company’s new name following its rebranding effort in 2000).
BRAC – abbreviation for Bangladesh Rural Advancement Committee, world’s largest NGO (non governmental organization) . It works in development programs around the world.
Bridgestone – named after founder Shojiro Ishibashi. The surname Ishibashi (?) means “stone bridge”, i.e. “bridge of stone”.
Bull- Compagnie des machines Bull was founded in Paristo exploit the patents for punched card machines taken out by a Norwegian engineer, Fredrik Rosing Bull.
Cadillac – Cadillac was named after the 18th century French explorer Antoine Laumet de La Mothe , sieur de Cadillac, founder of Detroit, Michigan. Cadillac is a small town in the South of France.
Canon – Originally (1933) Precision Optical Instruments Laboratory the new name (1935) derived from the name of the company’s first camera, the Kwannon, in turn named after the Japanese name of the Buddhist bodhisattva of mercy.
CGI – from the first letter of Information Management Consultant in french (Conseiller en Gestion et Informatique) .
Cisco – short for San Francisco . It has also been suggested that it was “CIS-co” — Computer Information Services was the department at StanfordUniversityt hat the founders worked in.
COBRA – Computadores Brasileiros, “Brazilian Computers”, electronics and services company, was the first state-owned designer and producer of computers in the 1970s, later acquired by the Banco do Brasil.
Coca-Cola – Coca-Cola’s name 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’ for the name to look better.
Colgate-Palmolive – formed from a merger of soap manufacturers Colgate & Company and Palmolive-Peet. Peet was dropped in 1953. Colgate was named after William Colgate, an English immigrant, who set up a starch, soap and candle business in New York Cityin 1806. Palmolive was named for the two oils (Palm and Olive) used in its manufacture.
Compaq – from “comp” for computer, and “pack” to denote a small integral object; or: Compatibility And Quality; or: from the company’s first product, the very compact Compaq Portable.
Comsat – an American digital telecommunications and satellite company, founded during the President Kennedy era to develop the technology. Contraction of Communications Satellites.
Daewoo – the company founder Kim Woo Chong called it Daewoo which means “Great Universe” in Korean.
Dell – named after its founder, Michael Dell. The company changed its name from Dell Computer in 2003.
DHL – the company was founded by Adrian Dalsey, Larry Hillblom , and Robert Lynn , whose last initials form the company’s moniker.
eBay – Pierre Omidyar, who had created the Auction Web trading website, had formed a web consulting concern called Echo Bay Technology Group. ” EchoBay” didn’t refer to the town in Nevada, the nature area close to Lake Mead, or any real place. “It just sounded cool,” Omidyar reportedly said. When he tried to register EchoBay.com, though, he found that Echo Bay Mines, a gold mining company, had gotten it first. So, Omidyar registered what (at the time) he thought was the second best name: eBay.com.
Epson – Epson Seiko Corporation, the Japanese printer and peripheral manufacturer, was named from “Son of Electronic Printer”
Fanta – was originally invented by Max Keith in Germanyin 1940 when World War II made it difficult to get the Coca-Cola syrup to Nazi Germany. Fanta was originally made from byproducts of cheese and jam production. The name comes from the German word for imagination (Fantasie or Phantasie), because the inventors thought that imagination was needed to taste oranges from the strange mix.
Fazer – named after its founder, Karl Fazer.
Fiat – acronym of Fabbrica Italiana Automobili Torino (Italian Factory of Cars of Turin). Fuji – from the highest Japanese mountain Mount Fuji.
Google – the name is an intentional misspelling of the word googol, reflecting the company’s mission to organize the immense amount of information available online.
Haier – Chinese ? “sea” and ? (a transliteration character; also means “you” in Literary Chinese)
HP – Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard tossed a coin to decide whether the company they founded would be called Hewlett-Packard or Packard-Hewlett.
Hitachi – old place name, literally “sunrise”
Honda – from the name of its founder, Soichiro Honda
Honeywell – from the name of Mark Honeywell founder of Honeywell Heating Specialty Co. It later merged with Minneapolis Heat Regulator Company and was finally called Honeywell Inc. in 1963.
Hotmail – Founder Jack Smith got the idea of accessing e-mail via the web from a computer anywhere in the world. When Sabeer Bhatia came up with the business plan for the mail service, he tried all kinds of names ending in ‘mail’ and finally settled for Hotmail as it included the letters “HTML” – the markup language used to write web pages. It was initially referred to as HoTMaiL with selective upper casing. (If you click on Hotmail’s ‘mail’ tab, you will still find “HoTMaiL” in the URL.) HSBC – The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation.
Hyundai – connotes the sense of “the present age” or “modernity” in Korean.
IBM – named by Tom Watson, an ex-employee of National Cash Register. To one-up them in all respects, he called his company International Business Machines.
ICL- abbreviation for International Computers Ltd, once the UK’s largest computer company, but now a service arm of Fujitsu, of Japan.
IKON – copier company name derived from I Know One Name.
Intel – Bob Noyce and Gordon Moore initially incorporated their company as N M Electronics. Someone suggested Moore Noyce Electronics but it sounded too close to “more noise” — not a good choice for an electronics company! Later, Integrated Electronics was proposed but it had been taken by somebody else. Then, using initial syllables from INTegrated ELectronics, Noyce and Moore came up with Intel. To avoid potential conflicts with other companies of similar names, Intel purchased the name rights for $15,000 from a company called Intelco. (Source: Intel 15 Years Corporate Anniversary Brochure)
Interland – a web hosting provider formally known as Micron Computer, Inc. which was named either after InternetLandor the combination of the largest acqusition it performed, Interliant with the word Land.