Here's what 24 of the most popular brand names really mean
Brand Updates & Reviews

Here’s what most popular brand names really mean

One can never thought the mind-map behind tracing and building a brand name that would stand so strong and leave a memorizing impact on the consumers. Hence, here are some popular brand names with their actual meanings:

Pepsi was named after the medical term for indigestion

Pepsi was named after the medical term for indigestion.

The inventor of Pepsi, Caleb Davis Bradham, originally wanted to be a doctor, but a family crisis meant that he left medical school and became a pharmacist instead, according to the company website.

His original invention, known as “Brad’s Drink,” was made from a mix of sugar, water, caramel, lemon oil, and nutmeg. Three years later, Bradham renamed his drink, which he believed aided digestion, to “Pepsi-Cola,” taken from the word dyspepsia, meaning indigestion.

Google owes its name to a typo

Google owes its name to a typo.

Google logo adorns entrance of Google Germany headquarters in Hamburg Thomson.

Google’s name emerged from a brainstorming session at Stanford University. Founder Larry Page was coming up with ideas for a massive data-index website with other graduate students.

One of the suggestions was “googolplex” one of the largest describable numbers. The name ‘Google’ came about after one of the students accidentally spelled it wrong. Page then registered his company with this name.

McDonald’s is named after two brothers who ran a burger restaurant

McDonald's is named after two brothers who ran a burger restaurant.

Raymond Kroc, the founder of McDonald’s, was a milkshake machine salesman when he first met brothers Dick and Mac McDonald, who ran a burger restaurant in San Bernardino, California.

The McDonald brothers bought several of his Kroc’s Multimixers and he was so impressed by their burger restaurant that he became their agent and set up franchises around the US. Years later, he bought rights to the McDonald’s name.

Adidas isn’t an acronym for “All Day I Dream About Soccer”

Adidas isn't an acronym for "All Day I Dream About Soccer."

If you, like me, thought Adidas stood for “All Day I Dream About Soccer,” you’re wrong. It turns out the athletics-apparel brand is named after its founder, Adolf Dassler, who started making sports shoes when he came back from serving in World War I, according to a state-run publication. The name combines his nickname, Adi, and the first three letters of his last name.

“A genie whispered ‘Rolex,'” in the founder’s ear

"A genie whispered 'Rolex,'" in the founder's ear.

Hans Wilsdorf, the founder of Rolex, wanted a brand name that could be said in any language.

“I tried combining the letters of the alphabet in every possible way,” said Wilsdorf, according to Rolex. “This gave me some hundred names, but none of them felt quite right. One morning, while riding on the upper deck of a horse-drawn omnibus along Cheapside in the City of London, a genie whispered ‘Rolex’ in my ear.”

Zara came from Zorba, it’s original name

Zara came from Zorba, it's original name.

Zara founder Amancio Ortega originally named his company after the 1964 film, “Zorba the Greek.” But this didn’t last long.

The first store, which opened in La Coruña in 1975, happened to be two blocks down from a bar called Zorba, reported a state-run publication. Ortega had already made the mold for the letters of his sign when the bar owner told him that it was too confusing for them to have the same name.

In the end, Ortega ended up rearranging the letters to make the closest word he could come up with — hence Zara.

IKEA isn’t actually a Swedish word

IKEA isn't actually a Swedish word.

IKEA isn’t a Swedish word that you don’t understand.

Founder Ingvar Kamprad chose the brand name by combining the initials of his own name, IK, with the first letters of the farm and village, where grew up in southern Sweden: Elmtaryd and Agunnaryd.

Starbucks is named after a character in Moby-Dick

Starbucks is named after a character in Moby-Dick.

In an interview, Starbucks co-founder Gordon Bowker told the story of how they arrived at the name. At first, they were going through a list of words beginning with “st” because they thought those were powerful.

“Somebody somehow came up with an old mining map of the Cascades and Mount Rainier, and there was an old mining town called Starbo,” he said. “As soon as I saw Starbo, I, of course, jumped to Melville’s first mate [named Starbuck] in Moby-Dick.”

Gap refers to the generation gap between adults and kids

Gap refers to the generation gap between adults and kids.

The first Gap store opened in 1969 with the goal of selling good jeans. The name referred to the generation gap between adults and kids.

Nike is the Greek goddess of victory

Nike is the Greek goddess of victory.

Amazon was named after the world’s biggest river

Amazon was named after the world's biggest river.

When Amazon first launched in 1995, founder Jeff Bezos had a different idea for his brand name.

Bezos wanted to call his online bookstore Cadabra, according to a book about the company. But Amazon’s first lawyer, Todd Tarbert, managed to convince him that the name sounded too similar to “Cadaver.”

Bezos is also said to have favored the name Relentless, and if you visit Relentless.com today, you’ll be redirected to Amazon’s website, Business Insider reported.

Bezos finally settled on Amazon, named after the largest river in the world, and incorporated an image of the river in the company’s first logo.

Verizon stems from the latin word Veritas, meaning “truth”

Verizon stems from the latin word Veritas, meaning "truth."

Verizon was the product of a merger between Bell Atlantic and GTE, both telecommunications companies. The name is a mix between the latin word “veritas” meaning “truth,” and horizon, which is meant to signify that the brand is forward-looking.

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