Now that you have some background on how to name a business and have shared your own personal story, check out the history of some of the most famous brand names.


Google was originally called “BackRub” by founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin because of how the search engine utilized “back links.”

A year later, Larry Page and colleague Sean Anderson were brainstorming new names for “BackRub.” While trying to throw around new names related to the immense amount of data being indexed, the terms googolplex and googol were mentioned. A googol, is 1×10 to the hundredth power, or a 1 followed by 100 zeros.

When searching to see if the domain name was available for use, Sean accidentally typed google. The name was available and stuck. A decade later, it is one of the most powerful brands in the world.

Source: Dave Koller, professor at Stanford University.

White Castle

The first fast food franchise, White Castle laid the foundation for every fast food hamburger establishment to follow. Named in 1921 by founder, Walt Anderson, this franchise looked at the current marketing conditions before developing a name.

In the 20s many people were hesitant about eating ground beef after the publishing of Upton Sinclair’s whistle blowing book, The Jungle. To alter public perception, Anderson used the word “white” to symbolize purity and “castle” to symbolize stability and longevity.

Source: Wikipedia


This famous German shoe company has been making sporting footwear since 1924. Many people think Adidas is an acronym for “All Day I Dream About Sports” when in fact the story behind the name is much more simple and even more interesting.

Adidas was originally the Dassler Brothers Shoe Factory (Gebrüder Dassler Schufabrik) formed by Adolf and Rudi Dassler. Though the company thrived, selling 200,000 shoes before World War II, constant feuding between brothers forced them to go their separate ways. Rudi started Puma, one of the leading shoe brands in the world. Adolf, often called Adi, combined his name ADI-DASsler.

Source: Wikipedia

French Connection United Kingdom

Started in 1972, French Connection United Kingdom is a clothing brand that sells a variety apparel to men and women. In the featured article, Mac discusses the importance of reading your name to avoid controversy. In 1997, French Connection United Kingdom took the brand in the opposite direction, abbreviating the name to fcuk. Immediately spurring criticism, fcuk continued to produce and sell, very successfully, apparel that used the similarity between fcuk and its more offensive look a like. This brand continues to be one of the most popular in the UK today.


The father of the modern camera, George Eastman simply made up the name of his brand. Believing the letter K was strong and incisive by nature, Eastman used numerous combinations of words both starting and ending with the letter K. He eventually settled on Kodak because it sounded like a trademark word, it would not be mis-pronounced and didn’t resemble anything in the art of photography.

Source: Wikipedia