How These Brands Create Their Names

Nike, IKEA, Skype, BMW, and the rest of the Fortune 500 companies have names lasting 40+ years and rightfully held their existence against time. As these giants continue to age, hopefully gracefully, consumers slowly forget the meaning of the brand names and simply associate the brand to things. This doesn't include brands that sprout up within this decade. Let's take a look at a few below.


Cards Against Humanity


CAH original name was a combination of card and schadenfreude, roughly translated from a German phrase of "deriving pleasure from another's misfortune."Later the name morphed into Cards Against Humanity as a play on the greater crime against humanity.  


Honest Tea

When cofounder Barry Nalebuff returned from his tea expedition in India, he approached Seth Goldman with a name describing the bottled tea, and the name simmered with Seth as he believed the brand would strive to develop a trusted network among its customers, suppliers, and the environment. 


Red Bull

Originally created in Thailand by Chaleo Yoovidhya under the name Krating Daeng, which krathing meaning gaur and daeng translate as red, Austrian businessman Dietrich Mateschitz partnered with Yoovidhya, and modified the ingredients to fit western tastes. In 1987,  Red Bull GmbH was formed. 



During George Lucas' reign, the branch within Lucasfilm was called The Graphics Group, then purchased by Steve Jobs for roughly $5 million. The name changed to present-day name Pixar stemming from a fictional Spanish word for "to make Pixer" reflecting Aly Ray's Spanish-speaking background. Loren Carpenter altered the "er" to "ar" as it supposedly had a more high-tech feel similar to radar. 


This one is harder to pin down exactly, but let's give it a shot. As Toyota Motor Corporation was established in 1937 by the Toyoda family originally by Sakichi Toyoda, the company name was created based on a Japanese cultural significance rather than the family name. Toyoda contains ten Japanese strokes while the Toyota utilizes eight, and in Japanese superstition eight (八) is a lucky number as its bottom widens reminding one of growth and prosperity


Spinning off from Zimride, cofounders Logan Green and John Zimmer wanted to move away from the parent name, and needed to find something new to represent the quick lifts they provide. Although it still remains unknown on why they chose this unique spelling, it's probably safe to guess by 2012 other domains with variations of "lift" were taken. 

Tweet us a brand name you want to know the origin, and we shall hunt for that.