How These Brands Create Their Names, Part 2

We already saw how some other brands like Honest Tea, Pixar, and Toyota created their names. Now its time to see some others, if you're up for it?

Either way, here they are: Adidas, Puma, GoPro, Moleskine, Trojan, and Corona.

Adidas and Puma

It all started with two brothers in Hitler's Germany. Adolf "Adi" Dassler, the quiet shoemaker, and Rudolf Dassler, the gregarious salesman, teamed up to make and sell shoes. By the 1930's they had started to make a name for themselves and their company, Gebrüder Dassler Schuhfabrik (Dassler Brothers Shoe Factory). After Jesse Owens wore their shoes in the 1936 Summer Olympics, the brothers business really took off. However, it was not all brother love between them. They were very competitive with each other and a feud sparked up. After World War  2, the brothers went their separate ways. Adi Dassler went on to create "Adidas". Rudolf Dassler went on to create "RuDa", which eventually turned into Puma.


Typical of most California boys, they love to surf. At least that's what Nick Woodman, founder of GoPro, is all about. It was actually the inspiration for the camera he created. In a Reddit AMA, Woodman revealed that the name of the product that would eventually revolutionize how others experience extreme sports came from his wish to "go pro" in surfing. It means for him to "attack it full on, no matter what." Seems appropriate. 


The company started in 1997 and  had the mission of bringing back a piece of history that has been fading away--the art of writing... in a notebook no less! Moleskine is a tribute to the traditional notebooks that held "invaluable sketches, notes, stories, and ideas that would one day become famous paintings or the pages of beloved books." These notebooks were formerly made by a company called Modo & Modo. Moleskine is now bringing back "the legendary notebook used by artists and thinkers over the past two centuries: among them Vincent van Gogh, Pablo Picasso, Ernest Hemingway, and Bruce Chatwin."




There are many theories behind the name Trojan. Most revolve around the famous story of Troy and the Trojan Horse. This would be my best guess as to what the name means. For those that don’t know the famed story, here is a brief overview. The city of Troy was impenetrable by anyone. However, Spartans (being Spartans) wanted to defeat Troy. They couldn’t find a way through or over their walls, though. So, they built a giant hollowed-out horse and presented it outside of the gates of Troy. Little did the Trojans know, Spartans were hiding inside. Once the horse was brought inside the gates Spartans burst out and destroyed them all. Fitting background for a condom company, right? I mean, they did come inside safely.


The word corona or coronita actually means 'crown' or 'little crown' in Spanish. Some say the beer gets its name from its logo which is based off the crown in the Cathedral of Our Lady of Guadalupe in the town of Puerto Vallarta, but the dates don't match up. Either way, Corona is one of the best-selling beers in the world. So, with a name like Corona, meaning what it means, it seems to fit. It is the queen of all beers, so her crown fits just right. 

What other brand names do you want to know? Tweet us! 

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. 

Pandora's Rebrand

Pandora has unveiled a new logo! A simple blocked out P with a flurry of images flashing behind it. The new design brings the old and some new together in a form similar to what MTV has done with its 80’s style bringing "the look of the web to TV".

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This vibrant new design is a huge leap from its former plain single colored P with serifed text. The new design seems like it’s for a new generation slash trying to keep up with the changing generations. Pandora has been around since 2000. It has over 250 million registered users and about 80 million active users. However it has been lacking with new competitors such as Spotify, Itunes Radio, and Apple Music coming on to the scene.

The new logo and rebranding were made to reflect “the dynamic range of sound and color, visualizing the energy and emotion that artists pour into the creation of music, and that we feel as listeners”. It also reflects on the theme which Pandora inadvertently has, which is adapting and creating the different musical styles and personalities of its users.

Though this new logo and rebranding has gone over well, some felt the rebranding efforts have only been skin-deep, and felt the rebrand doesn’t have a real story that has been told. It seems like the rebrand is playing more off an idea of what they want rather than a real story. But, it’s not a bad idea.

I rather like the new logo and rebranding they have done. They shouldn't stop there, though. There is more that they can do to put them more on the level of their competition. Brands are forever changing to keep up with the competition or to create the competition. Its never a bad thing to reevaluate your brand and make the necessary changes to put you at the top. 


What do you think of the new logo and brand? What more could they do?