How brands got their names?


Why is it Called Red Bull?

Dietrich Mateschitz was an Austrian businessman who discovered a drink called Krathing Daeng meaning ‘Red Bull’ during a sales trip to Hong Kong in 1982. He tracked down businessman Chaleo Yoovidhya,, the creator of Krathing Daeng or Red Bull, and they became business partners under a ‘gentleman’s agreement.’ Yoovidhya had created this energy drink, Krathing Daeng under his company TC Pharma in the 1970s to help Thai truck drivers and rural laborers get through their day. He chose the imagery of the bull because of its power, the color red for perseverance, while the sun in the background symbolized energy. The drink had all the ingredients and taste to be a global drink, rest is history.

 Why is it Called Domino’s?

The original Domino’s location was located on 507 Cross Street in Ypsilanti (known locally as Ypsi) and was owned by Dominick DiVarti.

The store was located close to Eastern Michigan University and was named DomiNick’s after the owner. It was a popular college pizza spot but DiVarti was looking to get out of the restaurant business and local architecture student, Tom Monaghan, who had recently been honorably discharged from the Marines, was looking for a way to pay for his college degree.

So Tom and his brother James scraped together a down payment of $500 and purchased DomiNick’s on April 23, 1963.

Tom spent the next couple of years building up his company’s brand and by 1964 he owned three pizza shops in the Ypsi area. Being such a savvy businessman, Tom wanted to create an eye-catching and uniform brand that would attract new customers to his location and keep his business’ name on the locals’ minds. However, Dominick DiVarti wouldn’t let him franchise his name for more stores so Tom began searching for a name that would fit his fast delivery and delicious pies.

The story of how DomiNick’s became Domino’s is really kind of a fluke. There wasn’t a month’s worth of brainstorming sessions, the company didn’t hire a naming consultant, and they didn’t flip through a Yellow Pages for a name with a nice ring to it. The hero of Domino’s naming story is a pizza delivery man named Jim Kennedy who went out on an order one day and while he was dropping off his pizza, the name simply came to him.

When he came back to the store, he told Tom, and apparently, the owner loved it as soon as he heard it. So in 1965, he officially changed the name of DomiNick’s to Domino’s Pizza. The company grew quickly, and by 1978 there were around two-hundred stores in the country.

Why is it called Starbucks

Many a literary tale has inspired the masses, but did you know that one of the most well-known coffee brands in the world was named after a ship’s mate? Starbuck is a character in Herman Melville’s Moby Dick, and though he never actually drinks any coffee in the novel, Gordon Bowker, Jerry Baldwin, and Zev Siegl decided he would represent their company. Bowker decided the name “Starbucks” rolled off the tongue a bit nicer, and so a legend was born.

Why is McDonald’s Called McDonald’s?

Though prominently portrayed by Michael Keaton in “The Founder,” Ray Kroc is not actually the founder of McDonald’s. In fact, he began as a franchisee. Brothers Richard and Maurice McDonald began what would become the McDonald’s we know today in 1948, in sunny California. The two men wanted their restaurant to stand out from the rest, and in a time when speedy service meant big business, the Golden Arches soon made their everlasting mark.

The surname of the two founding brothers stood for the hamburger giant even after Ray Kroc bought the company from them in 1961. His company, McDonald’s System, Inc., cost him $2.7 million. No other names have been considered since, much like the Golden Arches logo has stayed almost the same, no matter where you go.

As part of their business plan, the McDonald brothers wanted to create a lasting image in their customers’ minds. Knowing a red-and-white color scheme would attract business, the McDonalds commissioned an architect to create the iconic Golden Arches we are familiar with today. The neon yellow was to stand out amongst the scenery and pinpoint customers to their favorite hamburger stand.

It has been said that Ray Kroc wanted to get rid of the Golden Arches, but Louis Cheskin, a design consultant, convinced Kroc otherwise. Citing the shape of the arches, which “resembled female breasts when observed from afar,” Cheskin believed Freud’s psychological influences were at play. To get rid of the arches would mean denying customers a subconscious desire. Kroc, for his part, believed Cheskin enough to leave the arches alone, and so they still stand today.

Why is it called BMW?

Unless you thought that BMW was actually spelled “bee-em-double-you” all this time, you may have guessed that the name is an acronym. It stands for Bayerische Moteren Werke, which translates into Bavarian Motor Works. You can listen to how it’s pronounced here! The acronym BMW is also pronounced differently in German – “bae-em-vae.”

BMW’s full German name actually isn’t grammatically correct. Motorenwerke is a single word in German. However, considering that the acronym BM is generally understood to stand for “bowel movement” rather than signify luxury vehicles, that grammatical error was probably a smart move.



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