Do you know why Nutella is called this way? What about Pepsi? And Amazon? Often the choice of the names of companies and brands are very important to make them known and immediately identified by the largest number of consumers possible.

In recent years, for example in fashion companies, the trend of many brands has been to opt for the name and surname of the founder but in the past much more has been played on the denomination to give to their brand.

Someone relied on the proposals of their most trusted collaborators, others, after much research, followed the suggestions of strangers but, for all of them, the final choice of names was truly a success .

Ikea , Pepsi , Rolex are just some of the brands known and appreciated in the world whose names will remain in history forever. But how did these super popular names come about and what do they really mean? Let ‘s find out the origins of the names of 13 famous brands:

1) Pepsi

Together with its competitor it is perhaps the name of the most known and consumed drink in the world. But where does the name Pepsi come from ? According to the company’s website, Caleb Davis Bradham , the inventor of the famous drink, wanted to be a doctor but due to family problems he had to leave the medical university and became a pharmacist. The original recipe was made up of sugar, water, caramel, lemon oil and nutmeg and was initially called Brad’s Drink . Three years later, the name was changed to Pepsi-Cola , deriving from the word dyspepsia , which means indigestion .

2) Zara

The New York Times stated that  Amancio Ortega, the founder of the clothing giant, calls his first shop, opened in La Coruna in 1975, Zorba, from the movie Zorba the Greek . It so happened that two blocks away a bar named in the same way was opened and the owner of the place told him that the two names would create confusion among the customers. Thus, Ortega who had already made the mold for the letters rearranged them, creating a word as similar as possible to the original idea and Zara came to mind .

3) Rolex

The marketing strategy of Hans Wilsdorf , the founder of the famous watch brand, was aimed at finding a name that was pronounceable equally in all languages. Apparently simple undertaking but it was not so. Indeed, Wilsdorf states: “ I have tried to combine the letters of the alphabet in every possible way. I selected a few hundred names, but none seemed the right one ”. But the inspiration comes at a totally unexpected moment. As I tell the founder of him, one morning, while he was on a bus in Cheapside in the City of London, a man whispers ” Rolex ” in his ear …

4) McDonald’s

Money magazine said McDonald’s founder Raymond Kroc bought the rights to use this name after meeting the two brothers Dic and Mac who owned a small restaurant in San Bernardino, California, where they only cooked hamburgers. The story goes that Kroc became their agent and I set up a franchise around the United States. Only after a few years do I buy the rights to use the name and since then and known history.

5) Starbucks

Gordon Bowker , the cofounder of Starbucks , recounted in an interview how he chose the name. “ Understood that someone pulled out an old map of the Cascades and Mount Rainier that featured an old mining town called Starbo. As soon as I read Starbo, I remembered the first officer of the Pequod, whose name is Starbuck, the whaler from Melville’s Moby-Dick novel “.

6) Adidas

Mistakenly, many think that the Adidas name is an acronym for All Day I Dream About Soccer . In fact, the sportswear brand, according to the  LA Times , owes its name to its founder. Adolf Dassler , added his nickname Adi to the first three letters of his surname. Adidas sneakers began to be produced upon his return from the First World War.

7) Amazon

Amazon was launched in 1995 and founder Jeff Bezosa had thought of a totally different name for this company. Brad Stone, in his book on the company, reports that Bezos, the founder of Amazon , after several alternatives, decided for this in honor of the Amazon . Indeed, the image of the longest river in the world, together with the Nile, was included in the first logo of the company.

8) Google

The name Google comes from an error in the pronunciation of a student during a brainstorming session at Stanford University. Founder Larry Page was designing a huge data site along with other graduate students, and one of the suggestions for the name was googleplex . This mispronounced term was recorded by Page as his company name.


The real estate giant’s name is not a Swedish word with an unknown meaning like many of its products. Ingvar Kamprad , the founder, combines his initials with the first letters of the farm and the village where he grew up in southern Sweden: Elmtaryd and Agunnaryd. From this idea I coined the IKEA brand .

10) Audi

The German car manufacturer, born in 1909, was founded by August Horch . The nephew of a colleague of his suggested that he translate the surname into Latin . The German word horch is linked to the verb horen (that is: to hear, to listen) which in Latin is translated with the verb audire . Audi is precisely the imperative to audit and it means listen .

11) Nike

Bill Bowerman , one of the two founders of the sportswear company founded in 1964, chose the name Nike  among all the different proposals made by his 45 collaborators at the time. In Greek mythology, the homonymous and very powerful goddess represents Victory , highly revered especially during military campaigns. The famous “mustache”, the company logo, would be her wings.

12) Nutella

The delicious Italian hazelnut cream, known and appreciated all over the world, was originally called Supercrema Giandujot . Perhaps a name too long and complicated to remember. “Nutella” derives from the union of the English word nut , nuts, with the suffix –ella to give a sense of Italianity to the product.

13) Gatorade

Hindered by moms but welcome on playgrounds and gyms, the Gatorade energy drink was originally made for the Florida Gators football team . This was designed and “created” by a group of doctors for players who struggled to play in the heat. The name of the colored drink comes from the name of the team, a little modified.