What’s in a name? How did some of our favourite brands get their names?

Business Innovations

08 February 2019

What’s in a name? How did some of our favourite brands get their names?

  • Posted by Awfis Editorial

Brands and brand names are deeply entrenched in our lives; almost staple, one could say. We all ‘Google’ information, Skype with friends, and love to treat ourselves to a Häagen-Dazs ice cream every now and then.

But did you ever stop to wonder where these brands got their names from? Surely someone or a group of people sat in a boardroom and came up with these names. But what do they actually mean? Let’s look at some of our favourite ones, shall we, in no particular order?

Google is a typo!

Google’s founder, Larry Page, was brainstorming with a bunch of graduate students at Stanford University to create a massive data-index website. Someone (no one is sure who) suggested ‘googolplex’, which means the largest describable number. A student misspelled the name and that’s how ‘Google’ came to be.

And you thought Adidas stands for ‘All Day I Dream About Soccer’?

Sorry folks, the Adidas name has nothing to do with athletic sports. Story goes, the founder of the brand, Adolf Dassler, started making shoes when he returned home after WWI. He needed to give a name to the brand, so he combined his nickname Adi, with the first three letters of his last name. As simple as that. Now use this knowledge to correct someone else’s misinformation.

Twitter means just what it stands for.

The podcasting company, Odeo, was brainstorming one day. Jack Dorsey, who was then an undergraduate student at NYU, came up with the idea of an individual using an SMS service to send messages to a small group. The original name given for this service was ‘twttr’, an idea inspired by Flickr as much as the five-character length of American SMS short codes. In fact, the service was launched as ‘twttr’ also because twitter.com was already taken. Six months later the domain was purchased and there’s been no looking back since. According to Dorsey, “…we came across the word ‘twitter’, and it was just perfect. The definition was ‘a short burst of inconsequential information,’ and ‘chirps from birds’. And that’s exactly what the product was.”

Did you also believe IKEA to be a Swedish word?

IKEA is a fine example of a make-believe word. And no, it has nothing to do with Sweden, not directly at least. Founder Ingvar Kamprad created the brand name by combining the initials of his name, IK and then adding on the first letters of the farm and village where he grew up in southern Sweden: Elmtaryd and Agunnaryd. We, for one, are glad that he went with the initials only. Can you imagine saying those names aloud!

Amazon is named after the world’s biggest river.

Amazon, launched in 1995 as a bookstore, was meant to be called Cadabra by its founder, Jeff Bezos. It seems, however, that the company’s first lawyer, Todd Tarbert, felt the name sounded too similar to ‘cadaver’. Bezos then chose Relentless (if you visit relentless.com you will get redirected to the Amazon website. Try it, we just did.), but he eventually decided on Amazon – the world’s largest river. In fact, the company’s first logo even had an image of the river.

Starbucks finds its origins in Moby-Dick.

Starbucks cofounder Gordon Bowker tells an interesting tale of the origin of the name. They definitely wanted something that began with ‘st’ because it sounded powerful. Somehow the conversation veered to the old mining map of the Cascades and Mount Rainier. The old mining town of Starbo caught their eye, and Gordon immediately thought of Melville’s first mate, Starbuck, from Moby-Dick.

Häagen-Dazs is real, but the name is all made up.

Reuben Mattus, a Jewish immigrant from Poland, wanted to pay tribute to Denmark (the only country that saved Jews during WWII) and decided to name his ice-cream company Häagen-Dazs. The name doesn’t mean anything, but the combination of letters, especially the umlaut, does the job splendidly.

Xerox isn’t random, unlike what you might have thought.

We’ve seen made-up names and names that used initials of the founders or those that got their inspiration from entirely unrelated subjects. Xerox isn’t one of those; it has a clear etymology. It comes from the word xerography, which is a technical term for the dry copying process used in photocopiers, which itself is derived from the Greek words xeros (dry) and graphos) writing. That ‘x’? It was added for some techy punch. So popular is the brand name that today Xerox has gone on to become the generic word for the act of photocopying.

Sony needed something simple in English.

Tokyo Tsushin Kogyo (as Tokyo Telecommunications Engineering) made perfect sense in Japan, but wouldn’t have the same impact in the US. How did the company overcome the hurdle? By reinventing the brand as something short and simple. Sony seemed to be a good choice as it was easy to say, and additionally it also suggested ‘sonus’ which is Latin for sound. Moreover, it was similar to ‘sonny’ an American slang for a young lad. That made the name friendly and approachable.

Facebook or Facemesh?

When Mark Zuckerberg was studying at Harvard’s University, there used to be an online directory of all the students in the college called Face Book. The idea behind this was to familiarize all the students with each other. If you’ve seen The Social Network, you will be familiar with how Mark hacked the servers and created a competition of sorts to ask people to choose who looked better. He initially named it Facemesh. This later evolved into a networking site where people could communicate with each other and even put up their photographs, and he reverted to calling it Facebook.

Then there’s Pepsi, named after dyspepsia (meaning indigestion) because it was meant to aid digestion. McDonald’s is named after the two brothers Dick and Mac McDonald who ran a burger restaurant. Gap literally indicates the generation gap between adults and kids. Nike is the Greek goddess of victory (apt, isn’t it?). Skype is derived from ‘Sky peer-to-peer’, which was shortened to ‘Skyper’. However, the domain name was already taken, so the ‘r’ was dropped to make it Skype. Gatorade was launched as an energy drink for the Florida Gators.

Whew! The list of brand names and their origins is actually endless, but these are just some of the more popular ones that we encounter almost daily.

Conclusion

What does this list tell you? Original, unique and catchy names are very important to building great brands, as against descriptive or rational ones. Fun business names have more power and it is important to think out of the box when naming a brand.

Do you have any names that you think are quirky in their own right? Tell us in the comments below.

5 Apps to Increase Productivity at Work

Business Innovations

25 August 2021

5 Apps to Increase Productivity at Work

  • Posted by awfis

Life has become much easier with the advent of technology. With access to latest technology, work has become less strenuous. The biggest contribution to technology has been the invention of smartphones. They have not only made communication easy, but also play core to organize our lives. The hundreds of ‘add on apps’ have made life stress-free and have definitely helped increase productivity, in every possible way.

App

Here are some applications that we feel will help you outperform at work.

  1. WandurList:

As the name suggests WandurList is an app that helps you in maintaining a number of lists. It is a clean application which enables you to make multiple lists under various folders. It is available for Android, iOS and web users, but what makes it stand out is that WandurList enables you to access the lists from anywhere and from any device. The lists that you make are saved in the cloud, thus letting you share the lists with the other users. So the next time you are out of your office and need to assign work or access previous work, WandurList will be your go to app.
wunderlist.com

  1. Shoeboxed:

Tired of keeping track of your expense receipts before submitting for tax reduction every month? We have a perfect solution for you. Use shoebox and say goodbye to the strenuous process of filling out forms. Shoeboxed is perfect for people who are up and about in the name of the business. Shoebox can access either via android, iOS mobiles or also via the web. Scan the bills and Shoebox sorts out and collates the receipts for you and also generates an expense report.  By the end of the month all you will have to do is send it out to your accounts team.
shoeboxed.com

  1. Speek:

Conference calling is an important aspect of how work happens in the business world. With growing business environment one needs to connect to people from various parts of the world and that’s where Speek steps in. It is an application that enables you to have a con-call by eliminating the process of dialling the numbers and the pin codes. Speek gives you a personal link which has to be shared with the people you want to have the conference call with and all they have to do is click the link to join in via their laptop, smartphone or the computer. So want to make a conference call? It’s just a link away now!
speek.com

  1. Keeper:

Have a lot of passwords of various platforms to keep track of? Tired of sending email to the IT to retrieve your passwords? This application takes that burden of remembering passwords off your shoulders. You have one master password that has all the passwords stored in it. If any hack is attempted all the passwords are automatically erased to maintain secrecy. This application can be accessed via a phone, laptop or a computer with the android, IOS software or by using the web.
keepersecurity.com

  1. Prezi:

Need to make flawless presentations that capture your client’s attention? We have a unique cloud based presentation application – Prezi. This app lets you put down all the information on one canvas and mark it out instead of making separate slides. It uses Adobe Flash Technology to animate the presentation. The application is easy to use and is also compatible for Windows, chrome, iOS and the Web.
prezi.com

Try the apps out and see the increased productivity that these applications bring about in your work life!

Join our business centre in Bengaluru, or our co-working space in Delhi.

Freelancers Work Better in Office Spaces than Coffee Shops

Business Innovations

25 August 2021

Freelancers Work Better in Office Spaces than Coffee Shops

  • Posted by awfis

You would have seen freelancers and solopreneurs working intensely at coffee shops, buying a cup of coffee accompanied with something to bite on now and then, more to keep the table occupied rather than ordering by choice! But working out of a coffee shop comes with a set of challenges. Being in such a relaxed, casual ambience for work, you are not really motivated enough and you can only rely on self-motivation to keep you going.

Thankfully, this is something that can be resolved by working at collaborative office spaces. Leased workspaces and desks that you can find on a reliable collaborative working website like https://www.awfis.com/inspiration/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/shutterstock_3835072871.jpg.com will also give you access to all amenities that you need when you work in an office, like free Wi-Fi and unlimited tea and coffee to keep you fueled up.

Freelancers in office spaces

Freelancers are looking for offices spaces with a positive atmosphere to conduct their work. More often than not, freelancers have a lonely job. They are at their laptops doing their work. However, at home, they have several distractions to keep them away from their desk. Coffee shops do not make the best talking environments for productive business meetings as a plethora of distractions come your way. No such worries exist in a collaborative working space where you are paying rent to be at your desk for work.

Let’s talk about the motivation factor now. Because you are in a roomful of people working on their desks, you are motivated to be a part of that workforce. You can make some great professional friends. As a freelancer, you cannot deny that working alongside others is a much better feeling that being a lone wolf, especially on days when things are a bit rusty. The general working ambience keeps you afloat, something that you find in plenty of plug & play rented office spaces.

If you have not considered working in a collaborative working environment, now is a good time to do that. All your criteria will be met and your business will commence in a cheerful and inspiring environment. After all, your venture deserves only the best.

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For Young Entrepreneurs in India, Awfis is the New Office

Business Innovations

25 August 2021

For Young Entrepreneurs in India, Awfis is the New Office

  • Posted by awfis

As they say, all you need to succeed is a big idea!
However, in the fiercely competitive world, you have to be careful about how you use that big idea. When you start off, you have multiple challenges on your side, including the really daunting one of arranging for start-up capital. You will be surprised to know the number of Unicorns which started off on a shoestring budget.

Things have changed since. You no longer need to set up a big office space and buy all the furniture necessary to set off your own company. Welcome to a new way of working out of an office: Awfis! At Awfis, you will get exactly what you need for your start-up or your work as an entrepreneur: a highly productive space to conduct your business.

Awfis is your new Office

Collaborative working has been around for a while now, but it is only now that it is starting to catch up here in India. At the forefront of this change is Awfis. We have Pro-Working centres where you can work in your own leased offices, along with your own team of professionals. For those who are playing it out as a lone wolf now, this is a better opportunity to make your mark!

There are many reasons why Awfis is the new office today. For example, the meeting rooms which we have in the leading cities of the country are all located in premium destinations. The centrality of the location makes it easier for you to commute and network with people for meetings and discussions. Clients and customers will not shy away from visiting your office premises because it is far away. Your business is in a better position, location wise.

Additionally, you are working alongside professionals who can turn out to be excellent future business contacts for you. Who knows, you may get the next big project from the person seated right next to you in the collaborative working ambiance! Also you may not have to hunt around for a professional in a desired field because the person may be working in the next cabin. Collaborative pro-working spaces are an excellent choice for business networking.

Awfis ensures that you get the best technological and infrastructural support when you work in our Co-Working centres. You will appreciate the environment and that will certainly inspire you to work even harder, the wind beneath the sails that you need when you are starting off.