It’s interesting to find out that the multi-billion pound empire of some of the world’s most loved brands had such humble origins as starting out in a friend’s garage, or that they were created as a magical cure to addiction.
Even if a simple spelling mistake hadn’t been made, Google might currently be known as Googol….. and that was just the tip of the ice berg!
So how many more fascinating gems lie out there or are yet to be discovered? Here are some more of the world’s most loved brands and where they came from:
Häagen-Dazs – Developed by Polish immigrants in New York, 1961.Ruben and Rose Mattus created a completely made up name Häagen-Dazs as they wanted it to look Scandinavian to American eyes. They felt Denmark was well known for its dairy products.
Hewlett Packard (HP) – HP, the international IT, printer, ink and toner manufacturer was founded by Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard in a one car garage in Palo Alto, USA, 1939. Hewlett and Packard tossed a coin to decide whether to name the company Hewlett Packard or Packard Hewlett.
IKEA – Founded in 1943 by 17 year old, Ingvar Kamprad in Sweden. The name is an acronym of Ingvar Kamprad and the name of his farm / home town Elmtaryd, Agunnaryd.
JD Sports – An inspirational story that’s one of my personal favourites for particular reason; JD sports was founded in 1981 by John Wardle and David Makin, who started out with a market stall and shop in Bury Manchester. John was the manager, and David a player of a local football team that my dad played for. The pair sold their shares in JD in May 2005 for £44.6 million.
Kyocera – The Japanese printer and electronics manufacturer was formed in 1959 as Kyoto Ceramic Co Ltd. The company developed ceramic products to be used in electronics and later acquired a photocopier manufacturer, Mita Industrial and formed Kyocera Mita.
Lego – the company begin in the workshop of carpenter Ole Kirk Christiansen who began making wooden toys in, Denmark, 1932. The name Lego comes from the Danish phrase leg godt which means ‘play well.’
Lucozade – First manufactured in 1927 by a chemist from Newcastle who wanted to create a source of energy for those who were sick with common illnesses. The now widely popular energy drink was originally named Glucozade.
Macdonald’s – The original ‘fast food restaurant’ was opened by brothers Richard and Mac Macdonald in California 1940 who wanted to introduce the ‘speedee service system.’ Macdonald’s original mascot was a giant burger with a chef’s hat that was replaced in 1967 with Ronald Macdonald.
Mars – Mars, the company that produces delights such as mars bars, maltesers, milky-ways, minstrels, skittles and twix and surprisingly also produces Dolmio, uncle bens, Whiskers and pedigree but to name a few was started in 1911 by Frank Mars and is still owned privately by the Mars family today.
Microsoft – Named by Co founder Bill Gates as the company that was devoted to Microcomputer Software. Childhood friends Bill Gates and Paul Allen started the company in 1975 in a software development contract with IBM and then later developed the Windows operating system and Microsoft office that is used in the majority of computers today.
Nestle – Originally dating back to 1867 when Henri Nestle developed and marketed a milk based baby food. Nestle and Daniel Peter, a swiss chocolatier worked together to overcome the problem of removing water from milk, and developed the first chocolate bar. The two went on to form the Nestle company in 1879.
Nike – Originally started as Blue Ribbon Sports by a University track athlete Philip Knight and his coach Bill Bowerman, the pair used to sell Onitsuka Tiger trainers (now known as ASICS) from the boot of Knights car at track meetings. Later developing his own trainer, the Nike ‘swoosh’ was designed for just $35, and Knight stated, “I don’t love it, but it’ll grow on me.”
Odeon Cinema – The first Odeon cinema was built the West Midlands in 1928, and was named after creator Oscar Deutsch’s Motto, “Oscar Deutsch Entertains Our Nation.”
That spells the end of Part II, check back soon for Part III to find out which popular children’s toy started out as wallpaper cleaner, and the butcher who is responsible for one of the nation’s most loved savory snacks!