Do you know that these highly successful companies are named after people’s names?

Mahesh Sharma
brand names after their founders

Naming a business

Naming the business is a very important step for any entrepreneur. Afterall name of the organization or business or self-employment is the ultimate identity of that organization, business, or self-employment. Many entrepreneurs take either of the two extreme approaches while choosing a name for their enterprise or business. Either they take too much time in finding out a unique name for their business or take it very lightly and name it with anything that comes to their mind.  This is a common phenomenon among entrepreneurs and I have first-hand experience in this regard. I took a lot of time – many sleepless nights – to name my organization and later I found out that I am not alone. Many entrepreneurs struggle in this field. Though naming is a very important aspect and process while starting a business and it requires many steps as far as availability of that name and inclusion of essence of what we do in the name is concerned but still in my research I found out that it’s not the name but what we do consistently, with the commitment builds the brand name.

Successful brands named after people’s names or surnames

And while researching on the subject I found a list of highly successful brands in the world which are named in a very obvious way – after their founder or co-founder’s name. And when I first knew about them I was surprised to know the basis of their names and how they are now big, established, and respectable brands we proudly use and take pride in being associated with them. And I was more surprised that most of us do not know the background of these names.

Here I am sharing with you the list, which I believe will surprise you as well. And may help you in the process of naming your business.

The names of big, established brands named after their founder’s (or peoples’) names

AbbottLaboratories (Pharmaceuticals) – Wallace Calvin Abbott (1888)

Adidas (Clothing) – Adi Dassler

Armani (Fashion and Leisure)- Giorgio Armani

Bayer (Pharmaceuticals) – Friedrich Bayer

Bloomberg L.P. (Financial Services) – Michael Bloomberg

Boeing (Aerospace and Defense) – William Boeing

Bulgari  (Luxury Goods) – Sotirios Bulgari

Cadbury (Confectionery) – John Cadbury

Cadillac (Automobiles) – Antoine Laumet de La Mothe, sieur de Cadillac

Casio (Electronics) – Tadao Kashio

Chevrolet (Automotive) – Louis Chevrolet

Colgate-Palmolive (Personal products) – William Colgate

Dell (Compute & IT)– Michael Dell

Deloitte (Professional services) – William Welch Deloitte

DHL Express (Express Logistics) – Adrian Dalsey, Larry Hillblom, and Robert Lynn

Dow Jones & Company (News and Publishing) – Charles Dow and Edward Jones

Ducati (Motorcycle) – Antonio Cavalieri Ducati

Ericsson (Telecommunications) – Lars Magnus Ericsson

Ferrari (Automotive) – Enzo Ferrari

Ferrero (Confectionery) – Pietro Ferrero

Forbes (Publishing and Media) – B. C. Forbes

Ford Motor Company (Automotive) – Henry Ford

Franck Muller (Watch Maker) – Franck Muller

Gibson Guitar Corporation (Musical instruments) – Orville Gibson

Gillette (Safety razors) – King C. Gillette

Goodyear (Tire and Rubber) – Charles Goodyear

GT Bicycles (Bicycles) – Gary Turner

Gucci (Fashion and Leather Goods) – Guccio Gucci

Harley-Davidson (Motorcycles) – William Harley and Arthur Davidson

The Hershey Company (Confectionery) – Milton Hershey

Hewlett-Packard (Computer & IT) – William Hewlett and David Packard

Hilton Hotels (Hotel) – Conrad Hilton

Honda (Automotive) – Soichiro Honda

Hugo Boss (Luxury Goods) – Hugo Boss

Jacuzzi  (whirlpool bathtubs and spas) – The Jacuzzi brothers (Frank, Rachel, Valeriano, Galindo, Candido, Giocondo and Ezekiel Jacuzzi)  

Johnson & Johnson (Pharmaceuticals & Healthcare) – Robert Wood Johnson I, James Wood Johnson, and Edward Mead Johnson

J.P. Morgan & Co. (Investment Banking) – J. P. Morgan

Kawasaki (Motorcycles Automobiles) – Kawasaki Sh?z?

Kellogg Company (Food Processing) – Will Keith Kellogg

Kohl’s (Retail) – Max Kohl

Kraft Foods (Food Processing) – James L. Kraft

Lamborghini (Automobile) – Ferruccio Lamborghini

Levi Strauss & Co. (Clothing) – Levi Strauss

Louis Vuitton (Fashion and Luxury Goods) – Louis Vuitton

Lucasfilm (Film) – George Lucas

Marks & Spencer (Retail) – Michael Marks and Thomas Spencer

Matsushita Electric Industrial (Electronics) – Konosuke Matsushita

McAfee (Computer Security) – John McAfee

McDonald’s (Restaurants) – Richard and Maurice McDonald

Mercedes (Automobile) –Mercédès Jellinek

Merriam-Webster (Books Publication) – George and Charles Merriam, and Noah Webster

Merrill Lynch (Finance and Insurance) – Charles E. Merrill and Edmund C. Lynch

MGM or Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (Film) – Samuel Goldfish, Edgar and Archibald Selwyn, and Louis B. Mayer

Miramax Films (Film) – Max and Miriam Weinstein (parents of founders)

Morgan Stanley (Financial Services) – Henry S. Morgan and Harold Stanley

Nestlé (Food Processing) – Henri Nestlé

Nielsen (Marketing Research) – Arthur Nielsen

Pfizer (Pharmaceuticals) – Charles Pfizer

Philip Morris International and Philip Morris USA (Cigarettes) – Philip Morris

Philips (Electronics) – Gerard Philips

Porsche (Automotive) – Ferdinand Porsche

Prada (Fashion) – Mario Prada

PricewaterhouseCoopers (Professional Services) – Samuel Lowell Price, Edwin Waterhouse, William Cooper

Procter & Gamble (Consumer Good) – William Procter and James Gamble

Reuters (News and Media) – Paul Reuter

Singer Corporation (Sewing Machines) – Isaac Merritt Singer

Suzuki (automobile) – Michio Suzuki

Swarovski (Jewelry / Crystal) – Daniel Swarovski

TAG Heuer (Watch Manufacturer) – Eduardo Heuer

Tamiya (Radio Controlled Cars) – Yoshio Tamiya

Tata (Conglomerate) – Jamsetji Tata

Tesla Motors (Automotive) – named in honor of Nikola Tesla

Toyota Motor (Automobile) – Kiichiro Toyoda

Trump Organization (Conglomerate) – Fred Trump

Umbro (Sportswear and Football Equipment) – Harold and Wallace Humphreys (HUMphrey BROthers)

Valentino (Fashion) – Valentino Garavani

Versace (Fashion) – Gianni Versace

Wal-Mart (Retailing) – Sam Walton

Walt Disney (Media conglomerate) – Walt Disney

Warner Bros. (Entertainment) – Jack Warner, Sam Warner, Harold Warner, and Albert Warner

Wendy’s (Restaurant) – Dave Thomas’ daughter Melinda “Wendy” Thomas

Yamaha Corporation (Musical, Electronics, Motorcycles) – Torakusu Yamaha


So when you are facing the challenge of naming your business keep this in mind that although the process of naming the organization is very important and significant it can never supersede the consistent, commitment, work ethics, and values of the founder/founder’s of the organization, which will ultimately create the brand.   

Sources: Wikipedia, Forbes, other resources available on the net, and the respective websites of the companies listed above.