8 Biggest Company Name Changes

How a name change can transform your business

After Facebook’s rebrand to Meta, a name focusing on their shift in business on the digital world of the metaverse, we take a look at some of the world’s most renowned brands that switched names before seeing mass success.

Nike – Blue Ribbon Sports

Nike was founded on January 25th, 1964, as Blue Ribbon Sports. When they went into shoe production in 1971, they needed a name that would become instantly known and marketable.

After many takes such as “Dimension Six” and “Bengal”, Phil Knight suggested Nike, named after the Greek goddess of victory. The same year the tick logo was created, and the first Nike trainer went on sale.

Pepsi – Brad’s Drink

Pepsi, one of our most popular soft drink companies in the world, was first founded in 1893. The original name was “Brad’s Drink” after creator Caleb Bradham.

In 1895, this was changed to “Pepsi-Cola” and finally became “Pepsi” in 1961.

Amazon – Cadabra

The original name for Jeff Bezos’ multi billion dollar company was Cadabra, short for Abracadabra. There was confusion for this name being mixed up as “Cadaver”, so they quickly went away from this idea. His second choice for a name was Relentless, but this was deemed to be to have sinister connotations.

Jeff Bezos chose the name Amazon after searching through the dictionary, with the definition being a place that is “exotic and different”, he also saw that as it starts with an “A” it would come up first in alphabetic lists.

Google – Backrub

In 1996, Google was originally founded by Larry Page and Sergey Brin as a research project. The original name that they used for their search engine was “Backrub”, as the systems scanned for backlinks to calculate how the importance of websites.

After a decision that the name was not strong enough for the brand, they suggested “Googol”, which was short for “Googolplex”, meaning 10googol, a huge number emphasising infinite data. Unfortunately, the domain was taken so on September 15th, 1997, the platform was renamed Google.com, and the rest is history. Since then, Google has now renamed their parent company as “Alphabet” to focus a shift on other businesses outside of internet searches.

Tinder – Matchbox

Tinder was first founded in 2012, since then it has become the most used dating app throughout the world. The initial name for Tinder was Matchbox.

The name was changed soon after launch due to the similarity with Match.com which could cause complications for the brand.

Snickers – Marathon

Snickers official name in the UK was Marathon, the name was changed in 1990 in order to align with their global brand.

Subway – Pete’s Super Submarines

Pete Buck was 17 years old when he started the infamous sandwich shop chain that is Subway, the first shop to open in Connecticut in 1965 was originally called Pete’s Super Submarines.

2 years later the branch was renamed to Subway and in 1974 their franchise operation began. Since then, Subway has become a global chain offering sandwiches all over the world.

Yahoo – Jerry’s Guide to the World Wide Web

Yahoo was founded in 1994 by Jerry Yang and David Filo, using the name Jerry’s Guide to the World Wide Web. The platform was originally an index of their favourite websites and sports scores but within 6 months, the website had hundreds of websites, and tens of thousands of visitors every week.

As their popularity continued to grow, they agreed it was time for a corporate name and in 1995 they changed their name to Yahoo.

Do you need help with a rebrand?

These businesses show that it’s never too late for a rebrand, these companies have utilised a name change to switch direction and by doing so, have seen mass corporate success. From a new logo to a whole new change in avenues of business, we at Stone Create are here to build your brand the best it can be. Contact us today and find out where we can take your business.

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