Accenture — Accent on the Future. Greater-than ‘accent’ over the logo’s t points forward towards the future. The name Accenture was proposed by a company employee in Norway as part of an internal name finding process (BrandStorming). Prior to January 1, 2001 the company was called Andersen Consulting.
Adidas — from the name of the founder Adolf (Adi) Dassler.
Adobe — from the name of the river Adobe Creek that ran behind the houses of founders John Warnock and Chuck Geschke.
Akai — technically it means “red” in Japanese, but the Japanese also use it to refer to the color of the rising sun, as seen on the flag of Japan.
Alfa Romeo — the company was originally known as ALFA, an acronym for Anonima Lombarda Fabbrica Automobili. When Nicola Romeo bought ALFA in 1915, his surname was appended.
AltaVista — Spanish for “high view”.
Amazon.com — founder Jeff Bezos renamed the company Amazon (from the earlier name of Cadabra.com) after the world’s most voluminous river, the Amazon. He saw the potential for a larger volume of sales in an online (as opposed to a bricks and mortar) bookstore.
Apple — for the favourite fruit of co-founder Steve Jobs and/or for the time he worked at an apple orchard. Apple wanted to distance itself from the cold, unapproachable, complicated imagery created by other computer companies at the time — which had names such as IBM, DEC, Cincom and Tesseract — in order to get people to use them at home. They looked for a name that supported a brand positioning strategy that was to be perceived as simple, warm, human, approachable and different.
Note: Apple had to get approval from the Beatle’s Apple Corps to use the name Apple and paid a one-time royalty of $100,000 to McIntosh Laboratory, Inc., a maker of high-end audio equipment, to use the derivative name Macintosh (’Mac’).
Ask.com — search engine formerly named after Jeeves, the gentleman’s gentleman (valet, not butler) in P. G. Wodehouse’s series of books. Ask Jeeves was shortened to Ask in 2006.
Aston Martin — from the “Aston Hill” races (near Aston Clinton) where the company was founded, and the surname of Lionel Martin, the company’s founder.
Atari — named from the board game Go. “Atari” is a Japanese word to describe a position where an opponent’s stones are in danger of being captured. It is similar, though not identical, to “check” in chess. The original games company was American but wanted a Japanese-sounding name.
more coming soon …