5 Unknown Facts about the World’s Best Known Brands

By Mash Bonigala

We are all familiar with the logos of large American corporations such as Apple and Cisco. Most of us even know how the Nike swoosh was created for pocket change by a student. However, there are certain facts about these brands and their designs that have had a huge effect on the companies that we know and love today. Here are five generally unknown facts about some of the brands that you think you know best.

Hewlett Packard was founded on the flip of a coin.

Most of us recognize this brand and their initials—HP. However, few people realize how close we came to calling this company PH, as in litmus paper from high school chemistry. When the two founders of this company decided to open their company, they flipped a coin to see whose name would go first. You were just a few molecules of air from turning on a Packard Hewlett this morning, assuming that both names would have the same chance of success.

Cisco was lower case for a reason.

Remember when the Cisco logo was always shown with the name in lower case? This was due to the origin of the word. While many believe that this name is an acronym for Computer Information System Company or something similar, it is short for the city in which the company’s engineers came up with the idea—San Francisco. Because it was the last part of the name, the founders insisted on lower case lettering in the company’s early days.

Could Intel be Moore Noyce with another name?

It almost was. The founders, Gordon Moore and Bob Noyce, wanted to name their new company after themselves. However, they found that Moore Noyce was already taken by a hotel. They decided to go with their second choice, a shortened version of Integrated Electronics. It’s a good thing, too, because ‘Moore Noyce Inside’ sounds a little off color and wouldn’t fit neatly in the little logo we all see on our desktops.

Apple paid homage to Isaac Newton.

There are a variety of theories behind the genesis of this famous name and even more famous logo design. The first story is that founder Steve Jobs worked on a communal farm that grew apples and took his inspiration there. An alternative story is that he named the company after his favorite band’s recording company—the well known Apple Records. However, the most popular and most likely truthful version is that the company is named after the apple that fell on Isaac Newton’s head and encouraged the theory of gravity.

“Brad’s Drink” just doesn’t have the same ring.

Pepsi was originally a wine named after its creator, whose last name was Bradham, and called the somewhat awkward name Brad’s Drink. However, this name only lasted five years before it was changed to the much catchier Pepsi Cola after two key ingredients, the enzyme Pepsin and Kola nuts. It’s hard to see Brad’s Drink competing with the much simple Coke, so this was likely the best business decision in soft drink history.