We like them, we hate them BUT we definitely cannot ignore them. Brands and the stories behind them are the stories that both fascinate and intrigue. From the average 1200 brand that catches the average urban metro citizen’s eye every day, there are only a handful that we remember and recognize instantly, anywhere.
But if one were to look into the sheer amount of planning, strategy and execution that goes on behind the scenes to ensure that you instantly remember your favourite burger when you see two golden arches, or think of your favourite cola whenever you see a certain shade of red, it’s staggering. The results speak for themselves.
Here’s a shortlist of brands that have made a difference in our lives and some little known and curious facts about them. While we all know and remember them, some fascinating facts have been represented here:
Mac Donald’s golden arches are among the most famous in the world, and the twin arches have been retained in spite of several attempts by the management to change it.
INTERESTING FACT: Webster Lucas, a resident of California, got into an altercation with the restaurant manager over having received only one napkin with his order. He subsequently sued the restaurant chain for a staggering $1.5 mn.
Coca Cola- One of the most well-known brands across the world is also one of the most controversial. Fun trivia about Coca Cola is everywhere, from the fact that the average American consumes 10.8 pounds of sugar from Coca Cola products alone every year, to the fact that Coca Cola uses 17.4% of the entire US aluminium industry’s annual production volume for its cans alone.
INTERESTING FACT: Coca Cola claims that it’s brand is the second most recognized word in the world, behind “OK”. Little doubt about that!
Google – Google is the Internet. Well, almost, for most of us. For almost every connected device user, Google is the answer to all our questions. Take a moment to let that sink in. How reliable and carefully crafted must a brand be, for us to consider it the answer to all our questions when all it does is return results of a search index?
INTERESTING FACT: We all know Larry Page and Sergei Brin, but though they created the software, they did not create the Google logo we all know and love. It was created by Ruth Kedar, a designer from Stanford. Also, Google was initially an indexing project called “Backrub”
Nike – The Nike logo, alternatively named the Swoosh or the Nike tick, is also a brand with some interesting stories to tell. Founded as Blue Ribbon Sports in 1964, the world’s largest sports brand is today known by the name given to it by Jeff Johnson, Nike’s first employee. The well-known logo itself was designed by Carolyn Davidson in 1971.
INTERESTING FACT: The famous “Just Do It” tagline was actually inspired by serial killer Gary Gilmore, who said “Let’s do it” just before he was executed.
Microsoft – The largest software company in the world is a portmanteau of 2 words, MICRO from Micro Processor and SOFT from the software. This globally recognized name wasn’t coined by Bill Gates, however- it was coined by Paul Allen. Bill Gates also famously said, once, “If you can’t make it good, at least make it look good”
INTERESTING FACT – Microsoft made its presence felt in the software market with a product that it didn’t make. The MS-DOS software was not made by Microsoft. 86 DOS was the original disk operating system made by Seattle Computers from whom Microsoft licensed the product, reworked it and released it as MS-DOS.
Amazon – The world’s favourite online retailer has quite a few stories of its own. From the famous “door desks” that symbolize Jeff Bezos’s frugality to the practice of every employee of amazon spending at least two days per year in customer service, amazon’s growth has been as legendary as its belief on placing the customer first. Today it alone commands 10% of America’s eCommerce market.
INTERESTING FACT: The amazon logo depicts a smile that extends from “a” to “z”, symbolizing that amazon will go as far as possible to make its customers happy.
GE – One of the oldest Dow listed companies in the world, GE was formed by the merger of three companies registered and owned by Thomas Edison. The stories are as legendary as the founder himself, who electrocuted an elephant just to prove that direct current was safer than rival Westinghouse’s alternating current. GE is also one of the oldest Fortune 500 companies in existence today.
INTERESTING FACT: IN THE 1950s, GE’s corporate slogan was “live better electrically”
Disney – Disney is one of the most loved brands in the world and like any other brand, has a host of interesting stories behind it. Some of them range from the voiceover artistes of Mickey and Minnie Mouse being married to each other real life, there have actually been three babies born in Disneyland, the list is never-ending. Indeed the stories behind the Disney brand are as fascinating as the Disney fairy stories themselves.
INTERESTING FACT: Walt Disney held the patent for Technicolor for two years, making him the only animator allowed to make colour animated films!
Apple – We’ve saved the best for the last! The world’s most valuable brand as of this year also has a host of interesting stories, and we’re not talking about the legend of Steve Jobs! Apple today is one of the most cash-rich companies in the world. In fact, Apple has more cash in hand than the US treasury!
INTERESTING FACT: Every iPhone Ad ever published has the time set to 9:41. This is the time that Steve Jobs actually officially launched the iPhone!
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