Consumers are exposed to anywhere from 4,000 to 10,000 brand mentions per day. Yet when it comes to the brands you are most familiar with, you might not know the simplest things about them.
Consider M&Ms. They’re the small chocolate candy many consumers have eaten since childhood. M&Ms are ubiquitous—but until recently, I never thought about what the “M” might stand for.
Here are some brands that are mostly known by acronyms or initialisms. (Definitions courtesy of Wikipedia.) Do you know their origins?
1. Aflac — American Family Life Insurance Company
2. AT&T — American Telephone & Telegraph
3. CAPTCHA — Completely Automated Public Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart
4. Cisco — an abbreviation for San Francisco
5. COMPAQ — Compatibility and Quality
6. CVS Pharmacy — Consumer Value Stores
7. eBAY — Echo Bay Technology Group
8. eos — Evolution of Smooth
9. Epcot — Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow
10. ESPN — Entertainment and Sports Programming Network
11. FIAT — Fabbrica Italiana Automobili Torino (Italian automobile factory of Turin)
12. IKEA — Ingvar Kamprad Elmtaryd Agunnaryd (the initials of the company’s founders and the name of his hometown)
13. Intel — Integrated Electronics
14. LG — Lucky Goldstar (combination of two popular Korean brands)
15. M&Ms — Mars & Murrie’s (the last names of the candy’s creators)
16. Mattel – a combination of the founders’ names, Harold “Matt” Matson and Elliot Handler
17. NERF — Non Expandable Recreational Foam
18. OPI — Odontorium Products, Inc.
19. PAM — Product Arthur Meyerhoff
20. Pepsi — named after pepsin, a digestive enzyme
21. Smart car — Swatch Mercedes Art
22. Sprint — Southern Pacific Railroad Internal Communications
23. TASER — Thomas A. Swift’s Electric Rifle
24. TIME magazine — The International Magazine of Events
25. WD-40 — Water Displacement-40th attempt
26. YAHOO — Yet Another Hierarchical Official Oracle
How many of these did you know, PR Daily readers? Do you have any others to add to the list?
A writer and editor from Austin, Texas, Laura Hale Brockway is also a regular contributor to PR Daily. Read more of her work at impertinentremarks.com.