Career Fun: Can You Guess These Company Stories?

These company logos may be recognizable, but do you know the story behind them? Each logo has two explanations — one is true and one is false. Take your guess and check the answer key at the bottom to see if you are right!
A) The company shortened their name from "Federal Express" to "FedEx" in order to save money when painting trucks. They inadvertently created a stronger and more recognizable brand name.

B) Federal Express shortened their brand name to "FedEx" as customers were frequently referring to the company as such. By the time this change occurred, customers were using the term FedEx as a verb meaning "to send an overnight shipment." It did not take long for the meaning to catch on, and today it's common terminology to "FedEx" a package.
A) Googol is the word which the website was based off of. It is a mathematical term meaning 1 followed by 100 zeros. The company uses the term Google as its name as a play on this term, meant to signify the immense amount of information on the web that they are organizing.

B) Googol is the most commonly misspelled word in search engines. When Google began their website, they decided to use this term to signify that their searches were more efficient and reliable.
A) The Company's logo, the alligator, was a nickname for the brands creator, Rene Lacoste. Rene made a bet with the captain of the French Davis Cup team, after seeing a suitcase made from alligator skin. The captain promised to buy it for Rene if he won the next day's tennis match. He didn't win, but reporters said that he fought like an alligator. The name stuck.

B) Rene Lacoste came from a wealth family in France and from a young age he had a lot of money at his disposal. He developed strange ways of spending his money, one of them being on purchasing alligators for the lake in his family's summer estate. His odd interest in alligators was an obvious consideration when it was time for him to choose a logo for his Lacoste clothing line.
A) In order to spice up the look of the new location of McDonald's Restaurants, Mac McDonald added single arches to either side of the building. The logo came about because it was intended to be the view of the restaurant at an angle, which created the appearance of the arches making the letter "M."

B) Mac McDonald wanted his low-cost food restaurants to be represented by a logo that had a high-class association. He consulted several psychologists who specialized in human thought correlation and came up with the idea to have "golden" arches so that his customers would relate the word "gold" with his food.
A) The Nike Swoosh was created after one of the companies early executives found a paper written by his 16 year-old daughter that had a big, bold, colorful check mark on the front page. Her teacher had created the check to demonstrate that she had done extremely well on her paper. Hoping his new company would be as successful as his daughter's paper, the exec pitched the idea of the check for Nike's logo design. Later on it was renamed as the "swoosh."

B) The 'Swoosh' is representative of the wing of the Greek goddess that the company was named after. It was created by Caroline Davidson in 1971, who was a student at the time at Portland State University. At the time She was paid thirty-five dollars for her services and was later compensated.
A) The Geico Gecko was used in their ad campaigns because it was often mispronounced as Gecko. The Geico Gecko was voted America's favorite advertising icon in 2005.

B) Geico Insurance was originally Gecko Insurance. When typing up their original business proposal, they made a typo, spelling the name Geico. They decided they liked this name better, but would still use the Gecko as their icon. The Geico Gecko was voted America's favorite advertising icon in 2005.
A) In 1989, the charging bull was placed in the financial district overnight, one of the top executives of Merrill Lynch was instrumental in getting the controversial bull placed in Bowling Green Park. Because of the publicity the company received from his aid, Merrill Lynch formally adopted the Bull as it's logo in an attempt to associate them with the popular affection for the statue.

B) The first presence of the bull was in a TV ad that aired during the 1971 World Series. The tagline was "Bullish on America" and featured bulls running in the surf. The popularity of the ad launched a long campaign featuring the bull and in 1974 the brand identity was formally introduced with the bull logo and Merrill Lynch.
Answer Key: FedEx: B, Google: A, Lacoste: A, McDonalds: A, Nike: B, Geico: B, Merril Lynch: A