BackRub It: What They Were Called Before they Became the World’s Biggest Brands

In 1981, electronics chain Sound of Music’s Minnesota store was hit by a tornado. The store held a Tornado Sale and advertised it as best buys on damaged electronics. Two years later, all the stores were re-branded as Best Buy.

Hertz Rent-A-Car originally went by Hertz Drive-Ur-Self System. That re-branding came in 1954 after a major restructuring.

What companies learned over the years is that short is sweeter. From long, wordy names to catchy, sweet brands.  Pete’s Super Submarines became SUBWAY, Wards Company became Circuit City, Brad’s Drink turned into Pepsi-Cola, Tokyo Tssushin Kogyo became Sony. And get this one – Stag Party turned into Playboy.

I wanted to call the magazine Stag Party influenced by a cartoon book that I had,” Playboy founder, Hugh Hefner once said. “I was looking for a male figure of some kind and I thought of an animal in tuxedo will set us apart.”




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