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How Smart Are You About Company Name Origins?

What's in a name?

What’s in a name? Everything, especially when it comes to the names of the Fortune 500 companies in your clients’ portfolios. A name is the first element of branding. 

The names of listed corporations are rooted in a variety of forms. Some are simple abbreviations. Examples of this type are IBM and KFC. Some company names are acronyms (abbreviations pronounced as words). An example is GEICO (Government Employees Insurance Company).

Some company names are portmanteaus (a word blending the sounds and combining the meanings of two words). For example, Yelp! Is a blending of yellow pages and help. Some company names are derived from the names of the founders. Examples: Ford and Calvin Klein. Still other company names are simply invented. Examples of invented company names include Exxon and Google. 

In this puzzler, we give you the names of 15 publicly traded companies. Your challenge is to guess if the company name is an acronym, invented, based on the names of the founder(s), or a portmanteau. If you can correctly identify the roots of 10 companies, name yourself a branding expert. 

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