The Meaning Behind Your Favorite Brand Acronyms

Let’s face it. It’s hard coming up with a creative, catchy name for a company. And while brand names are a great way to build customer recognition and enhance a business’ public image, they don’t always describe what the company actually does.

Detail BMW Isetta 300
Photo By Pius Koller/imageBROKER/Shutterstock

Instead of choosing descriptive names, many organizations prefer to go with acronyms or abbreviations. To them, all that matters is that they are recognizable in the consumer’s mind. You might be familiar with the brands on this list, but do you know what these letters actually stand for?


Some of you may know a BMW better as a Bimmer (yes, that’s the correct spelling, we checked). But have you ever wondered what the luxury German car company’s name stands for? In German is stands for Bayerische Motoren Werke, which translates to Bavarian Motor Works in English.

Display with BMW logo and BMW towers, BMW Museum, Munich, Upper Bavaria, Bavaria, Germany
Photo By imageBROKER/Shutterstock

The car company was founded in Munich, Germany, in 1916, but at the time, the company mostly made plans, not cars. Although the brand is very successful today, this wasn’t always the case. In the late ‘50s, BMW was close to going bankrupt and was almost bought by their biggest competitor—Daimler- Benz.


L.L. Bean is one of the oldest retail chains in the U.S. Founded in 1912, the company is named after its founder, Leon Leonwood Bean. While he founded his business in his native Maine, it has since grown into an international empire.

Former L.L.Bean store at The Mall in Columbia, in Columbia, Maryland, circa 2009
Source: Wikipedia

For the past century, L.L. Bean is known for selling high-quality outdoor gear. Fun Fact: The chain’s original location in Freeport is still open today! It even has an indoor pond with trout and a freshwater aquarium.