Over the weekend I was reading about European brands and came across some really interesting articles such as the Top 10 Most Powerful European Brands, The Best Brands in Europe and What are the top 20 retail brands in Europe?. They’re really interesting articles and well worth a read. The compiled lists of European brands vary according to the most powerful, sector and value. If we review the Business Review Europe article the Top 10 Most Powerful brands in Europe the companies share some similarities; the companies have numerous sites or stores, operate globally and employ many, typically thousands, of people. Interesting, but facts and figures that after a little while all start to sound well a bit boring. I thought it would be interesting to find some fun facts about European brands, and following are my top 10….
IKEA is named after
- Ingvar Kamprad, the company’s founder
- Elmtaryd, the farm on which Ingvar grew up
- Agunnaryd, the nearby village
1 in 5 children in Britain have been conceived in an IKEA bed, oo-err missus!
Source: IKEA Ten Fun Facts
BMW stands for Bayerische Motorenwerke – literally Bayern Motor Works, and like many other car firms originally started out making airplane engines during the First World War. The logo that we’re all familiar dates back to 1929 and depicts a spinning airplane propeller.
Did you know that BMW is also the parent company of Mini and Rolls Royce..?
SAP stands for Systeme, Anwendungen und Produkte (in der Datenverarbeitung) – literally Systems, Applications and Products (in Data Processing) – (1)
SAP and its partners hold the Guinness World Record for the worlds largest data warehouse, pretty cool eh?!?!
Source: (1) 10 interesting facts about SAP
Source: L’Oreal Cosmetics Fun Facts
Literally the ‘Peoples Car’ – the VW Group consists of the following brands: VW, Audi, SEAT, Skoda, Bentley, Bugatti, Lamborghini, Porsche, Ducati, Scania and MAN
That’s one heck of a garage!
The first public mobile phone call in the UK was made in 1985 by an English comedian, Ernie Wise, in London to the Vodafone headquarters in Newbury, England. How times change, eh?
Marcus Samuel was an antiques dealer in London who in 1833 saw an opportunity to expand his business by importing oriental shells from the Far East. The demand for shells was hip at the time particularly in the interior design world. These shells were the early origins of an import/export empire which grew when the family business was handed to Marcus Samuel Junior and Sam Samuel. The bothers started exporting British goods and importing goods from the Far East and Europe. Next the brothers got involved in oil transportation, and we all know what happens next..!
Its quite a fascinating history, to read more check out Shell – The Beginnings…
Virgin is a huge global brand and consists of a whole range of businesses. The origins of Virgin Atlantic is pretty cool … so the story goes that Richard Branson, in his 20s at the time, had a ‘pretty girl’ waiting for him in the Virgin Islands. His flight was cancelled and in his desperation to see his ‘friend’, chartered a plane! Of course he didn’t have the money to pay for the chartered plane, so he got a blackboard wrote on it “Virgin Airlines. $29” and sold tickets for the flight to all of the people who were on his original cancelled flight – As they say, the rest is history…
9. Louis Vuitton
I don’t know too much about fashion (lets lump clothing jewellery, perfume into this category), so I found some of the details and stats about Louis Vuitton quite amazing. So Louis Vuitton was founded in 1847 and today operates as a division of LVMH – a French luxury goods multinational.
After seeing the above 9 European brands I thought I ought to include a bank, and who else but Europe’s biggest bank HSBC. HSBC – the Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corp – was founded 150 years ago. Today headquartered in London, HSBC is one of the worlds most recognised bank brands.
The bank is going through some testing times right now, it will be interesting to see the final outcome from the current tax scandal…
I hope you enjoyed this list as much as I enjoyed collecting and sharing information about these European brands.! If you have any interesting facts about European brands, I would love to hear them below…