What’s in a Name? Coca-Cola Trademark

Coca-Cola logoWould you believe the world’s best known brand got its name from a bookkeeper?

Frank M. Robinson, an accountant and partner in what would come to be an iconic soft drink, not only suggested the name Coca Cola; he designed the logo, too. The name was derived from the two main ingredients in the product: cocaine and caffeine. The cocaine came from the coca leaf and the caffeine from kola nut, leading to the name Coca-Cola. The K in kola was turned to a C for marketing purposes.

The typeface used in the logo is known as Spencerian script and was developed in the mid 19th century. This style of script was the dominant form of formal handwriting in the United States during that period.

Coca-Cola Vintage AdThe U.S. trademark for “Coca-Cola” which has been used since 1889 was first filed on May 14, 1892 with the description “nutrient or tonic beverages”. “Coca-Cola” became a registered United States trademark on January 31, 1893.

The American public began using the nick name “Coke” against the wishes of the Coca-Cola company. There was even advertising insisting: “Ask for Coca-Cola by its full name; nicknames encourage substitution.” This did not stop customers who continued to order “Coke” and it was finally registered as a legal trademark. The unique design on the Coca-Cola bottle was granted registration as a trademark in 1977.

Today, the Coca-Cola trademark is recognized by 94% of the world’s population, making it the most recognizable trademark on Earth.