Fast Company

Live From Davos: The Accidental Brand

At Davos today, Michael Dell told an entertaining story about how his brand came to be called Dell--something he said he never intended. The corporate name was Dell, but the original trade name was PCs Limited. (Dell had wanted to call the company PCs Limited, too, until the lawyer handling the incorporation told him it was too generic.) But the company ran into a problem when it began selling in the United Kingdom. It couldn't call itself PCs Limited Ltd, or, as Michael Dell put it, "really limited Pcs." The folks in Britain asked headquarters what they should call their operation, but got no reply, so they just decided to use the Dell name. And eventually, that became the trade name for Dell worldwide. Michael Dell's verdict: "It worked out OK."

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