The stories behind some of the world’s most successful brands

There are several brand names which are so familiar as part of our cultural consciousness, but we do not often stop to wonder who is behind the success of the name. Companies established some time ago often carry the name of the founder, who has long been forgotten.

Hilton is a world leader in hospitality and the first was founded by Conrad Hilton in New Mexico in 1907. The family business was a general store and to increase their earnings, six rooms were converted into lodgings. After the death of his father and returning from WWI, Hilton returned to the hotel business. The first to bear his name opened in 1925 in Dallas, Texas and the rest is history. Want a success story for your brand? Consider a Brand Design Agency at a site like

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Colonel Sanders still has his face on KFC restaurants around the world but who was he? Harlan Sanders spent most of his life as a streetcar conductor, train firefighter and insurance salesman. In 1930 he started a chicken fryer in a small restaurant at the back of the service station he ran in Kentucky. This is where he perfected the now world-famous blend of 11 herbs and spices that is still used today and is still a secret.

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Dunlop is a name that we all know and the person behind the brand was John Dunlop. Belfast in the 1880s had terrible roads pitted with granite and tramlines so when his son was 10 years old, he asked him to make his tricycle more comfortable. John Dunlop was a vet but did not let that stop him from having a go. He made the tyres, they were tested on February 28, 1888 and were a great success.

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