Most of us think of cameras like our children view cell phones – easily accessible, numerous options, diverse price choices. But, back in 1933, Canon, today the largest camera manufacturer in the world, was called Precision Optical Instruments Laboratory. At that time, the company was just launching camera prototypes that went under the name Kwanon after the Buddhist Goddess of Mercy, with a logo to match.
With the success of the prototypes came a full-scale global marketing effort that would require a name change. According to the company website, “When the Company sought to begin full-scale marketing, it needed a brand name that would be accepted by people worldwide. From this standpoint, in 1935 the name Canon was registered as the official trademark. And since Canon and Kwanon had similar pronunciations, the transition went smoothly.”
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