What Was Amazon Originally Called


Early Beginnings

Before Amazon became the e-commerce giant we know today, it had humble beginnings rooted in the vision of its founder, Jeff Bezos. In 1994, Bezos left his job at the investment firm D.E. Shaw to pursue his entrepreneurial aspirations in the rapidly growing internet industry.

With a focus on capitalizing on the growing popularity of the internet, Bezos initially planned to launch an online bookstore. The idea was sparked by the realization that the expansive selection of books available online could surpass what a traditional brick-and-mortar store could offer.

Operating out of his garage in Bellevue, Washington, Bezos set out to build a platform that could deliver books to customers around the world. He knew that convenience, competitive pricing, and an excellent customer experience would be the key factors in achieving success.

Bezos and his small team worked tirelessly to create a user-friendly website that provided customers with an extensive catalog of books and a seamless purchasing process. They also took advantage of emerging technologies, such as secure online payment systems and efficient inventory management, to streamline their operations.

Despite facing challenges in the early years, including fierce competition and logistical hurdles, the company steadily gained traction. Bezos’s long-term vision and relentless pursuit of innovation propelled Amazon forward.

The company’s growth and success can be attributed to a combination of factors. Amazon’s commitment to customer satisfaction, evidenced by its efficient order fulfillment and its dedication to resolving customer issues, helped differentiate it from its competitors.

Word of mouth spread about Amazon’s exceptional service, leading to a loyal customer base and increased market share. As the company expanded its offerings beyond books to a wide array of consumer goods, it became a one-stop destination for shoppers.

In the early days, Amazon gained a reputation for being a customer-centric company that prioritized convenience, affordability, and reliability. This set the stage for its future dominance in the e-commerce industry.

With the foundation set, Amazon was ready to take on new challenges and embark on a journey that would redefine the retail landscape forever.

The Birth of Cadabra Inc.

As Jeff Bezos continued to solidify his vision, he needed a name for his online bookstore. In 1994, he originally settled on the name “Cadabra Inc.”, inspired by the magical connotations of the word “abracadabra”. However, after a lawyer mistook “Cadaver” for the name during a phone conversation, Bezos decided it was time for a change.

Despite the setback, Bezos knew he needed a name that would be memorable, easy to pronounce, and evocative of the vast nature of his business ambitions. He desired a name that would become synonymous with “biggest” and “exotic” and that could eventually span a wide range of products and services.

After brainstorming various options, Bezos ultimately settled on the name “Amazon”. This name, which he coined while browsing through the dictionary, captured the essence of his grand vision. The Amazon River, the world’s largest river by volume, symbolized the immense scale and potential of his intended enterprise.

The name “Amazon” also aligned with Bezos’ goal of offering an unparalleled selection of products online. It represented the vast and diverse ecosystem that Amazon aimed to create, where customers could find virtually anything they desired.

With the new name in place, the company rebranded as Amazon and launched its website,, in July 1995. Initially, Amazon focused solely on selling books, but Bezos knew that it was just the beginning.

A key aspect of the name change was the shift in perception. “Cadabra Inc.” may have sounded whimsical, but it lacked the universal appeal and sense of scale that “Amazon” conveyed. The new name instantly resonated with consumers as they could envision the vastness and limitless possibilities that Amazon encompassed.

Little did Bezos know at the time that this change in name would mark the beginning of a revolutionary journey. Amazon would evolve into a global powerhouse, offering not only books but also electronics, clothing, household items, and much more.

With the rebranding complete, Amazon had firmly established its identity, laying the groundwork for its eventual dominance in the e-commerce landscape. However, there was still much more to come in the company’s evolution.

The Change to Amazon

After the initial launch as Cadabra Inc., Jeff Bezos realized the importance of finding a more suitable and memorable name for his burgeoning online bookstore. In 1995, he made the decision to rebrand the company as “Amazon”. This change marked a significant milestone in the company’s history and set the stage for its future success.

The transition to the name “Amazon” was driven by multiple factors. Firstly, Bezos wanted a name that was easy to remember, spell, and pronounce for customers around the world. “Amazon” checked all the boxes, making it an ideal choice to establish a global presence.

Secondly, the name “Amazon” evoked a sense of awe and wonder. Just like the mighty Amazon River, Bezos aspired to make his company the largest and most diverse online marketplace in the world. The name perfectly captured the magnitude of his vision and the expansive range of products and services that Amazon aimed to offer.

Another crucial consideration was the alphabetical advantage. By choosing a name that started with the letter “A”, Amazon would appear at the top of alphabetical listings and search results, giving it a competitive edge in the nascent world of online retail.

The rebranding process involved updating the company’s website, logo, and branding materials to reflect the new name. With the launch of, the company’s website underwent a transformation, showcasing an extensive catalog of books and an intuitive user interface.

As Amazon started to expand beyond books and venture into other product categories, the name change proved to be even more appropriate. The company’s logo prominently featured the name “Amazon” in bold, capitalized letters, instilling confidence and trust in customers.

Over time, Amazon’s brand identity became synonymous with quality, reliability, and efficiency. The name itself became a symbol of unparalleled selection, competitive pricing, and exceptional customer service.

Today, “Amazon” has become a household name, recognized and trusted by millions of customers worldwide. The change from Cadabra Inc. to Amazon was a pivotal moment in the company’s journey, fueling its transformation into one of the most influential and innovative companies in the world.

With the rebranding complete, Amazon was poised to revolutionize the way people shop and ultimately reshape the entire retail industry.

Symbolic Meaning behind the Name

The name “Amazon” holds more than just a catchy and memorable quality. It carries significant symbolic meaning that aligns with the ambitious goals and vision of Jeff Bezos. The choice of the name reflects the essence of the company and its relentless pursuit of growth and innovation.

One of the primary symbols associated with the name “Amazon” is its connection to the Amazon River, the largest river in the world by volume. This choice carries the connotation of vastness, abundance, and untapped potential. Just as the Amazon River flows through diverse landscapes, Amazon aimed to bring a vast array of products and services to customers, creating a virtual ecosystem.

The name also evokes a sense of adventure and exploration. The Amazon Rainforest, which the river traverses, is renowned for its biodiversity and untouched beauty. By adopting the name, Bezos wanted to convey that Amazon was a place where customers could embark on their own explorations and discover new and exciting products.

Furthermore, the name “Amazon” signifies strength, resilience, and determination. In Greek mythology, the Amazons were a group of warrior women known for their bravery and tenacity. Bezos wanted his company to embody those qualities as it challenged the conventional norms of retail and pushed the boundaries of what was possible in the digital age.

Likewise, the choice of the name “Amazon” also reflects Bezos’ aspiration to disrupt the status quo. He envisioned a company that would shake up traditional retail models, embrace innovation, and continuously raise the bar for customer experience.

The symbolism associated with the name “Amazon” extends to the company’s logo as well. The arrow, which appears as a smile from A to Z, represents both customer satisfaction and the wide range of products available on the platform. It signifies that Amazon aims to cater to every need, from A to Z, ensuring a comprehensive shopping experience.

Moreover, the arrow in the logo also represents forward progression and growth. It serves as a reminder of Amazon’s commitment to constantly evolve and expand its offerings, embracing new technologies and pushing boundaries.

Overall, the name “Amazon” encapsulates the company’s core values, aspirations, and its dedication to delivering a vast, dynamic, and customer-centric online marketplace. It symbolizes the boundless potential, adventure, strength, and innovation that have propelled Amazon to become the global powerhouse it is today.

The Origin of the Logo

The logo of Amazon, featuring a simple yet powerful design, has become an iconic symbol associated with the brand. The origins of this logo can be traced back to the company’s early days and Jeff Bezos’s vision for the company.

When Amazon was making the transition from being solely a bookstore to a multi-category marketplace, it needed a logo that would effectively represent its expanding offerings and customer-focused approach. It was crucial for the logo to convey the values of trust, reliability, and convenience that Amazon sought to deliver.

The logo, featuring the company’s name with a distinctive arrow, was created in 2000 with the help of Turner Duckworth, a branding and design agency. The simplicity of the logo allows for easy recognition and instant association with the Amazon brand.

The arrow in the logo holds significant symbolism. It starts from the letter “A” and extends to the letter “Z”, representing the notion that Amazon provides every product from A to Z, catering to diverse customer needs. It conveys that Amazon is a comprehensive destination where customers can find virtually anything they’re looking for.

The arrow also serves a dual purpose, subtly forming a smile from the curved shape. This hidden smile conveys Amazon’s commitment to customer satisfaction and its mission to bring joy and convenience into people’s lives. It reflects the positive experiences and happiness that customers can expect when shopping on the platform.

Furthermore, the arrow in the logo can be seen as a visual representation of forward progression and growth. It points from left to right, symbolizing Amazon’s constant drive to innovate, evolve, and move ahead. The logo reflects the company’s determination to embrace new technologies, expand its product offerings, and stay at the forefront of the ever-changing retail landscape.

The color choice for the Amazon logo is also significant. The bold orange color creates a sense of vibrancy, energy, and enthusiasm. It captures the attention of customers and stands out against the background, leaving a lasting impression.

Over the years, the logo has become synonymous with the Amazon brand, evoking trust, reliability, and a seamless shopping experience. By presenting a visually appealing and meaningful logo, Amazon has successfully established a strong identity and a recognizable symbol that customers worldwide have come to associate with outstanding service and an extensive range of products.

The First Logo vs. the Current Logo

When Amazon first launched in 1995, its logo reflected the company’s focus on selling books online. The initial logo featured the word “Amazon” in black capitalized letters, ordinary in its appearance. Over time, however, the logo underwent several transformations, evolving alongside the expansion and diversification of Amazon’s business.

In 2000, Amazon introduced a redesigned logo that set the stage for the visual identity we know today. The updated logo featured the company’s name with a curved arrow below, connecting the letter A to the letter Z. This change marked a significant shift in Amazon’s branding strategy and symbolized its ambition to become the go-to destination for a wide array of products.

The first logo, though straightforward, fulfilled its purpose during Amazon’s early years. It conveyed the idea of an online bookstore and represented the company’s roots as a provider of literature. However, as Amazon expanded into various product categories beyond books, the need for a more versatile and cohesive logo became evident.

The current logo, with its iconic arrow smile extending from A to Z, reflects the diversity and extensive selection of products available on Amazon’s platform. The arrow signifies that Amazon offers everything customers need, while the hidden smile conveys the positive experience and satisfaction associated with shopping on the platform.

In terms of design, the first logo had a more conventional and generic appearance. It served its purpose as a clear and straightforward representation of the company’s identity at the time. However, the current logo represents a significant leap forward in terms of creativity, symbolism, and brand recognition.

While the first logo was solely in black, the current logo incorporates an orange color for the company’s name, adding vibrancy and capturing attention. The orange color is widely associated with positive qualities such as energy and enthusiasm, aligning with Amazon’s customer-centric approach. By selecting this distinctive color, Amazon has enhanced its visual identity and increased its brand recognition.

Another notable feature of the current logo is its simplicity and versatility. The minimalistic design allows for easy scalability and adaptability across various platforms and mediums. Whether it’s displayed on a website, mobile app, packaging, or advertisements, the current logo remains instantly recognizable and effectively represents the Amazon brand.

Overall, the evolution from the first logo to the current logo signifies Amazon’s growth, diversification, and commitment to delivering a world-class customer experience. The current logo encapsulates the vast selection, convenience, and positive associations that consumers have come to associate with Amazon, solidifying its position as a global e-commerce leader.

The Evolution of the Brand

Since its inception, Amazon has undergone a remarkable evolution, transforming from a humble online bookstore to a global powerhouse that has revolutionized the way people shop. The brand has constantly adapted, innovated, and expanded its offerings to meet the ever-changing needs and expectations of customers.

The early days of Amazon were defined by its commitment to being the world’s largest online bookstore, offering an extensive selection of titles that surpassed what traditional brick-and-mortar stores could provide. However, as consumer preferences evolved and technology advanced, the brand quickly recognized the need to expand beyond books to thrive in the digital age.

Amazon’s evolution into a multi-category marketplace began in the late 1990s when the company started selling music and later added electronics, clothing, household items, and much more. This diversification allowed Amazon to capitalize on emerging trends and tap into new customer segments.

In addition to expanding its product offerings, Amazon has also made strategic acquisitions and partnerships to further reinforce its brand and establish a dominant presence in key industries. Notable acquisitions include Whole Foods Market, Ring, and Audible, among many others, which have expanded Amazon’s footprint beyond e-commerce and into sectors such as grocery, smart home technology, and audiobooks.

Amazon’s ability to anticipate and shape consumer behavior has been a driving force behind its brand evolution. The introduction of innovations like Amazon Prime, which offers fast shipping and a range of additional benefits, has been instrumental in fostering customer loyalty and propelling the brand forward.

Furthermore, Amazon has embraced technological advancements to enhance the customer experience and redefine convenience. Initiatives like Amazon Echo and Alexa, the company’s voice-controlled smart speakers, have brought voice-activated shopping and integrated home automation into consumers’ lives, cementing Amazon’s position at the forefront of the digital revolution.

The brand’s commitment to innovation extends beyond just its product offerings. Amazon has notably invested heavily in cutting-edge technologies, including robotics and artificial intelligence, to streamline its operations and revolutionize supply chain management. By leveraging these technologies, Amazon has been able to provide efficient and reliable service to customers at an unprecedented scale.

From its humble beginnings as an online bookstore to its present-day status as a global conglomerate, Amazon’s brand evolution has been driven by its customer-centric approach and its relentless pursuit of growth and innovation. The brand’s ability to adapt and stay ahead of market trends has solidified its position as a trusted and influential player in the retail industry.

As Amazon continues to explore new frontiers, such as cloud computing with Amazon Web Services and forays into industries like healthcare and entertainment, its brand evolution is set to continue shaping the future of commerce and technology.

Other Company Names Considered

Before Jeff Bezos settled on the name “Amazon” for his online bookstore, he considered various other names that could have shaped the trajectory of the company. These alternative names offer a glimpse into the creative process and the possibilities that were explored before the final decision was made.

One of the early contenders was “Relentless”. Bezos was captivated by the concept of relentlessness and its relationship to success. In fact, if you type in in your browser, it will redirect you to Amazon’s website. However, he ultimately decided against using this name, thinking that it might give off a negative connotation rather than conveying the positive attributes he desired for the brand.

A few other names, like “Awake” and “Browse,” were considered but did not capture the essence of Bezos’s vision for the company.

Another potential name was “Cadabra”, a play on the word “abracadabra” and chosen as a nod to the magic and excitement of online shopping. However, due to concerns that it could be misheard as “Cadaver”, Bezos decided to abandon this name early on.

Other names in the running included “”, which paid homage to Captain Jean-Luc Picard from Star Trek: The Next Generation, and “Aard”, a metaphorical representation of being at the beginning of the alphabet and having an abundance of something.

Ultimately, the name “Amazon” emerged victorious. As previously mentioned, Bezos stumbled upon the name while browsing through the dictionary, and it immediately resonated with him. It embodied the grand vision of building a vast online marketplace with an extensive selection of products.

Looking back, the decision to choose “Amazon” as the company’s name has proven to be a defining one. The name captures the imagination, symbolizing the limitless possibilities and abundance of options that Amazon has come to represent for both consumers and sellers.

While these alternative names were considered during the company’s early stages, “Amazon” stood out as a unique and powerful choice that would help shape the brand’s identity and propel the company to unimaginable heights.

The journey of choosing the right name for a company is often filled with brainstorming sessions, creative ideas, and careful consideration. In the case of Amazon, the selection of a single word and its subsequent evolution into a global brand is a testament to the power of a carefully chosen name.

Amazon’s Global Impact

Amazon’s rise to prominence has had a profound impact not only on the retail industry but also on the global economy and society as a whole. The company’s relentless pursuit of innovation, coupled with its customer-centric approach, has propelled it to become one of the most influential and recognizable brands worldwide.

One of the key ways in which Amazon has made a global impact is through job creation. The company has a massive workforce, employing millions of people across various sectors and countries. Whether it’s in fulfillment centers, customer service, logistics, or technology, Amazon’s operations have provided countless job opportunities, contributing to economic growth and stability.

Additionally, Amazon’s presence has led to substantial development in infrastructure. From warehouses and distribution centers to data centers and cloud services, the company has invested heavily in creating a robust network to support its operations. This infrastructure not only facilitates efficient delivery of products but also stimulates local economies by attracting businesses and fostering technological advancements in the regions where Amazon operates.

As a global e-commerce giant, Amazon has revolutionized the way people shop. Through its online platform, the company has provided a convenient alternative to traditional brick-and-mortar stores, offering an unparalleled selection of products at competitive prices. This shift in consumer behavior has reshaped the retail landscape and forced traditional retailers to adapt to changing customer preferences.

Furthermore, Amazon’s impact extends beyond retail. The company’s foray into cloud computing through Amazon Web Services (AWS) has revolutionized the IT industry. AWS offers scalable and cost-effective cloud infrastructure, allowing businesses of all sizes to access computing resources and accelerate their digital transformation. It has become an essential component of the modern tech ecosystem, powering numerous applications and services globally.

Through its considerable influence and reach, Amazon has also played a vital role in shaping consumer expectations. Its commitment to fast and reliable delivery, seamless customer experience, and hassle-free returns has raised the bar for customer service standards. This, in turn, has pressured other businesses to prioritize customer-centric strategies and enhance their own online offerings to remain competitive.

Beyond commerce and technology, Amazon has also made substantial contributions to sustainability and philanthropy. The company has launched initiatives focused on reducing its carbon footprint, such as investments in renewable energy and sustainable packaging. Amazon has also supported various charitable organizations and disaster relief efforts, using its resources and scale to make a positive social impact.

Overall, Amazon’s global impact can be seen in its influence on job creation, infrastructure development, transforming the retail industry, revolutionizing cloud computing, shaping consumer expectations, and supporting sustainability and philanthropy. With its continuous innovation and unwavering commitment to customer satisfaction, Amazon’s impact on the world is likely to persist and evolve, leaving a lasting imprint on the global economy and society for years to come.