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ART OF THE STATES
July 1st, 2013 by Clark Humphrey

theatlantic.com

Derek Thompson at the Atlantic has assembled a U.S. map containing what he claims to be “the most famous brands born in each state.”

Only he doesn’t consistently play this game by his own rules.

Some of Thompson’s picks are obvious: Nike for Oregon, Coca-Cola for Georgia, Hasbro for Rhode Island, DuPont for Delaware, L.L. Bean for Maine, Budweiser for Missouri, Tabasco for Louisiana.

Other choices are debatable but defensible: Apple for California, Hawaiian Airlines for Hawaii, Starbucks for Washington state.

But in some cases, Thompson lists parent companies rather than “brands.” (GM is a bigger company, but Ford is a bigger product name.)

In others, he places brands where corporate takeovers have placed them, not where they began. (Does anyone really associate Saks department stores with Alabama?)

Here are my alternate choices:

  • California: Chevron or Disney.
  • Illinois: John Deere, Kraft, McDonald’s, Sears, or Playboy.
  • Kentucky: KFC or Jim Beam.
  • Minnesota: Target or Betty Crocker.
  • Nebraska: Union Pacific, ConAgra Foods, Mutual of Omaha, or Berkshire Hathaway (Warren Buffet’s holding company).
  • Nevada: Caesar’s Palace.
  • New York: AT&T, CBS, Citibank, Colgate, IBM, Kodak, Macy’s, NBC, or Xerox.
  • North Carolina: Camel.
  • Ohio: Goodyear or Tide.
  • Texas: Texaco (still a well known, albeit mostly dormant, brand) or Dell.
  • Virginia: M&M’s.
  • Wisconsin: Miller.
  • Wyoming: JCPenney (long since moved away; currently HQ’d in Texas).

And for good ol’ Wash. state, arguments can be made for Amazon, Microsoft, and even Sub Pop, or such moved-away corporate HQs as Boeing and UPS.


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