The Corporate States of America
Update: Due to popular demand, The Corporate States of America is now available as an 18×12″ signed and numbered poster.
This is a map of “The Corporate States of America“. For each of the fifty states (and the District of Columbia), I selected a corporation or brand that best represented the states. My criteria are subjective, but in each case, I picked a brand that a) has ties to that state and b) is still in business (as of 2013).
I encountered several challenges while making this map. Major corporations are not evenly distributed across the country. Some states, such New Mexico, Alaska, Montana and West Virginia, simply do not host many big corporations. Others host so many that choosing one was difficult. In these cases, I went with the company that I though best represented the state, rather than the biggest or most notorious. Hence, I used Dr Pepper for Texas instead of ExxonMobil. I used Apple for California instead of Google or Facebook. I also had a problem with some of the smaller states like Vermont and Delaware. These states can be hard to read, so here is a complete list of the companies featured:
The Corporate States of America
|Saks||The modern Saks descends from a company called Proffitt’s, founded in Birmingham in 1919.|
|Carrs||Now part of Safeway, Carr’s was founded in Anchorage in 1950.|
|Best Western||Best Western is headquarted in Phoenix.|
|Walmart||Walmart is based out of Bentonville.|
|Apple||Apple is headquartered in Cupertino, in the heart of Silicon Valley.|
|Coors||Now part of Molson Coors, Coors was founded in Golden in 1873.|
|GE||Founded in Schenectady, New York, GE is now headquarted in Fairfield.|
|DuPont||E. I. du Pont de Nemours and Company was founded in Eleutherian Mills in 1802.|
District of Columbia
|C-SPAN||C-SPAN is based out of Washington.|
|Hooters||Hooters started in Clearwater in 1983.|
|Coca-Cola||Coca-Cola is based out of Atlanta.|
|Hawaiian Airlines||Founded as Inter-Island Airways in 1929, Hawaiian Airlines is based out of Honolulu.|
|Albertsons||Albertsons started in Boise in 1939. The modern company, started in 2006, is still based there.|
|CAT||Caterpillar has been based out of Peoria since 1910.|
|Cummins||The Cummins Engine Company started in Columbus in 1919.|
|Maytag||Now part of Whirlpool, Maytag was founded in Newton in 1893.|
|Garmin||Garmin started in Lenexa in 1989.|
|Lexmark||Spun off from IBM in 1991, Lexmark is based out of Lexington.|
|Tabasco||The McIlhenny Company, maker of Tabasco Sauce, is based out of Avery Island.|
|L.L.Bean||L.L.Bean was started in Freeport in 1912. It is still based there.|
|GEICO||The Government Employees Insurance Company is based out of Chevy Chase.|
|Gillette||Now part of Proctor and Gamble, Gillette was founded in Boston in 1901.|
|GM||General Motors is based out of Detroit.|
|Pillsbury||Today owned by General Mills, Pillsbury was founded in Minneapolis in 1872.|
|Peavey||Peavey Electronics is based out of Meridian.|
|Anheuser-Busch||Now part of AB InBev, Anheuser-Busch was founded in Saint Louis in 1852.|
|Great Harvest Bread Company||Great Harvest Bread Company was founded in Great Falls in 1976.|
|Cabela’s||Cabela’s is based out of Sidney.|
|Zappos||Today part of Amazon.com, Zappos is based out of Henderson.|
|Timberland||The Timberland Company is headquartered in Stratham.|
|Campbell’s||Campbell’s is based out of Camden.|
|Allsup’s||Allsup’s was founded in Roswell in 1956.|
|Verizon||Today based out of Manhattan, Verizon is the descendant of several Baby Bells.|
|Bank of America||Bank of America is currently based out of Charlotte.|
|Bobcat||Now part of the Doosan Group, Bobcat is based out of West Fargo.|
|Wendy’s||Wendy’s was founded in Columbus in 1969.|
|Sonic||Sonic is based out of Oklahoma City.|
|Nike||Nike is headquarted in Beaverton.|
|Hershey’s||The Hershey Company is based out of Pennsylvania, in a town called Hershey.|
|Hasbro||Hassenfeld Brothers was founded in Providence in 1923. Today, Hasbro is based in Pawtucket.|
|Denny’s||Denny’s is based out of Spartanburg.|
|Super 8||Super 8 opened its first motel in Aberdeen in 1974.|
|FedEx||FedEx is headquartered in Memphis.|
|Dr Pepper||Now part of Dr Pepper Snapple Group, Dr Pepper was invented in Waco in 1885.|
|Sinclair||Sinclair Oil Corporation is based out of Salt Lake City.|
|Ben & Jerry’s||Now part of Unilever, Ben & Jerry’s was started in Burlington in 1978.|
|AOL||AOL was founded in Vienna in 1991.|
|Starbucks||The first Starbucks opened in Seattle in 1971.|
|Gino’s||Gino’s Pizza and Spaghetti was founded in Huntington in 1961.|
|Harley-Davidson||Harley-Davidson was founded in Milwaukee in 1903.|
|Taco John’s||Taco John’s is based out of Cheyenne.|
What Do You Think?
What do you think of my selection? Are there brands that you’d rather see on there? Let me know in the comment section. And if you like my work, take a look at my portfolio and see if I can help you with your graphic design needs. This blog is a labor of love, and your support will help me continue to create works of art for you. Thanks again!
I found this on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10151207838240983&set=a.322689300982.159055.107925785982&.
Can you also list the companies by state? I can’t read what Delaware and Rhode Island are!
Delaware is duPont, and Rhode Island is Hasbro.
Thank you Marnie for asking, as I too couldn’t read either Delaware or Rhode Island.
Emily, as a native Delawarean it makes sense that DuPont is the corporation chosen for Delaware. I didn’t realize RI has Hasbro. So that’s where Santa’s elves make the toys. RI is definitely colder than Delaware, but far warmer than the North Pole.
John deer out of Molin?
I would think that John Deere would be a far better choice for Illinois.
I’m a John Deere fan but, I think Cat is bigger and better known & more widely recognized internationally.
I also would like a list. I can’t read some of the other smaller states either, and a few of the larger ones have merely symbols, which I do not recognize.
List coming soon.
That’s great, thank you!
This thing is taking off in a big way… I got linked to it via an IMDb message board, of all places! Get ready for lots of attention…
Heinz ketchup is based out of Pa
I like ketchup, but chocolate wins! Lol
PA should be Dunder Mifflin. Lol
or Shrute Farms !!??
Haha. I should design a logo for Schrute Farms. I’m sure it would have a beet in it.
How is Disney not Florida’s
Because Disney is based out of Burbank, California
It started in California
What about Boeing for Washington
and Jim Beam for Kentucky
Hi everyone! Please note that General Electric moved its headquarters from Fairfield, Connecticut to Boston, Massachusetts and is no longer considered a Connecticut company. The vast majority of their Connecticut employees have also now left the state. So, you should choose a different company to represent Connecticut. So many companies have merged or changed their names now that it is difficult to pick one. Aetna is now owned by CVS. United Technologies is now owned by Raytheon which is now headquartered in Massachusetts. Sad. I knew people at these companies – many were downsized and let go after these mergers.
Wisconsin should be Miller or US Bank, not HD…. HD is pretty benign compared to the former two.
Why would US Bank better represent Wisconsin when they are headquartered in Minneapolis? Miller would have made sense 10 years ago before they were bought by a South African company. In my opinion, Harley Davidson is a perfect choice for Wisconsin.
Harley Davidson is a hero come-back survivor in Wisconsin, and even though I’ve only driven past the factory on the freeway, it’s a nostalgic ‘ride’…..and hooray for them for withstanding the Yamaha, Suzuki, Honda attack on one of America’s finest names…..I have never owned a motorcycle of any size or type in my life, but can sure admire and appreciate the sound of a Harley at ‘idle’……Put a little Wisconsin cheddar n the saddle bags and go!
And Harley-Davidson (please note the hyphen!) is well known all over the world, which Miller and US Bank aren’t.
H-D is the actually the most popular “luxury” motorcycle in the world, I’ve been told. That means more people who own a motorcycle because they chose to, not because it is the only motorized transportation they can afford, buy a Harley than any other brand of bike. Not sure if that is true, but it seems believable.
US Bank was actually founded in Portland, OR. You are both wrong. It was a regional NW bank that was bought out by a Minneapolis based bank in the early 90’s.
This would also apply to Bank of America. BofA was started in CA but since the merger with NationsBank (which was based in Charlotte) the HQ is now North Carolina.
My thoughts too
How many people get US bank tattooed on their bodies? I was pleased to see HD here. Was the first brand I thought of when I read this because of their strong identity to Wisconsin. I live in CA. Should have been Google there!
Kentucky = KFC
KFC was started in Utah not Kentucky Ironically
KFC was started in Corbin, Kentucky, and is headquartered in Louisville, KY. Utah was where Col. Sanders first franchised the chicken recipe to a friend.
Legally, most corporations are incorporated in Delaware.
New York: General Electric. Or if you use “representative”, then Macy’s.
Nebraska: Con Agra Foods
Illinois: Sears? McDonalds?
Cabelas more represents the state of NE than ConAgra, I live in Omaha and people outside of Omaha don’t really realize Omaha is the World headquarters of ConAgra, but most people know that Cabelas started from a garage in Sidney, NE and has turned into one of the most famous outfitter stores.
GE’s corporate headquarters are indeed in Connecticut, as shown on the map. I too think Macy’s would have been a better choice for New York State; however, as it’s the largest wireless provider in the country, there’s plenty of justification for choosing Verizon.
Yeah, but GE has historically been a NY company. Isn’t there anninsurance company for CT?
GE is moving to Boston. How about WIFFLE BALL in Shelton CT? It has been there since the 1950’s.
Pratt and Whitney started in East Hartford and still headquartered there.
Connecticut could be Pratt & Whitney, The Hartford Insurance, LEGO, Cannondale, Timex, Wiffle Ball, or Hubbell Electrical.
Massachusetts should be Sam Adams or Raytheon. How is Connecticut, the insurance capital of the world, represented by GE?
It’s been interesting to hear from people all over the US about what company should represent their state. I may have to do an updated graphic based on all the feedback I’ve received.
I think Massachusetts should be Dunkin Donuts!
Good idea, Raquel. When I was up in Massachusetts a couple of years ago, I was stunned by the number of Dunkin’ Donuts locations. We have them down in Texas, but there are probably a dozen in the whole Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex.
DD is a staple in New England. Can’t live with out them. Was so happy when they came back to East TN
DD should be for RI. You don’t see as many Starbucks in RI as in MA. There are DD everywhere in RI.
CVS started in Massachusetts
Cvs started in ri and remains there, in Woonsocket
Wrong, Rhode Island
I also think Dunkin Donuts should be MA, it started in Quincy MA and is a staple of the state
I agree with you on that
GE is one of the largest businesses in the world. That one was an easy choice.
Now choosing Lexmark over lets say Kentucky Fried Chicken is when things get squirrely. Also I believe maybe a handful of people even know what Sinclair Oil is on the eastern half of the US. Any of the giant Casino’s, which are fortune 500 companies, I believe define the state. Now my home state of PA is very recognizable by Hershey.
I’m slapping myself upside the head for not thinking of Kentucky Fried Chicken for Kentucky.
Utah was a tough one. I suppose I’m too fond of the Sinclair logo. I didn’t realize that many casinos were based out of the state, but I love learning new things like that.
Glad I got Pennsylvania right.
Utah doesn’t have casinos–they are illegal in Utah. I think the previous comment meant the casinos in the eastern half of the US. I have lived in Utah all of my life and didn’t know that Sinclair was a Utah company. I guess I still have things to learn.
Though Yuengling comes to mind for PA as opposed to chocolate. After all, it’s America’s oldest brewery.
As a Kentuckian, UPS or Jim Beam (Beam Inc. owns Maker’s Mark & Jim Beam) would be more representative of Kentucky.
Indeed, I actually like Hersey as the choice, mostly because there is also a Hersey Pennsylvania. I believe Comcast could have been chosen, but Hersey is an old staple.
But Pratt & Whitney has better jet engines!
I think Dunkin would be the better choice for Massachusetts. While Sam Adams is a nationally known company, it is still considered a Microbrew.
Agree with Dunks for MA. That was my first thought. And I grew up there fwiw.
If not an insurance company, Connecticut would be better represented by Subway or ESPN. While GE may be headquartered in CT now, it is more known for being from Schenectady, NY, so much so that Schenectady is called the “electric city.”
Rhode Island – CVS!
WTF is in Rhode Island currently? I can’t tell.
Hasbro, based out of Pawtucket.
CVS would have fit better than Hasbro. It might be better known as well, at least for people over the age of ten.
But EVERYBODY has been under ten for at least the first ten years of their lives, so everybody knows Hasbro. It’s not like you forget who they are once you pass the age of ten 8-), especially if you have any kids of your own once you grow up. CVS didn’t have any stores in California until relatively recently, and I’m sure there are lots of areas where they still have no presence or name recognition.
Good point, Chris.
CVS was founded in Lowell,MA not RI they’re likely the biggest drug store in both states.
Was wondering if you did this by brands that are most known? There are two brands for Oklahoma that would better represent Oklahomans….Braums which is a fast food restaurant and Cattleman’s Steak House which was first made in Oklahoma and still greatly represents us since we are the nation’s #1 cattle producing state. Thanks!
My criteria were pretty subjective, to tell you the truth. I went with Sonic because they’re the most common. I did consider Braum’s, however. We have them in Dallas, and it’s my favorite ice cream place.
SONIC is a great choice.
I have to agree with Mary here. We have Sonic drive-ins here in Pennsylvania. Those other two places? What and where are they? I think presence and recognition beyond the state matter.
I live in NY and the first Sonic opened last year here…Haven’t been there yet and really don’t know them…Nor do I know the other places either.
This is the Corporate States of America – not of Texas, California, etc.
Sonic is to Braum’s as Alaska Airlines is to Carrs.
Sonic is the best. No better choice for OK thrn Sonic
Braum’s is a great company. since they are only located 300 within a 300 mile radius of the farm in Tuttle, OK, sonic is the larger company and best known. Of course, being the largest Ice cream company with its own private dairy is pretty impressive let alone a farm, bakery, transport company, and over 300 store is no small feat.
I’ve lived in Indiana for my entire life and have never heard of Cummins. I want to yell at you that there has got to be a better choice but I’m slightly handicapped by not being able to think of one.
Sigh. Indiana kinda sucks.
Cummins makes diesel engines. They’re based out of Columbus, about 40 miles south of Indianapolis.
I’ve driven through Indiana many times and I’ve never been too impressed, though the people there are nice. That counts for something.
Indiana actually has a lot of smaller companies that have a large impact in the market. One that I found quite interesting was the fact that Klipsch (high end stereo speakers) is and Indiana company.
Paul Klipsch just rolled in his grave. He founded Klipsch in Hope, Arkansas.
There is also Eli Lilly, one of the largest pharmaceutical companies in the country, maybe in the world, and responsible for quite a lot of stuff in Indianapolis
Yeah, Eli Lilly is a pretty obvious choice for Indiana.
Orville Redenbacher popcorn would have been a great choice for Indiana!
That’s a good one!
I would think that Arby’s would be picked as the Oklahoma icon as it was started in Oklahoma and the headquarters remain in Oklahoma.
The Clabber Girl Baking Powder girl/museum is in Terra Haute, IN, is it manufactured there too?
plus I think of two things when in Indy: pan fried chicken & Formula One car racing
Indy cars and Formula 1 cars both have exposed wheels and wings, but they are really separate series with different cars. The Indianapolis Motor Speedway built a special addition to the track to host Formula 1, but I think there was only one Formula 1 race there.
I’m not familiar with pan-fried chicken as a particularly Indianapolis or even Indiana thing.
Let’s be clear, pan fried chicken is from the South! We have been pan frying chicken in the South since b4 Indiana ever even existed, so how u think u can co opt that to a yankee state is beyond me! The entire South just rolled in their graves!
And Elkhart is the RV capital …. Most major RV brands are produced there.
What about the Hoosier bat company for Indiana? Bats made for teams all over the country… Just a thought or Orville R popcorn or Eli Lilly? Those seems to be bigger, well known brands from Indiana.
What about Hoosier Tires?
They make racing tires, but outside of racing it’s not a well known brand.
MGP Distillers in Lawrenceburg, Indiana is the largest bourbon/whiskey distiller in the U.S. Most of the bourbon/whiskey on the market is produced there.
Umm, I think you better check your facts. 95% of Bourbon is made in Kentucky. Louisville is bourbon country. KFC or Yum brands would have been a better choice for Kentucky.
The motor in every dodge diesel truck and semis
Eli Lilly or Maybe Orville Reddenbacher. Indiana produces something like 90% of popcorn.
No Under Armour in Maryland? Come on…
Under Armor is just a baby compared to McCormick & Co.! Founded here over 100 years ago and still based in Maryland, creator of Old Bay which is pretty much synonymous with Maryland… come on. GEICO? It has to be McCormick! (Not that UA isn’t awesome, just… not so much “Maryland.”)
Agreed. MD is McCormick, no contest. Everyone knows it’s here, knows where it is, and while MD is geographically diverse, no one can discuss it without mentioning Old Bay. Gieco and Under Armour happen to be here…McCormick is as Maryland as you get, both from a Marylander’s perspective and from the view of the rest of the country (MD = Crabs => Old Bay = McCormick) . I agree, UA makes great products, but I didn’t even know they were from here until a few years ago and I’ve lived in Baltimore my whole life.
Yes, McCormick! I remember whenl the plant was at the inner harbor, and you could tell which spice they were packaging that day by driving down light street..under armor is new, mccormick is tradition!
Pssst…McCormick & Co. didn’t invent Old Bay. It was created by and for decades made by a much smaller rival, the Baltimore Spice Company, which McCormick purchased sometime in the 1990s. You won’t find the “Maryland – With Pride” label on any other McCormick product; Baltimore Spice put it on Old Bay tins to show the company’s truly local pride and McCormick kept it there after buying the company.
BTW, does anyone else think Maryland’s is the coolest of all 50 state flags?
Yes, the Maryland state flag is the ONLY state flag based on its colonial founders coat-of-arms.
Ritz-Carlton – Likely the best known world brand HQ in MD
McCormick – A classic choice, and a soft spot locally – not sure that when people think spice nationally/internationally that McCormick is the instant link. But for locals, when they were downtown, Cinnamon grinding days in the tea room, is the stuff of legend. Old Bay is in 12 of every 10 households locally, but does not draw well nationally.
Marriott Hotels – Can be found in a number of places
Perdue Chicken – a great example of ‘small town’ goes international company
Noxell – Noxzema Face Cream — Nothing like the smell downwind of Noxell and McCormick – Garlic Face Cream, a smell not soon forgotten
Hershey – with Hershey Kiss shaped streetlights and smell of coco hull mulch — unchallenged regional emotional win. Hershey Ice Cream was established in the same state, in a nearby location and in the same year, but there is no relationship between the families involved.
Marlboro – is the top selling cigarette brand in the world, I learned about Virginia tobacco along with the founding of the 13 original Colonies, AOL can not come close. Except to those of us that have owned 157 AOL disks and CD’s at no charge. Also, AOL is based in New York State these days.
An excellent argument can be made that it is going up the corporate ownership chain too far to trace Marlboro back to VA, in which case it will toss Hershey out of its place in PA.
Marlboro isn’t a corporation. Philip Morris is.
Geico for Maryland? I’ve lived here for 15+ years and never heard anyone say Geico as a Maryland company.
Have to agree with Under Armour, sorry McCormick is great, but no one associates them with Maryland in a large scale Domestic sense.
I’ve lived in Maryland 20 years and my first guess for a choice would have been McCormick or a second choice Purdue (Salisbury MD). Never even knew Geico was based here. Who doesn’t love Old Bay seasoning or delicious Purdue chicken? I can’t imagine getting that thrilled over car insurance.
It would seem that associating a corporation with a state would be meaningful outside the state (or region) only for the iconic, venerable names. Thus GM/Michigan, Hershey/PA, Coors/CO, Tabasco/LA, Budweiser (A-B)/MO.
Even Coca-Cola is not assocated with Georgia (it’s AMERICAN).
Sorry. McCormick > Under Armor. McCormick was founded in Baltimore 130+ years ago and they’re still in Baltimore County to this day. They are a component of the S&P 500. They own Zatarains. They produce Emeril’s line of spice blends. They own Lawrey’s. They have products in global markets all the way to Australia. They supply flavoring and spice bases to food processors in the US, UK, and Canada. They are one of the largest herb and spice wholesalers to the food service industry in the country.
And this guy picks an insurance company that was founded in Texas, is a subdivision of conglomerate Berkshire Hathaway, and just happens to have its HQ building in a DC suburb across the MD line? Fail.
Black & Decker / DeWalt
UA is a great Maryland story but as far as “big corporations” in Maryland the first thing I think of is Marriott (in Bethesda).
Add the US territory of Puerto Rico. Brand: Bacardi.
I should add in the territories, considering that I lived in one (American Samoa) for two years.
what would you put for American Samoa?
Starkist tuna? Forsgrens shopping center? Some shipping consolidator? South Seas Broadcasting? Bluesky Telecommunications?
I’d probably go with Star Kist, since no one off-island knows about Forsgrens or Blue Sky.
The most iconic things about Samoa are the Samoans themeselves.
Bacardi is HQd in Bermuda
What is Saks connection to Alabama?
Saks Fifth Avenue’s parent company, Saks Incorporated, was founded in Birmingham after a buyout from a department store chain named Proffitt’s.
Steve, 99 out of a 100 people would associate Saks with Saks Fifth Avenue in Lower Manhatten, not Alabama. It’s up there with Tiffany Jewellers or Macys Department Store in terms of association with New York.
Yeah, I think I goofed on that one.
Yes, goof, I’ve love in Alabama for 43 years and I was scratching my head on that one.
Ah! ok, I was seriously confused myself, I wikipedia’ed Saks Fifth Ave just to double check. Their windows are the stuff of my Christmases in NYC as a kid.
So Alabama…Bubba Gump Shrimp Co?? 😉
I just looked at a list of corporations based in Alabama and there really isn’t much to choose from that have national recognition. Saks was probably your best bet. That or Books-A-Million.
Public companies in Alabama include Regions Financial (Banking), Vulcan Material (construction, HealthSouth (wall street cheaters), ProAssurance (medical liability). Saks moved out of AL many years ago, as did Torchmark.Smaller electronics firms are in Huntsville. Perhaps the best known international brands would be Mercedes, Honda or Hyandai, which all have huge manufacturing plants here.
I think Johnson & Johnson is the most well known NJ brand with the biggest global reach.
Though Campbell’s is an interesting Old-School choice.
I believe the heiress to the company lives/lived in Newport Rhode Island in a big mansion, though.
New York really could have been GE (founded), IBM, JP Morgan Chase, Goldman Sachs, or even Brooks Brothers, depending on how Upstate/Downstate NewSchool/OldSchool you wanted to go.
Founded and still headquartered in NJ, I think it’s a great choice. Also, considering the company is public, there is no “heiress” to Cambells. The largest single shareholder (granddaughter of the founder and board member) lives in pennsylvania, just 50 miles from their headquarters.
If you’re looking for companies that “own” the state, Johnson & Johnson was the first thing that sprang to my mind for NJ, too. AT&T is the other choice.
Campbell’s represents the “Garden State” aspect of NJ, and like the tomato fields along Route 1, that’s pretty much history.
Agreed. I worked for J&J as an intern for two summers and know countless classmates, coworkers, and neighbors who worked their while I was growing up in Central Jersey. I lived in NJ til I was 22 and had completely forgotten Campbell’s was even from the Garden State (maybe because it’s south jersey and I’m from a bit farther north….)
I also second whoever mentioned AT&T, as my hometown is where their headquarters was. Note the past tense. It was a huge employer in the area…. until it left. The campus is now a Verizon corporate site.
@Torsten Adair actually GE is Connecticut and Verizon is New York.
Would have thought NC would have been Pepsi…
Pepsi would have been a good choice. Maybe I’ll use it on a future version. Thanks for your input.
Pepsi’s headquarters is in New York.
Yes, but Pepsi was invented in New Bern, North Carolina and still has a large presence in New Bern and all over the state. Many companies have headquarters in NYC…
@Sarah – I lived in Charlotte for almost 10 years. Pepsi has no presence there. On the other hand, BofA is pervasive throughout the state, not to mention it’s a behemoth in it’s industry. We’ve learned all to well, “as BofA goes, so goes not just NC but major chunks of our nation’s economy.”
BofA isn’t a good choice for NC at all. It has a much, much, MUCH longer history in California.
Lowes would have been another option for North Carolina but Bank of America is still the best choice.
I would think that for NY it would be IBM for a more iconic brand.
NC should be Krispy Kreme or Cheerwine or Blenheim’s Gingerale
I agree with Pepsi or Krispy Kreme……and i swear Pepsi says “born in the Carolina’s” so how is that not a NC reference?
I second Krispy Kreme!
Pepsi’s HQ is in Purchase, NY. Agreed, IBM (Armonk, NY) for NY.
Pillsbury is not a separate entity anymore, but is now part of General Mills. Even before that merger, Pillsbury was an odd choice for Minnesota. In a state that is home to 3M, Target, Best Buy, and Medtronic, Pillsbury barely even registers.
Thanks, I’ll keep those in mind for a future map.
However, General Mills used to be Pillsbury’s crosstown rival before it bought the competition, so I’d say you could make a very strong case for the “Big G”, the company that gave us Betty Crocker, as Minnesota’s most iconic company. My only alternative would be Target, whose logo is a design classic.
But if you choose Target, you should also include a nod to the actress who put the town on the TV map, Mary Tyler Moore – the opening to her show ended with her tossing her beret in front of the downtown store of Target’s corporate predecessor, Dayton’s.
I think Washington should be Boeing
My short list for Washington included Boeing, Costco, Microsoft and Starbucks. I’ll admit a bit of personal bias here. I went with Starbucks because I’m a coffee junkie.
How come Amazon didn’t make that short list?
The Starbucks logo is one of the most visually interesting.
The aesthetics of the logos had a lot to do with my choices. I think the Starbucks logo looks better in Washington than Boeing or Amazon would.
I think as the coffee capital of the world Starbucks was the correct choice for WA.
I just don’t see how Microsoft wouldn’t easily be the winner here. They are by far the most globally reaching company out of Boeing, Costco, and Starbucks.
True, though Amazon was a good option to, it is easy to say tat e Internet would inevitably change the way people buy stuff and kill brick and mortar but still someone had to do it
Delaware should probably be AstraZeneca, not Dupont, Dupont’s been laying off for years and years.
Delaware was actually a pretty tough state to do, since there are so many corporations based there. It’s true that I don’t have any Big Pharma on the map.
However, Du Pont and the family that controls it are so tightly intertwined with Delaware history and politics that I don’t think there’s a superior alternative.
I remember when the _National Lampoon_ produced a graphic of satirical state license plates, some with pretty insulting mottoes (Texas: “Graveyard of Presidents”) in the 1970s. One of the states whose plate they sent up was Delaware. Where actual Delaware plates bear the legend “The First State” (so dubbed because it was the first to ratify the U.S. Constitution), the _NatLamp’s_ bore the legend “DuPont(R)”.
Texas should be represented by Exxon Mobil, or some energy company. That’s more reflective of the state as a whole. Or maybe Dell Computer, if you wanted a smaller company, and one with a more direct consumer product.
If I were to do it again, I’d probably go with Dell, though Exxon Mobil was also in the running. One of the big problems I had with making this map was that there are a gazillion companies based here in Texas, but few in states like New Mexico, Wyoming or West Virginia.
I think you are making a mistake with not associating Texas with Oil. Corporate Texas, in most American minds, begins with oil. If the point of this is state identity where citizens are more a member of a corporate entity than a state itself… well… I don’t think Americans, Texans, or anyone thinks Texas=Dr. Pepper or Texas=Dell. I think you should reconsider.
Agreed. Texas should have been Exxon/Mobil. Not much debate.
I know this just your subjective choices, but I think Texas is your biggest miss.
They have to be Oil related. Dr Pepper is just a minor soft drink. Oil has dominated the politics and economy of Texas since basically the day he first well was dug.
Oil is definitely a big part of Texas. Though I have to say, I live down here, and people in the Lone Star State are pretty crazy for their Dr Pepper.
What about Texas Instruments?
I was surprised to see Dr. Pepper, but can’t complain, being from Waco! Lots of great stuff going on in Waco right now! And Dr. Pepper does seem to have a cult following for sure!
I actually like that u chose companies that maybe folks didn’t know were from there, I learned alot from this map! Sure their are some states that could’ve had a more “iconic” brand, but was cool to learn about where some brands came from that I didn’t know about! Some, like Starbucks or Apple, everyone knows, although Disney is a far more iconic choice for CA, but some others, like Dr. Pepper were cool to learn, had no idea they were from Texas, Macy’s screams NY to me but I also learned something new that they were originally from GA. All in all this was a fun cool learning experience. Thanks for sharing it and would be cool to see what u choose for an alternate version.
Since AT&T moved its headquarters to Dallas, I’d say they’re right up there with Exxon Mobil as a big player in the state.
No. No. NO. You totally nailed Texas. Do not fill yourself with self-doubt. That would be completely un-Texan of you.
Dr.Pepper for Texas? How about 7-Eleven? Frito-Lay? Neiman Marcus would be my first pick as far as “branding”, but I guess that doesn’t really “represent” Texas. And I have no problem with Exxon-Mobil representing Texas….big oil, baby!
How could you pick Pillsbury for Minnesota? Its a company thats part of General Mills. You should have listed General Mills instead. Having said that though, you should have chosen Target, Best Buy, or 3M since those 3 rank higher than General Mills for Minnesota companies.
I would have to agree with you Wade.
Also… how could you not use Mc Donalds for Illinois? Its one of the most known brands holding the #2 spot for world wide franchise locations!
also… 7-11 did start in texas and holds the record for the most franchise locations world wide. I would think that beats Dr. Pepper any day.
Just so you know, the state of Maryland is *not* a giant suburb of DC…so for you to choose Geico is a huge slap in the face. Ever hear of McCormick’s or Old Bay? *Real* Maryland brands? And BTW, Gino’s originated in Maryland and is now based in PA.
I did not intend to insult Maryland. I’ll keep some of your suggestions in mind for a future map.
I definitely agree with Sarah – Old Bay is also a great choice for Maryland! Mmmm Old Bay flavored Shrimp and crab cakes…. it’s a East Coast thing, I think – but still. I come from PA – and I think that Hershey’s was a fantastic choice! I love looking at this map and learning about Corporate America! How neat! I’m a geography minor and have a general love for maps, and this is a neat way to visualize the states!
MD also has Black & Decker, Perdue, Lockheed Martin, 7 government agencies, including NIH and the NSA in Ft Meade, the Naval Academy, Johns Hopkins (the university and the hospital) and Discovery Communications. And you picked Geico? I would think Hopkins at least should have been on your radar. Did you do any research before you made this map?
I did quite a bit of research. I did not include any governmental agencies, educational institutions or NGOs. I’ve had several good suggestions for Maryland so far, which I may use on a future map.
l LOVE IT, WISH I HAD THOUGHT OF IT MYSELF IT WOULD NAKE A GREAT GAME.
ALTHOUGH GM IS A GOOD ONE FOR MICHIGAN, IN IT’S PRESANT STATE, I MAY HAVE CHOSEN AMWAY, JUST TO TICK PEOPLE OFF.
Haha. That’s a good one. As a Michigander myself, I have to wonder if Dick DeVos lost the gubernatorial election in 2006 mostly because of his affiliation with AmWay.
I would have thought Disney over Hooters for Florida. Of course, I am female and a mother, so… Also, KFC for Kentucky, Dell for Texas.
Ya but Disney began in California, and still is a big presence there as well. That is a tough one.
I also think Disney World (although not stated in FL) is probably the brand most connected to FL. But if it’s about the most “representative” of the state and not necessarily the most popular, then I would go with Hooters or Hawaiian Tropic to represent the “Spring Break Capital of the World”.
Florida = Carnival Cruise Lines
Krispy Kreme should represent NC, my home state. KK is headquartered in my hometown, Winston-Salem.
KFC does not equal Kentucky, actually. Think Utah. Yep, that’s a shock to many.
Yum! Brands has tried to distance KFC from Kentucky by no longer referring to the restaurants as “Kentucky Fried Chicken”, but rather simply as KFC. They used ‘Sweet Home Alabama’ in a commercial several years ago, and somebody took them to task over it, and the result was that they were going for a ‘generically southern fried chicken’. SMH. Kentucky isn’t even all that southern. Country, yes, but I wouldn’t call it southern.
Just like Texas Roadhouse ( a chain steakhouse ) had nothing to do with Texas originally. I believe it was started in Illinois.
Texas Roadhouse is headquartered in Louisville, KY. It was founded in Indiana.
However, as for KFC, the Colonel is a Kentuckian but Yum! Brands is mostly just headquartered in Louisville.
I’d say most Kentuckians would say Jim Beam or Maker’s Mark and/or UPS would be most accurate for Kentucky.
Or you could just put a basketball over the state since we perfected it (in Louisville, of course!!!!)
H-B jas been making pro fessional baseball bat for over 100 years in Louisville KY all the way back to the Babe, Ty, Mickey, Hank. I BM AND LEXMARK ARE babies compared.
Actually KFC stopped using Kentucky Fried Chicken because they wanted to get away from what some people thought was un-healthy, “Fried”.
Iowa should not be Maytag. That brand is now owned by Whirlpool out of Benton Harbor, MI. Virtually everything they had in Iowa has been moved south to Mexico. Several thousands of people lost jobs with the moves.
Better idea would be something like Winnebago headquartered in Forest City Iowa!
It might be more interesting to use a third party brand ranking like AdAge or Millward Brown, or even just fortune 500 rankings. While I appreciate the idea, the map just seems to reflect your own personal biases and isn’t as informative as it could be. I suspect ExxonMobil or AT&T is a more representative brand than Dr. Pepper in Texas.
To tell you the truth, the map does indeed reflect my personal biases. I made it for fun, and I never thought it would be so popular and discussed. I suppose that’s the power of the Internet. Given all this feedback, I may have to create a new version based on more empirical data.
I suspect what’s causing much of the confusion is that Gizmodo.com presented your map as “What the Most Famous Brands Are from Each State” (http://gizmodo.com/what-the-most-famous-brands-are-from-each-state-568455852), which is not how you describe it at all. “Most representative” is quite different from “most famous”.
I could see how that might cause some confusion.
It’s actually the power of your idea (and a first-rate execution), decades of business, and billions in advertizing.
Alaskan here: Carrs isn’t its own company. It’s owned by Safeway and the grocery stores are all officially Carrs-Safeway. Carr-Gottstein is now a commercial management firm that leases out several buildings in Alaska.
I would have suggested Monsanto for Missouri.
Monsanto would be a good choice, especially now that A-B is part of InBev.
As a Missourian, I’d rather be associated with beer (even now foreign-owned beer) than GMOs.
I agree with REI. Please don’t ever use the evil Gmo Monsanto co. as a rep for Missouri, Busch is def the best choice.
Excellent map of the United States of Branding! It’s great – although I would probably have combined Starbucks and Apple for California – and maybe Disney for Florida, Starbucks for New York, and a bank for Nevada. Thanks again!
What is Hawaii?
I really would have considered Dole as the Hawaii rep, or one of the sugar companies.
Those are really no brainers, they led a military coup to take the territory in the first place. Hawaiian Airlines is just an inevitable outcome
If you want most representative, I would have considered Da Kine, which you see everywhere, but no one realizes is from Hawaii. But if you’re going for most famous, Dole is the answer.
A better choice for Kansas would have been Dillons grocery supermarkets. Even though Dillons is owned by the Kroger Company, it is based in Hutchinson. The first Dillons opened in 1913 in Hutchinson. Every town in Kansas with a population more than 2,000 or so has a Dillons.
As a person who grew up in Topeka and went to K.U., I was thinking ‘hmmm’ what about Kansas? Or, to quote a recent documentary ‘What’s the Matter With Kansas?”. I agree with you, K.L. about Dillons, although I’m not sure that it’s the corporate image that springs to mind first. Pizza Hut started in Wichita. I’d nominate that one, although not many people know it began in Kansas.
Dillons is a little obscure for the rest of the country, though. I was thinking Cessna or Sprint for Kansas. But Garmin is not bad.
Koch Industries owns the entire state of Kansas. Every other corporation here is pretty much child’s play..
Dillons is not a national brand, no one outside that region even knows who they are.
I feel like Kansas should be Hallmark or Sprint as both their headquarters are based here and they are quite prominent companies
Hallmark is in Missouri. Sprint would be good for Kansas, as would Cessna. Garmin works, though.
Just a thought…instead of Gino’s for West Virginia, what about something that actually comes from the state…pepperoni rolls…created right here in the wild wonderful hills and known by all who are born here and even those of us who are transplants! I believe Julia’s Pepperoni Rolls is one of the mass produced brands for the state…not sure I’ve even seen a Gino’s around where we live…hmmm….but then I’m just a transplant…as for Tennessee..yeah, FedEx…my step-dad was an original pilot for them…way back when…
I think Berkshire Hathaway would be Nebraska?
As would Mutual of Omaha
I think Pilot/Flying J would be better for Tennesee, fedex seems far too speedy for this state, plus there’s that attitude that’s emerging: may the big guys win and the little guys pay for trusting the big guys…very like TN in a lot of ways.
You totally have to consider DnD for Mass. Gillette may own the stadium, but I swear to you, you can’t go a mile without seeing one up there. and Krispy Kreme tried to get in on the game, but New Englanders have few loyalties as strong as their donuts and coffee!!!
Hooters beat out Outback Steakhouse, Red Lobster, Olive Garden, Tropicana, Hard Rock Cafe, Home Shopping Network, Telemundo, and Wikipedia?
Kansas should be either Hallmark, Sprint, or even Pizza Hut (Wichita origins). Although Garmin may be headquartered here they don’t have many Garmin commercials on television.
What is NJ? I am only temporarily living here and can’t think of anything it could possibly be. People up here seem to love their Dunkin donuts and wawa. I’m from Texas and I love Dr. Pepper representing it! I had no idea sonic was an Oklahoma thing and allsups was a NM thing. I feel so narrow minded. Great map!
As someone who was born in Texas and raised in New Mexico, I think your choices for my states were spot on. Dr. Pepper is so quintessentially Texas and I was so thrilled to see Allsups on there(best chimichangas ever!). I believe that’s the only convenience store you have on the list. Please don’t change those, they’re brilliant!
Shouldn’t Kentucky be UPS? It would fit perfectly just north of FEDEX/Tennessee.
New Hampshire is known for retail and tons of small businesses. The most famous might be Segway, headquartered in a mill that once produced 90% of the world’s woven cloth.
Rhode Island is headquarters for both CVS and Dunkin Donuts. The DD logo or CVS logo would both fit easily into the small area available in which to write on the map.
And, though much of its profits were “off the books” Pollos Hermanos was probably the highest grossing company in New Mexico before it was taken over by Heisenberg.
Massachusetts is the headquarters for Dunkin’ Donuts, not Rhode Island- RI and Massachusetts just share the incredible saturation of the two.
Im from Texas and now I live in Tennessee and you got them both wrong.Texaco mean the Texas Company,enuff said.(although most texans would probably say Lone Star Beer,but its regional not nationwide)And I can tell you a lot of people here all say it should be Jack Daniels for TN.
Seems that Limited Brands would be a better fit for Ohio than Wendy’s based on revenues.
Other ones for Ohio: Progressive Insurance in Mayfield Village, Hoover in Glenwillow, Smuckers in Orrville, Marathon Petroleum in Findlay and maybe the biggest, JEEP, based in Toledo. I think Jeep is way more influential than Wendy’s. Who hasn’t heard of a Jeep?
Isn’t Proctor and Gamble in Cincinnati? Who hasn’t used Tide or Pampers or any other of their products?
Florida should definitely be Publix grocery store… Hooters is not from Florida nor is it headquartered there.
I really enjoyed seeing this. Do you have a list per state? Some of them are very difficult to read.
In spite of the fact that everyone “seems” to have a better idea for “their own” state you are to be commended for
both the originality of the idea and all the research that you put into it. Congratulations! Best of luck on any
updates to this project as well as any future endeavors.
Love this idea, really. And you nailed most of it. I don’t understand the Minnesota reference, as I always think of 3M when I think of Minnesota. And for Illinois, I would have used ubiquitous brands like McDonald’s or Sears rather than CAT. But perhaps you are closer to farm machinery than I am. Cummings for Indiana also didn’t work for me… Eli Lilly maybe?
Nice job overall!
maryland and virginia are wrong.
Love this map, thank you Steve for producing it. What are Vermont and New Hampshire? Cannot read them. Thanks
Vermont is Ben & Jerry’s. New Hampshire is Timberland.
No Vermonter would consider Ben and Jerry’s Vermont since it’s part of Unilever. It’s more the company that Vermonters dread when it comes time for people to visit them b/c that’s all they want to do. Maybe they would pick Cabot if they had to pick a corporate entity but I’m not even sure they’d rally around that.
Now if you’re just talking about an outsider’s perspective of the state, yes, Ben & Jerry’s fits. As someone originally from Indiana I’d never heard of Cummins. I would say Indiana is more known for steel mills even though they almost no longer exist.
My parents lived in Vermont for a couple of years, and I’ve been there a couple of times. From an outsider perspective, Ben & Jerry’s makes sense, but I agree that most Vermonters wouldn’t support it. Actually, from a Vermonter perspective, it should probably be blank. You guys go a long way to protect and promote local business over corporate brands.
Fun fact: Montpelier is the only state capital without a McDonald’s or a Walmart within its city limits. (Though there’s one of each outside of town.)
It should be Green Mountain Coffee Roasters.
If Green Mountain, than – Keurig! Right? Because Keurig is owned by Green Mountain if I’m not mistaken.
That is correct, Heather.
Love the map and the comments. Re: Iowa. The Amana Corporation was founded in Iowa and still manufactures appliances there. They are now owned by Whirlpool Corporation. The Amana Colonies is a great place for spending some time. They have excellent food, served family style.
Fun project. Most West Virginians discussing this on twitter would probably want to see Tudor’s Biscuit World replace Gino’s in the updated future map you mentioned. While both places are owned by the same parent company, Gino’s is viewed as an average pizza place while Tudor’s has a fervent, nearly religious, following within the state.
Overall, great job with a tedious undertaking and handling the resulting regional nitpicking.
I’ve never heard of Tudor’s. Thanks for the input. I’m learning a lot about the US states from everyone’s comments.
Tudor’s would’ve been a better choice, but as far as a nationally known brand I think Shoney’s would’ve worked.
Fiesta dishes are based in WV.
So, Shoney’s actually started in Charleston, WV, though the HQ is here in Nashville I think. Gabriel Brothers Department stores originated and are HQ’d in Morgantown, WV. Those are WAY more known than Gino’s.
It seems I am coming to this discussion late. But Tudor’s/Gino’s is really only known in the southern half of the state. The northern part isn’t interested.
Fiestaware is produced in Newell, WV. Known all over the country.
Also Mylan Pharmaceuticals is a worldwide corporation, straight out of Morgantown, WV.
I would say both of those are far more representative of the state as a whole.
Is that Timberland for NH? I’ve spent all of the 20 years of my life living in NH and didn’t know that Timberland was based here. 0_0
Confused about Illinois. McDonald’s is the 7th best-known brand in the world (according to Interbrand) — Cat is 61. Otherwise — fun exercise!
But CAT’s world headquarters permeate every part of central IL (Peoria). They are totally integrated into building up the city. Chicagoans may not feel the same affinity with it, but most downstaters would think CAT is the perfect choice. I actually didn’t know there was a connection between MCD’s and IL, but have to admit that I looked for the arches on the map when I saw all the corporate logos, wondering where they fit in.
I am surprised nobody has mentioned State Farm for Illinois. They insure about 25% of the houses in the entire country.
As someone from Alabama, I believe Sak’s is appropriate for us. This is an opportunity to educate the country that we have businesses other than those related to football, fishin’, and religion.
What about 3M instead of Pillsbury for Minnesota?
Tennessee should be Jack Daniels Whiskey. JD is made in Lynchburg, Tn. about 60 miles south of Nashville. Jack Daniels is world famous for being Tennessee’s smooth sipping whiskey.
Jack Danials is owned by Brown-Forman in Louisville, KY
For New Mexico I woud have gone with Lotta Burger
New Mexico was a tough one. There’s a lot of cool things in NM, but there aren’t too many big companies based in the state.
Hooray for NM. We don’t have any big corporations or brands. Only the highest number of PHDs per capita :-).
New Jersey is the historic home to AT&T, one of the premier technology concerns in modern history. And Johnson & Johnson, one of the largest consumer and health companies in history. But you went Tomato Soup?
Another and perhaps better idea for our 50th state: Dole’s corporate heritage, the Hawaiian Pineapple Company, was founded in 1901 by James Dole, who opened his first pineapple plantation in the central plateau of the Hawaiian island of Oahu. Sanford Dole, the cousin of James, had been president of the Republic of Hawaii from 1894 after the overthrow of the Kingdom of Hawaii (her last monarch, Queen Liliʻuokalani), and first governor of the Territory of Hawaii until 1903. Just a thought. Thanks for doing this.
I agree that Dole would have been a very fitting choice.
Too bad Steven never heard that Maytag closed their HQ and manufacturing in 2007 after being sold out to Mexico, China and South Korea by Whirlpool. Thousands of jobs lost. He should have chosen Wells Blue Bunny, John Deere, Principal Financial or Pioneer Hybrids.
John Deere would have been perfect. I’ll keep that one in mind for future reference.
John Deere is, and always has been, headquartered in Moline, IL.
What was put for the great state of Rhode Island? Can’t even see it.
Target should be the one for MN not Pillsbury.
I have to think the most relevant state to corporation tie I can imagine is 3M and Minnesota of the first of those three “m’s.” But I actually like Cat over McDonalds. McDonalds isn’t really “of” Illinois as much as the first one just happened to be located there. McDonalds goes pretty local whereever they are. And let’s face it McDonalds is one of a hundred chain restaurants selling garbage food. Cat on the other hand is a unique global giant that has no rival in a very important industry. I can’t say I associate Wendys with Ohio at all. Is Firestone from there? That is an industrial giant of a state, must be several better fits than Wendys no?
Anyway, very easy for us to Monday monring qb this, love the original idea and obviously it is sparking a lot of thought.
McDonalds has Illinois ties deeper than just having the first restaurant there. Corporate HQ is still based out of Oakbrook, IL, as is Hamburger University, their corporate training facility. It’s not just a random collection of franchises.
What’s in DC? I can’t read it.
Firestone is indeed from Ohio but a better candidate still headquartered there with a logo methinks Steve might like….The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company was founded in 1898 by Frank Seiberling in Akron, Ohio.
I am from RI – had to leave because it’s collapsing, unfortunately – and was kind of puzzled about Hasbro as well. And while I appreciate the people who suggested Dunkin Donuts, I’m not sure it’s a RI corporation. But two other RI names you should consider are CVS and GTECH. Everyone knows CVS, but many might not know GTECH – they make lottery and casino machines worldwide. Most every casino in the US uses their games/machines.
Ohio … Sherwin-Williams, Proctor & Gamble, Nationwide, Rubbermaid, Progressive?
I’d say GoodYear has better brand reco than all of them. And I’d sooner associate Ohio with tires as it is a massive autoparts state. Auto seems like a more apt industry for Ohio than pain, insurance, or houseold. But yeah, I think I ilke all of your options over Wendys.
NE – Kool Aid
MN – SPAM
HI – Dole
Rhode Island should be CVS, Dunkins, or Del’s Lemonande!
or autocrat coffee syrup!
For Kentucky, I’m not quite sure how Lexmark beat out KFC/Yum Brands (Yum Brands: KFC, Taco Bell, and Pizza Hut)
For Ohio, I’m also not sure how Wendy’s beat out P&G and some of their many global brands.
I question the methodology for this map.
Connecticut has Subway (Sandwiches), Pez candy and Schick razors to name a few 🙂
Why did you give Starbuck’s to Louisiana? Unless they put chicory in their coffee. Louisiana is best known for Cajon Food, Shrimp, Crawfish, Seafood Gumbo etc. And Massachusetts is known for its
LOBSTER. And Hawaii must have something more native than an Airline.
Isn’t it Crystal or Tabasco that’s made in Louisiana?
For AZ…Circle K, Bashas’, or Petsmart would be better choices (all 3 founded here)..Best Western began in CA and moved here in the 70s.
Great map. If you are making a second version, a few suggestions (many made before).
I tried to capture a company in an industry that people associate with a state when possible.
Florida – Tropicana
Conn – Hartford Insurance
New York – Macy’s
Illinois – McDonalds
Kentucky – Jim Beam or KFC
Virginia – Phillip Morris (marlboro)
NC – Camel Cigarretes (RJR?)
Minn – 3M
MD – Underarmour
Hawaii – Dole
Mass – Dunkin Donuts
Indiana – Eli Lilly
no one in ilinois ever thinks of cat or mcdonald’s as being local, especially when john deere is around since 1837. john deere is the be-all and end-all of corporate existence in illinois.
Ohio should be Goodyear. They are a worldwide company. I can’t believe any other company would even be considered. In addition to the tires, they also are famous for the the Goodyear blimps.
I think in Florida “Disney” would be more representative than “Hooters” but times have changed.
I thought the same thing, but I started to wonder and looked it up, turns out that Disney is run from California. I’m guessing (thought maybe I’m wrong) that that’s why Hooters won out.
I’d also like a listing by state. Has it been provided yet?
WA is so totally Starbucks as Seattle is where it all started and it is still going but also because it is the coffee capital of the world, thanks to…….Starbucks!
OR you have some choices but Intel is a really good choice as well as Nike but if you want to go with something that represents the true spirit of OR its “SO Delicious” SO Delicious makes all kinds of non dairy products and they have more products than any other brand across the US. The company is located in Eugene OR.
OK is best represented by Arbys or Thrifty car rental because they were started there and remain there but also because just about everyone in the US know about Arbys or Thrifty but not Sonic.
As a Kentuckian, I would think Hillerich & Bradsby (Louisville Slugger baseball bat makers), UPS, Beam Inc. (owns Jim Beam & Maker’s Mark), Brown-Forman (Jack Daniels, Old Forrester, Woodford Reserve, Southern Comfort, etc.), Papa John’s, Humana, would be better than Lexmark… Kentucky’s history is so rich in the bourbon industry, I would have gone with Maker’s Mark or Beam Inc.
GEORGIA’S FORTUNE 500
United Parcel Service
Delta Air Lines
Mohawk Industries CNN
What about Macadamia Nuts for Hawaii?
To the ppl who keep saying ups for KY, isn’t UPS actually based in GA? also I would gave thought Comcast or even US Air for PA since they are much bigger employers in the state.
It’s hard to beat Hershey’s for PA, but I’d go with Heinz before Comcast or US Air.
I think MN should be represented by Mayo Clinic!
Verizon for NY? Not IBM?
Why Saks in Alabama?
While Sonic is a good representation of OK as far as national brand recognition goes, I think QuikTrip would be a better pick. I was so excited to move back to OK from Texas simply because I missed QT so much!! QT is a convenience store oasis in a desert of crappy Kum-n-Gos and 7/11s.
While banking has been rising in North Carolina for the past decade or more…why not RJ Reynolds? I mean, that’s old school corporate evil. And banking can happen anywhere, NC actually grows the product, tobacco.
Also, if you want brand awareness, Krispy Kreme.
Why isn’t John Deere up for Iowa? Tractors are the biggest export…
This was a really great idea.
I don’t really have a problem with Verizon for NY, but when I think about my home state, I think:
Dow Jones & Co. (Now a part of NewsCorp)
New York Times
JP Morgan Chase
Bank of New York
===My short list for Washington included Boeing====
FYI. Boeing is now headquartered in Chicago
First off, this is a fantastic idea!! And graphically it was executed very well. I just have a few thoughts on choices.
Like a few other people, I’m really surprised to see you didn’t go with Exon Mobil for Texas. I’ve never been to TX, but I’d wager most people in the US would name “oil” first if you said “corporations” and “Texas.” I said to you “Texas millionaire,” tell me you don’t picture the oil tycoon in bolo-tie trope.
Tennessee: also shocked at this one. I immediately think of Jack Daniel’s.
I can def. see the Lexmark/KFC/Jim Beam for Kentucky debate; that’s a tough call. Saks also seems like the opposite of Alabama, I like many others associate them with NY, but I don’t know of any alternative. I feel like it should be something in heavy industry (?). I would have picked a department store for NY, probably Macy’s as it’s the most iconic and ubiquitous.
And, as I said in a reply to another commenter, as a Maryland has to be McCormick–the spice and seasoning manufacturer that produces Old Bay, which we not only famously put on our crabs, but on just about everything else, too. You can actually tell with surprising accuracy if someone grew up here or moved from elsewhere depending on the number of other foods other than crabs that they put (or have at least tried) Old Bay on. Being from Maryland, I can’t think of any other brand still centered in MD that has such close ties to Maryland culture and is recognizable throughout the country. While Old Bay isn’t commonplace everywhere in the country, I’m pretty sure McCormick is in every grocery store.
Other than that most of them seem like good picks (except maybe the states that, like you said, don’t house many corporations), But it need to be said that some of them are so dead on they have to be kept if you make a second version of the map: GA-Coca Cola, DE-DuPont, ME-L.L.Bean, WA-Starbucks, FL-Hooters.
Great map and even better reading the comments.
You seem like an awesome person Steve.
I will recommend this page to everyone.
Thanks for brightening my day.
Thanks for brightening mine.
Have you thought about doing one for Canada? Would be interested in seeing what my country has come up with outside of BC. 🙂
I’m actually thinking about such a map now.
If Illinois is represented by a heavy-machine manufacturer, wouldn’t John Deere be the most appropriate?
Cat is the perfect choice for Illinois. The largest manufacturer in the world for earthmoving and heavy equipment with headquarters and heavy presence in Illinois. Though Deere has its HQ in Illinois, the manufacturing facilities is dwarfed by Cat.
Agree with GJR. A lot of people don’t seem to appreciate what a world-beater Cat is. It is probably one of the most important 5 manufacturers of any kind in the US. It is really without equal in the world and in a highly strategic industry at that.
DuPont is a good one for Delaware, but perhaps Dogfish Head if you do an updated version!
Agree with those suggesting J&J for NJ, instead of Campbell’s. They have an iconic logo, and consumer brands too… Band-Aids! Baby shampoo! They’re just as recognizable, known nationally, and a much larger company as well.
Have to *disagree* with those suggesting AT&T: the company that is today known as “AT&T” is based in Dallas, TX, and is actually what used to be SBC. SBC, originally Southwestern Bell, was one of the Baby Bells spun off from the orignal, “Ma Bell”, AT&T. SBC bought AT&T after it had become a shadow of its former self, then adopted the brand & name.
So on the next iteration, J & J it should be…
Good job-on both the map and letting all the comments roll off you. Since it wasn’t meant to be highly scientific but rather just your viewpoint, you’ve handled all the criticism brilliantly. It was cool to learn about the relationship between companies and states. Thanks for sharing!
This is a great map, and if I have your permission, I would like to include it in a powerpoint presentation for my company. Is it permissible for me to use, and is there a way that I could edit it in order to make certain states pop-out as they are discussed.
Thank you for your consideration,
pft Sinclair for Utah, really? there’s hardly even any left of those in Utah. Try again. I’d say cafe rio, skull candy, or even Costco….Sinclair is lame!
Nifty graphic. As some one else pointed out, Carr’s is now owned by Safeway, and the stores are referred to as Carrs-Safeway stores. If I were choosing a representative corporation for Alaska, I would probably choose Arctic Slope Regional Corporation: a big employer, very visible in the state and representative of a Particularly Alaskan institution. Of course, its not that well known Outside.
British Petroleum, although not HQ’d in Alaska, has a large presence there and oil is definitely part of the Alaskan identity.
And then there is Alaskan Airlines, although I believe they are HQd in Seattle. Just some suggestions for a future map. Enjoyed checking this one out.
Very cool! What made you pick pillsbury over Target for Minnesota?
seen on FB today–hysterically true! And Washington DC doesn’t produce anything! 🙂
I’ve always loved maps, and especially the kind we used to have as children with pictures of the main crops or famous things about the state. Your map updates this very nicely. As a former Minnesotan, I’m of two minds about the suggestions for other corporations — they’re all good, but Pillsbury/General Mills has the virtue of history behind it–you can visit the old flour mills, now a state park in downtown Mpls. And as a native Mainer now returned, I was amused to see that virtually the only state-based corporation without controversy was L.L. Bean. At least here in southern Maine, I bet nearly everybody at least knows one person who works or has worked there. And as corporations go, they are fairly benign, and they really do make the Maine Hunting Shoes here. I look forward to future editions and the Canada map! Thanks!
Thanks, Nikki. I remember going to Minnesota and being struck by the big brick flour mills along the Mississippi. I suppose that’s why I chose Pillsbury over Target.
I live in the NYC area. Nothing about Verizon says NY to me. I would think it would have to be a finance or publishing company. So why not use the largest investment bank in the world with 200 years of roots in Manhattan…JPMorganChase.
Yeah, I agree — I would have thought a Wall Street company for New York.
With all the Proctor & Gamble products in Ohio you chose Wendy’s? Tide, Crest, Bounty, Charmin, Pampers, etc.
Sprint would seem to be the obvious brand for Kansas. While Garmin is a great company, Sprint is much larger with far more customers, employees, revenues. And, like all major wireless companies, it’s advertising and brand building expenditures are enormous – probably over $2 Billion per year. Assume brand recognition would be far beyond Garmin.
Maytag is no longer in business in Iowa, they pulled out… and wasn’t when you created this. Try Pioneer or John Deere.
In response to John, Hooters in fact is from Florida. It was founded in Clearwater in 1983. It is however headquartered in Atlanta. As a native Floridian, I would be more likely to choose Tropicana over Hooters. Outback Steakhouse and Publix are negotiable. Publix has presence in only a few states in the southeast. Even though Outback is headquartered in Tampa, I believe Tropicana still has a larger presence in the states. I’ll ignore the fact that it is now owned by Pepsi and headquartered in Chicago. Its roots stem from Bradenton and ALL of the oranges for its products are grown in Florida.
Wouldn’t Gatorade, Burger King, Olive Garden, red lobster, hard rock, Tupperware, Tropicana or any of a number of other companies be better than hooters?
What are Vermont and New Hampshire. I can’t figure out those at all.
Ben & Jerry’s & Timberland, respectively.
Thank you. Great choices.
I think Campbell’s was perfect for New Jersey! Im from southern jersey and my mom is from camden nj so everyone around there is familiar with its history with them. I enjoyed the whole map and thought it was awesome piece of art. Thank You!
Iowa should definitely be John Deere. Maytag was sold to Whirlpool 3 or 4 years ago.
A note on Sprint from a native of Kansas City (Mo.):
It’s a little like another company born in the city and long associated with it but actually headquartered elsewhere, one that’s now defunct.
Trans World Airlines was born in Kansas City as Transcontinental and Western Air, and for just about all of its history, everything associated with the airline was based there – its main maintenance base, its flight attendant (“stewardess” back when I was a kid) training academy, the works. But when Howard Hughes bought the airline, he moved the executive suite to New York City, and thus it became a NYC-based company.
So with Sprint, whose history and heritage are indeed all Kansas, true: it traces its roots to a small rural phone company founded in that state in the 1880s, its immediate corporate predecessor was headquartered in Westwood, and its landline spinoff company is based there again. But when it merged with Nextel, the Nextel brass in Reston, Va., got the corporate headquarters while Overland Park kept everything else. That may be why it didn’t show up on Steve’s radar.
Has there ever been an airline more associated with exotic destinations than Pan Am? I checked and found that it was founded in Florida. Alas, when air travel became nearly as common as bus travel PanAm did not adapt and went the way of the Passenger Pigeon.
Being originally from Connecticut I don’t quite agree with the choice of General Electric. While it’s the largest corporation with its headquarters in Connecticut it doesn’t have many other operations in the state. United Technologies is probably the most iconic Connecticut corporation, but as with many conglomerates its operating units are better known than the company itself.
Other choices? Xerox has the same issue as General Electric, while Cigna is pretty low-profile. ESPN isn’t an independent corporation. So what’s left? Aetna might be a good choice, as would Stanley Black & Decker. Priceline.com would work if you want a fast-growing up-and-comer. And to be really quirky, there’s always World Wrestling Entertainment.
What company for Maryland? Old Bay? McCormick?
California almost should be split into 2 parts. Apple (or Google) and Disney represent NorCal and SoCal quite well I think.
As for the comments on Disney and Florida, remember that theme parks are only one part of the Disney conglomerate. Disney HQ, the movie studio (the only major one with its HQ still in LA), and iconic animation department are all in Burbank, while the original Disneyland is further south. Furthermore, the Disney family influence is felt all over SoCal, from CalArts to the LA Phil concert hall, while Walt himself is buried at Forest Lawn (unless you’re one of those who believe he’s in a cryogenic chamber under Pirates of the Caribbean).
I am from Oklahoma, and it seems to me the Sonic corporation would fit perfect. And from what I can see all the other states seem pretty much accurate in your represesntation. Even though there may be difficult in chossing those who may be popular or more known for more then one, like wisconson and its cheese industry .
Love the map! I was born in LA and raised in GA and you hit those two on the mark! If you ever redo it or even if you don’t I’d love to see this put out as a puzzle. Let me know if you do!
Dr. Pepper for Texas?
-Exxon Mobile (largest company in the world)
-Dell (built out of a dorm room at University of Texas)
-Southwest Airlines (industry leader in efficiency, customer service, etc)
-Texas Instruments (invented the microchip….sorry silicon valley)
I made Japan version, being inspired by this.
How is everyone overlooking Burger King as the rep for Florida? They were started in Jacksonville and continue to run their headquarters in Miami. 12000 restaurants in more than 70 countries? An obvious choice I would say.
Nice job. Looks like you researched your choices very well and I’m sure you will have folks like me suggesting an alternative. Soooooo, here’s mine. Minnesota = 3M company. An icon in the state. No buyouts etc. still the same old company founded in 1902 in Two Harbors Mn. What say you. Thanks.
3M is a very good choice. They also have a simple, bold logo that stands out. For my next version, it’s a tossup between that and Target.
Really surprised at a few of these. Couple of suggestions.
-Washington: Microsoft lost to Starbucks? Think of the worldwide computers that run on their products. Those same countries don’t even have a Starbucks.
-Maryland: Geico over Under Armour? Don’t think so. Under Armour hands down.
Thinking that PepsiCo should be here somewhere. Founded in NC, headquartered in NY.
Exxon/Mobil has the largest capitalization of any public company in the world but Texas gets a tertiary drink company?
WV should be Shoney’s, a much larger chain.
Despite being a proud West Virginian born and raised, I’ve never heard of Gino’s. I’ve also never heard of Tudor’s, a brand some folks also suggested. While Shoney’s is a possibility, it is pretty regional.
Instead, may I suggest FIESTA (aka FIESTA WARE). The housewares brand is produced by Homer Laughlin China Co. in the Wheeling area. FIESTA WARE has a strong history around the state (my grandma had FW dishes in the 30s in Braxton Co.) AND the brand is sold across the country in many major department store chains, such as Macy’s. The brand has seen a major resurgence in popularity–very popular in wedding registries, for example, thanks to its use of cheerful colors and the ability to mix and match pieces. FW serves as a good representative of the state’s strong pottery and glass craftsman heritage. People from outside the state are often surprised that a brand they know/love comes from WV.
All that aside, just love the concept for the map. Very cool and sparking some great discussion. Thank you, Steve!
You inspired me to make one! Let me know what you think…
Wow. I love it!
I don’t know if this has already been said, but I have live in CT my whole life and have never associated it with Connecticut. NY yes. How about ESPN, Colt, Sikorsky or Pratt and Whitney for CT?
While I do not dispute the H-D tag for Wisconsin, there are some other likely representatives–companies that started out in Wisconsin. SC Johnson, Kimberly-Clark, and Kohls, just to name three that are still going strong.
I do like the discussion. The comments reveal lots of local pride.
The original / first JC Penney store still operates out of Kemmerer, Wyoming. Just a thought…..
Good one. Up in Alaska, we never heard of Taco John’s.
I would’ve thought Dole for Hawai’i, for sure.
My first thought for Hawaii was Dole too! But then I found out Dole is actually based in California. I think we all associate pineapples with Hawaii and assume the brand is based there.
I concede…I see that Dole originated in Hawaii and only fairly recently headquartered in California…my bad!
Bank of america does NOT represent the best of NC, PEPSI does. Pepsi was born here,,, and is still going strong.
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I think that the author missed on Kansas. What about the aviation company’s? and the other large manufacturer’s.
Michigan is also known for Motown Records, Little Caesar’s Pizza, Domino’s Pizza, and Dow Chemical.
Those are big, but really hard to top the auto industry for significance
Ford has been around longer than GM & no bail-out!
no one in ilinois would think of mcdonald’s or cat as local, especially with john deere around since 1837, about 70 years longer than caterpillar. for the locals, john deere is all there is.
Using Carrs-Safeway for Alaska, when Carrs are now Safeway in every sense of the word, is just plain wrong. Carrs is dead in all but name, and that name isn’t even used on the plastic grocery bags which use only the Safeway logo. I miss Carrs very very much. Alaska Airlines would be a much better choice. Started in Alaska, tho now headquartered in Seattle, Alaska Airlines continues to be an essential-and in many instances the only- air carrier in Alaska. It continues to give Alaskans special discounts and deals. Alaskans love Alaska Airlines.
4 I’d change:
WA: Microsoft or Boeing
Mass: Harvard, when I think of Mass I think universities
CA: Hewlett-Packard – what started Silicon Valley
NV: The Tropicana Casino (I think that was it, whatever one it was that started the destination gambling business)
Cool map but West Virginia’s brand should have been Fiesta, made by the Homer Laughlin China Co in Newell, WV. Every decent department store in the country sells Fiesta dinnerware in every color under the sun.
I’ve heard of Fiestaware. Their early red ceramic glazes contained uranium, though of course the products they make today aren’t radioactive. Anyway, thanks for the tip!
As a baker at the original Great Harvest in Great Falls, Montana, I couldn’t agree more with your choice to represent our state! I do have issue with your selection for Hawaii; I would have gone with Mauna Loa. Informative piece, thank you!
I have a question, what about Microsoft, if was founded in Washington and is worth far more than Starbucks?
Actually, it was founded in Albuquerque! New Mexico, but their headquarter is in Redmond, Washington.
This is a great effort – kudos to Mr. Lovelace.
“Thinking that PepsiCo should be here somewhere. Founded in NC, headquartered in NY.”
Good call – replace Bank of America – which $@c#ks so far as its credit card services go. I think their hands were pretty dirty during the real estate bubble – making utterly trashy loans along with most other large banks. I woudn’t think any bank “represents” any state in any kind of a valid fashion. Their minions were (still are?) forced to answer phone calls with their slogan “higher standards”. I laughed for a good half-minute when I first heard that.
Laurie Constantino is correct to say that “Carrs is dead in all but name” since Safeway bought out the Carr family. I still thought that picking Carrs was apt since it indicated a good job of research. Alaska (NOT “Alaskan”) Airlines is a good alternate choice. Also consider Alaska Brewing Co. founded in the eighties and based in Juneau. They are a largish Craft Brewer with wide distribution and a sterling reputation.
General Electric – along with Westinghouse – is fundamentally responsible for electrifying the world if not directly, then by lighting the way (literally) for others to follow it’s lead. It’s history is so bound up with New York, that I’d move it there and find something else for Connecticut:
(OTOH maybe I’m just an electrical nerd with a little knowledge of history)
(I just tried a word association with three women at work – I said “General Electric”, got: “light bulb”, “radios”, and “Ford”)
It looks like ESPN was founded in CT – a little lightweight, but would be the only TV network on the “list”.
Subway is “new” but is also true heavyweight – founded in Ct.
Timex was originally Waterbury Clock Company founded 1854 in CT – I pick Timex due to longevity and recognition.
BTW, Macy’s (for New York) may appeal to the chic crowd, but does not hold a candle to GE.
Verizon, as you pointed out, is a Baby Bell – too freakin’ new to stand up to GE.
Taxachusettes (sic) is a tough one:
Even it’s well known brands (Samsonite, Howard Johnson’s) are second tier, perhaps because the state is not so business-freindly?
Hooter’s is an example of a brand bigger than it’s company – fewer than 500 locations in the US – yet it seems to be ubiquitous.
OK, out of gas – what a great blog post.
The fact that you think that Macys would appeal to the “chic” is pretty funny. Why are you looking past Gillette in Mass anyway? Gillette is in everyway a first tier global giant. As for NY, I’m not sure why JPMorgan Chase, whose Manhattan roots started in the John Adams presidency (NOT Quincy Adams) and who employ 260K people worldwide in the industry for which NYC serves as the global capital….isn’t a more obvious choice.
It seems to me even pre-merger JPMorgan OR Chase Manhattan (previously Chemical) Bank would have been solid candidates on their own. But combined you have 6 or 7 of the biggest banks in US history going back to George Washington’s lifetime in one company occupying three huge skyscrapers in Manhattan alone today.
You make a pretty convincing argument for JPMorgan Chase, I must say. I do like their logo as well. It was one of the first companies to use a modern, abstract design.
Macy’s is not “Chic”?! Too much blue hair in that crowd?
I may be old school but retail outlets with a clothing cachet seem too niche to really have the kind of identification with Corporate America that real corporations have.
Those who think Saks or Macy’s are “iconic” seem overly focused on shopping – rather provincial.
Sears and JCPenney are well past their heyday, but in their day had far more brand recognition than Saks, MAcy’s, et al ever dreamed of.
(who ever heard of a Macy’s catalog in an outhouse?)
Garmin Current US Revenue $2.78 Billion
—Started in Lenexa, Kansas
Koch Industries Current US Revenue $115 Billion
—-Started in Wichita Kansas
I came across this map, if anyone sees this. You got Indiana straight in the Hoosier. That’s one hundred percent correct! I see those stupid jacked trucks everywhere here.
Florida should be Publix Supermarkets. They have been in business over 75 years and did begin in Florida. There are far more Publix stores than there are Hooters. I’m sure Publix is also more successful too.
Apple? eBay? Facebook? Google? HP? Intel? Tesla?
Nope. Try Disney. And this is coming from someone from NorCal.
Procter & Gamble has been headquartered out of Cincinnati, OH for 175 years. Much longer and much, much LARGER than Wendy’s.
I think you did great Steve-smart.
New Jersey you went with Campbell’s? Did you somehow miss Johnson & Johnson? They were started earlier, they’re far, far larger, make much more of a global impact, and employee a lot more people. They’re #42 on the Fortune 500 (as opposed to 334) and have a huge impact on the state.
Thanks, AJS, for the info. I’ll keep that in mind when I do next year’s map.
FLORIDA should be DISNEY
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Georgia holds the HQs of AT&T, Home Depot, UPS, Rubbermaid, and Delta Air Lines to name a few… But Coca-Cola is definitely the best choice to represent us! Invented here, headquartered here, and the WORLD’S most recognizable brand!
Deere and Company was started in Illinois in 1837. Moline, IL is the world headquarters for the company. Yellow must be your favorite color, cause we are all Green in Illinois and around the world.
Don’t forget Boeing, Ace Hardware, Gatorade, State Farm, Walgreens, are also based in Illinois.
north carolina = Lowe’s
I’m astounded that Starbucks made the list, rather than Microsoft. Both are controversial, and even arguably worldwide, but who cares about a ho-hum cup of coffee?
As far as California, Google or HP would be better choices than Apple, but I would have shunned them all for one of our food or wine brands, maybe Foster Farms chicken (Modesto). People see those brands every day and think of California, but Apple is just another multinational which might as well be based in Tokyo for all the notice it gets here.
and tropicana for florida
Hasbro for Rhode Island? I would think CVS by far is more well known these days.
Also, PepsiCo and IBM are both hq’ed in New York. So are are four major sports leagues MLB, NFL, NBA, and NHL all headquartered in Manhattan.
While Denny’s is perhaps the most well-known brand based out of South Carolina, it’s hardly representative of the state. Denny’s isn’t actually a very common chain in South Carolina, and is vastly outnumbered by similar chains like Waffle House and Huddle House.
A much more ubiquitous South Carolina-owned company is BI-LO, which can be found in almost every town across the state, or, unfortunately, Advance America, a disgusting loan sharking scheme that preys on the poor, and are ubiquitous wherever minimum-wage jobs can be found.
More proudly South Carolinian companies would be Southern Tide, a popular local clothing brand, and RJ Rocker, a damned good beer, but they aren’t familiar brands outside the state.
Thanks for producing such an interesting map. I would love to see what the runners-up would be for each state. The hardest must have been California (Disney, Levi-Strauss, Warner Bros, Intel), Washington (Amazon, Boeing, Microsoft), Texas (Southwest, American Airlines, Texas Instruments), New York (Various financial institutions). As for Massachusetts, good bets would have been Ocean Spray, Staples, Boise, EMC Corporation, Fidelity Investments, Prudential Insurance. The following are choices that I would have made differently:
1. Illinois – McDonald’s
2. Washington – Boeing (HQ in Chicago, Manufacturing in WA)
3. Kentucky – United Parcel Service
4. California – Disney or Levi-Strauss
SAKS for Alabama? No, it should be Southern Living.
Actually, for North Carolina Bank of America was originally Nationsbank which acquired Bank of America and took its name.
Here’s a few more for Kentucky:
Fruit of the Loom, headquartered in Bowling Green
Corvette, made in Bowling Green since 1981
Louisville Slugger, most famous baseball bat ever
I like most of your list, but I think there are a couple I would have changed.
First, for Connecticut, I would have selected either The Hartford or Aetna. Fitting for the insurance capital of the world, right?
For Utah, I would have selected Ancestry.com instead of Sinclair. Not only does it capture a major hobby of the largest demographic of my home state (genealogy and the Mormons, respectively), but it’s something people outside of the Intermountain West have heard of.
For North Carolina instead of BoA, how bout Cheerwine
For Washington state I beleive Microsoft and Boing are more representative than Starbucks, besides headquarter offices in the state, they are some of the largest employers.
This would be an easier exercise if we knew what the map is supposed to be of. It is titled “corporate states,” but the emphasis is on brands, not corporations. Or is it logos? If this were titled “Most Famous Brand from Each State,” the task would be simpler.
I see four serious problems with the map. 1) The map includes some brands which have a historic connection to the state but have no modern connection (e.g., Super 8) or the connection is tenuous (e.g., Saks owned briefly by an Alabama company); 2) At least two, Anheuser-Busch and GM are not brands but parent companies; 3) Some of the brands (e.g., Albertsons, Gillette) are now owned by out of state companies (again, is it brands or corporations); 4) The choice is just plain wrong about many of them. McDonald’s is obviously more famous/important/significant (which is it?) than Caterpillar; Burger King or Sunkist more famous than Hooters; Disney more famous than Apple; Pepsi or any of the TV networks more famous than Verizon. Lexmark is a non-sequitur for Kentucky (what about KFC, Corvette, Louisville Slugger, some brand of liquor) as is AOL for Virginia. Pizza Hut is the most prominent brand to come out of Kansas; the nexus of Garmin to Kansas is tenuous. This map just hasn’t been thought through.
I suggest Eli Lilly for Indiana.
Also Chrysler for Indiana.
Minnesota is a tough call. I first thought of 3M – Minnesota Minning and Manufacturing, but Pillsbury is just as well known.
The Piilsbury connection for MN might be fair, but there’s no way it’s more iconic to the state than 3M or Target.
Indiana should have been Ball corp !!!!
surprised that NH isn’t Dunkin Donuts. Maybe it’s a tie as to which is better known–Timberland or DD?
ha ha! AND Exxon Mobil represents Texas WAY WAY WAY better than a mere sodapop brand. Oil is the essence of Texas.
Hi! Great idea! Would be a nice resource for schools… for Florida I think Hawaiian Tropic would be a great choice. .even though the name doesn’t jump out and say it. .. it was developed in Daytona Beach and when I lived down there Ron Rice have so much back to the community!
I’m from Mississippi and I’ve never heard of Peavey before this map.
Peavey is huge in the music industry.
Back Yard Burgers was founded in Cleveland, MS
Barq’s root beer was founded in Biloxi.
Stein Mart was founded in Greenville, MS in 1902.
And Barq’s root beer was founded in Biloxi in 1898.
When I think of Pennsylvania, I think Coal or Steel, and US Steel owns half the state….
I would have to say that Iowa would be Amana instead!
There aren’t that many well-known companies in my home state of Montana, but you missed the most famous by a long shot.
KOA – Kampgrounds of America. Founded in Billings and still headquartered there.
you mean pepsi isn’t more popular than bank of america for NC? hmm…
Also, Delta Airlines for GA or JetBlue for NY (if you only want one Airline).
You need to check your history on Saks. It was acquired by Proffitt’s relatively recently but opened in New York many years ago. It is definitely not descended from Proffitt’s.
Hillerich & Bradsby aka Louisville Slugger was started in Louisville,KY in the 1880’s surely that is higher up than Lexmark!
West Virginia is not well-represnted here. Gino’s is pretty lousy pizza and they don’t reach far beyond out borders. A better pick would be Fiesta (Homer-Laughlin China) or Blenko Glass.
Or at least Mr. Bee Potato chips.
But not Gino’s. There’s one two blocks from me and I never eat there.
Kroger is a big corporation which was founded in 1883 in Cincinnati, Ohio. Today they have stores with different names in other states like King Soopers, City Market, Fry’s and Dillions.
Late to the game, but truly surprised at Campbell’s over Johnson&Johnson for NJ. Still operating their world headquarters out of New Brunswick, NJ.
Henry Heinz called and said he’s got 57 good reasons why his company should be the representative for PA.
I think Hawaii should be Dole.
Virginia should be Smithfield not AOL. AOL is relatively new compared to Smithfield and at least Smithfield isn’t a more or less has-been company. Who hasn’t heard of Smithfield Ham?
There are a lot of comments, so I don’t know if this has been mentioned, But as far as what I think should be on there, I think that for Texas it should be Whataburger, rather than Dr. Pepper.
I’m not sure about Gino’s for WV. I’m from WV, still live here, and wasn’t even aware that we had Gino’s here, although I’ve been to them in other states. Gino’s sure doesn’t represent the state. Oliverio’s (peppers and sauces) would be a better choice.
I haven’t really heard of Gino’s either but I’m from the northern part of the state, but I haven’t heard of the peppers either, I thought of Marquee cinemas, Ogden newspapers (as a stretch), Gabe’s (or Gabriel Brothers), or even Wheeling-Pittsburgh steel even though they went bankrupt in 2013 it’s probably the best our state had.
You can do so much better with NY… Think of all. The financial institutions that are nation if not worldwide brands that started and are based in NY… If AL can claim Saks (which it should not because P started in TN and Saks as we know it is owned by a Canadian company) the give NY Macy’s… Or want to be creative use the Yankees as a brand!
How about Avon or MLB or Simon and Schuster or IBM or JetBlue or…or… or….
Simon is Indiana based
Lexmark just updated their logo, if you’re interested in updating this map from three years ago. Just saw it featured on Mental Floss. Disclaimer: I work there (just a worker bee!), in the Lexington office.
Tabasco is not a corporation. They are a family owned business.
Steve I appreciate you taking the comments in stride it’s hard posting and waiting for backlash I live in Texas but am from TN and I would have gone w/Mr. Jack Daniels over FedEx
Jack Daniels is a pretty good idea. I might include that in my next version.
I would like to ask for your permission to use your map in a Sporcle quiz (with proper acknowledgements, of course)
Sure. You can use it as long as you credit me. Thanks for asking, and good luck!
Minnesota should absolutely be either Target or 3M. Both were founded in the 1900s in Minnesota and still headquartered there. Pillsbury basically became defunct when General Mills purchased it.
Kentucky should have been Jim Beam, maker’s Mark, or another well known bourbon-that’s kinda our thing. Well bourbon n horses.
GE definitely works well for Connecticut, but if they do move (which is currently being discussed), I’d suggest going with one of the insurance companies. We’re best known as the “Insurance Capital of the Nation/World” and as home to, amongst others, The Hartford (which would be my pick).
Of course, we’re also home to Subway, but I don’t think people really think of foot-long meatball grinders when thinking of Connecticut. 🙂 Especially since we don’t even call them “subs” here!
Kansas: I would argue that Coleman (based in Wichita since 1902) is a much more prevalent brand as an outdoor gear manufacturer than Garmin (even though I love my Garmin GPS and Vivofit). Cessna and Learjet shouldn’t be ignored either. Did you know Pizza Hut was started near the campus of Wichita State University? To bad it’s no longer located in state! :o)
Virginia: I would argue that AOL is no longer as significant of a brand as Capital One, Mars or Jackson Hewitt
Washington: I realize Starbucks is perhaps a less provocative selection than Microsoft and Amazon, but let’s not forget about RealNetworks, RedFin, Skyway Luggage and some significant brewery & winery names!
Minnesota could be represented also by 3M, Target, Best Buy, or Spam. Those are all started and based out of Minnesota.
Alabama should be Russell.
Kansas should be Pizza Hut.
Maryland should be McCormick.
Oklahoma is spot on with Sonic.
CT should be subway or bic pen. Bic makes the 2 most stolen and most used things pens and lighters
Texas: Dr Pepper isn’t the worst choice since it is known throughout the United States and some parts across the globe, but there are other options. Some of them not as known as other bit that everyone in Texas knows for sure.
6. Texas Instruments (probably the most known calculators throughout math classes around the world.
7. Scholastic (basically everyone’s texts books come From Texas.)
Nevada: yes zappos is there but if we are talking about Nevada why do most people go there? Las Vegas. I would say Ceasars Entertainment they have 58 casinos world wide, it started in Reno as Harrahs entertainment in 1936 and everyone knows Caesars Palace. Zappos is ok but no one really knows ther are from Nevada.
GM makes sense for my state. Probably the biggest and most well known company we have. Got some suggestions for Michigan for a possible future map.
Chrysler (although they’re with Fiat now, with their headquarters in London)
Domino’s (biggest pizza chain in the world)
Indiana should be Eli Lilly for sure. They have had a huge impact worldwide. In my opinion, no one really thinks Cummins when they think of Indiana.
Pizza Hut started in Kansas back in the 1950s. Although the headquarters is not in Kansas, I think pizza is more widespread and acknowledged than Garmin.
Maryland should be Under Armor, it was founded by a UMD alum and is headquartered in Baltimore.
Its really funny when you notice there are no Saks stores in Alabama. Saks bought out Parisian and McRae’s. which it then sold off to Belk. Maybe Books-a-Million which does exist in the state and is actually headquartered here?
The first company I think of in Hawaii is Dole (pineapples)
Heinz for Pennsylvania. Dole for Hawaii. In and Out Burger for California. Indy race cars or the movie Hoosier for Indiana.
Steve, love the map and your easy going nature with all the comments. Forget oil companies, I think Dr. Pepper is the perfect choice for Texas! Who doesn’t drink it in the south? A few other thoughts…
Walgreens for Illinois. Been there over 100 years and now an international company. I’ve heard it said in Chicago that directions are given by Walgreens locations vs street names…lol.
What about Gatorade for Florida? Yes, Hooters originated from there and Tropicana & oranges/juice are quintessential FL, but Gatorade is huge and founded at the University of Florida.
Just some thoughts; I’m no expert. Again, loved the graphic map and learning about states from the comments has been educational & interesting. Kudos!
Being from Michigan I think you missed the mark by not choosing Ford. After all it was this company that paved the way for manufacturing today. Plus they are the brand where gm is just a parent company, but then again you could have just said pure Michigan and it would have worked too.
Fiesta Ware made in Hancock county, WV by the Homer Laughlin company. A better choice than Gino’s
JC Penney is out of Kemmerer, Wyoming. Definitely more famous than Taco Johns.
Not bad at all, but I believe U-Haul would have been a better choice for Arizona, and either Marlboro or Pepsi for North Carolina.
West Virginia’s most famous brand is actually Fiesta Ware. It’s made in Newell, WV by the Homer Laughlin China Company.
Florida is better represented by Carnival Cruise Lines or Burger King rather than Hooters.
Gatorade or Disney
Pepsi should be North Carolinas biggest brand.
Washington State is so much more than Starbucks. It’s also the birthplace/HQ of Nordstrom, Costco, Amazon, Nintendo, Boeing, Microsoft…
Being an ex-pat Seattle native, I agree that Boeing, Nordsroms, or Microsoft would better represent Washington. Boeing’s been there since at least the 1920s.
Kansas should be represented by Pizza Hut . . . founded in Wichita.
Iowa should be represented by John Deere….its a company almost 100 years older than Maytag
I know Wal-Mart is big, but wouldn’t the Clinton Crime Syndicate be a good choice for Arkansas?
Orville Redenbacher for Indiana…never heard of Cummins
Every Dodge diesel truck and half of semis have Cummins engines.
Florida should be Disney not hooters.
Cummins is a good choice for Indiana, but I might have chosen Eli Lilly instead. This is a good list, though.
Or Steak ‘n Shake, or Dow AgroSciences.
I commend Taco Johns for Wyoming however a more well known store was started in the small town of Kemmerer WY, in 1902, JC Penney.
Regarding South Dakota, Daktronics might be a better choice than Motel 6. The former is a world leader in is sphere, while the later tends to invite snickers – no matter how successful the mtol chain has been.
West Virginia should have been Musselman’s applesauce, easily. Never heard of Gino’s.
Ironically GEICO moved it’s HQ to Maryland but it is know for having the majority of employees in Fredericksburg VA. While AOL started in VA, it’s a minor business as of today. A more appropriate option for Virginia could have been Mars or even Microtech. AOL is a bit old and brand is obsolete.
Wait, hooters for Florida? Wouldn’t Gatorade, Burger King, Olive Garden, red lobster, hard rock, Tupperware, Tropicana or any of a number of other companies be better than hooters?
What a load of bunkum. No one in Connecticut identifies with G&E on any emotional or historical level. Try Sikorsky Aircraft and Hartford Insurance Group , two huge CT companies that have been employers of Nutmegger families for generations. More recent brands native to Connecticut that we like are Dooney & Burke, Ghurka and Harney & Sons Tea. We also love Breitling Watches, anchored in Wilton.
Speaking from across the water in the UK, the first thing I associate with Tennessee is Jack Daniels.
For West Virginia, I’d go with Fiestaware.
Pepsi for NC!!!! Based out of new bern!!!!
Maryland should be Under Armour. Geico HQ is in Virginia.
This is really cool! Im from Ut and had no Idea sinclair would have been liked to Utah at all. love learning things just for fun!!! I live in Tx now and would like to say that if people here did not hav Dr. Pepper all hell would break loose 🙂 they drink ice tea and D.P. who cares about water!!!!
What about Frito-Lay for Texas, it started and is still headquartered in here, you can even see the history in the Red Museum in Dallas downtoen
Jack Daniels Tennessee
Indiana: Eli Lilly
Gatorade is Florida, RCA is also Camden NJ
Maryland should change to Under Armour. It may be already discussed in the 452 comments above but I thought I’d add my opinion 🙂
Dole for Hawaii
Marlboro should be Virginia’s brand.
Just going to through this out there for KY: Louisville Slugger.
I kind of can’t believe you selected Wendy’s instead of Limited brands for Ohio…the Victoria’s Secret Fashion show alone has to be more famous than the Frosty.
MACYS for Ohio.
Connecticut will have to change soon. GE is moving to Massachusetts.
Where is Microsoft
Steven doesn’t travel much. Nor do most of the commenters. Too many to comment. But DP over Texas oil has got to be the most inaccurate.
While I get Starbucks being Washington, it must have been a challenge selecting just one brand, considering Microsoft, Amazon, and Boeing are a few more names easily associated with our state!
For West Virginia, I think you should use Mylan. They are leading manufacturer of generic and specialty medication. They were founded in White Sulphur Springs WV. Here is the wiki link https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mylan
Pepsi in NC, forget the bank!
I think that as time changes, some of these may update. Currently, I believe Under Armor would be a more accurate representation for Maryland. The CEO is investing in the growth of his company, along with the growth of Baltimore, the major city in Maryland, in a BIG way!
GE is a NYS company, still in Schenectady..THAT is a better rep than VERIZON!! CT has Hartford Ins…a name, logo, and brand or sumarine manufacture in groton….
And what was the reason Pepsi wasn’t assigned to NC?
I think that Ford should be Michigan’s (for personal reasons, I suppose) and Tiffany & Co. should 100% be above Verizon for New York.
New Mexico should be Blakes Lota Burgers!!!! Many childhood memories of their restaurants!
Isnt Hobby Lobby a based out of Oklahoma. Also I know the QuickTrip Corporation is headquartered in Tulsa.
Velcro is based in Manchester, NH. Guessing that every home in the USA has something Velcro….Timberland boots are nice, but you’re not going to find them in every home in America.
Taco John’s for Wyoming but really should have been J.C. Penney.
I thought of Dole for Hawaii.
North Carolina – Bank of America
South Caroliba – Denny’s
Both of these companies began in California.
Hooters? Not Gatorade? …
Gatorade is owned by PepsiCo in NY.
The explanation of Saks and Proffitt’s under Alabama is completely incorrect. Saks was an independent company and was purchased by Proffitt’s, which originated in Maryville, Tennessee. Proffitt’s was a family owned company that was purchased by a group of investors lead by the Tennessee businessman R. Brad Martin in the 1980’s. I worked for Mr. Martin both in his then home office in Memphis, Tennessee, and then at Proffitt’s headquarters in Maryville, TN. Proffitt’s began purchasing other small department stores in the southeast, which is likely how the headquarters got moved to Alabama (presumably they purchased a store in Alabama after I left).
Yeah. I goofed on that one.
I don’t see AOL representing Virginia. Probably not popular, but needs to be Philip Morris / Marlboro.
GEICO for Maryland? A native of the state I think either McCormick Spice Co. or Under Armour. UA was founded in Baltimore and still headquarters in Baltimore. If you question McCormick, then you have never been near the plant here on the day they process cinnamon (yum) or garlic powder.
Kodak for New York
In Southern California, Verizon (the NY favorite here) was NOT from the Bell system (AT&T), but from General Telephone (GTE), which was the Bell system competition. My father worked for a Bell company & our home had GTE service, so we were well aware of the difference!
Adidas/ columbia sports wear / Nike / Intel are headquarters in oregon.
Bell Telephone started in Massachusetts. It is perhaps more important than Gillette.
Even should be gabes not Gino’s
I mean wv should be gabes not Gino’s sorry, autocorrect
I’m from Baltimore Maryland and am Under Armour proud! I’m surprised that GEICO was the choice for MD and not Under Armour.
How about the Church of Latter Day Saints (Mormons) in Utah. Big corporation.
I also like big oil for Texas but would suggest Texaco instead of Exxon Mobil just because of the name association.
In Ohio, I think Wendy’s is an okay representation, but Kroger, Goodyear and Johnson & Johnson would have been good too. Oh, and Nationwide Insurance.
BTW, if you do go with Wendy’s, then New Mexico should be Los Pollos Hermanos!
Oops, not J&J, I meant Proctor and Gamble out of Cincy.
Bank of America was actually founded in San Francisco. It was originally the Bank of Italy. Georgia is an imposter owner. Just my opinion
Stein Mart was founded in Greenville, Mississippi in 1902.
Barq’s root beer was founded in Biloxi, Mississippi in either 1898 or 1900 by Edward Barq.
Johnson & Johnson for NJ
loved the blog and your style
For Vermont I’d think Green Mountain Coffee Roasters (Now Green Mountain Keurig) has eclipsed Ben &Jerry’s due to the success of the Keurig coffee maker and the K-cup. Cabot cheeses are also quite famous (they’re now part of AgriMark).
It would be interesting to see a similar map but with the logos of the company that donated the most money to state political campaigns “owning”each state (or maybe two or three logos per state if there were nearly equal influence purchasing budgets.
That is an interesting idea, Peter, especially in a post-Citizens United age.
Having lived in Peoria for years, I certainly understand assigning CAT to Illinois. But why not McDonald’s?
How is Publix not Florida’s representing Corp. There’s more of them in the state and are identified by more people.
Really? Geico for Maryland? I think under armor has over taken them.
I would have said leinenkugels for WI
Btwo, do you have family in KY?
Leinenkugels is a good choice. I’ve had a couple of their beers and they’re pretty good.
I don’t have any family in Kentucky that I know of. The Lovelace side of my family is from northern Arkansas. Who knows, though? The Lovelaces in Kentucky could be my distant relatives.
Would have gone with Dole for Hawaii…although now HQ’d in CA it was founded in HI…very cool list / idea
Another thought, GE is not the ideal choice for CT as the company wasn’t founded there and is currently in the process of moving HQ to Boston…Colt might be a better choice as the company has been based in Hartford since before the Civil War or perhaps Sikorsky Aircraft in Stratford since 1929
For Vermont you could have also done Burton Snowboards or Cabot cheese, but I think Ben & Jerry’s ice cream probably has the largest production and sales. We really are state of small towns and people who favor small local businesses.
What program do you use to get these images into the shape of each state? I’d like to do something similar for a personal project – is there software available for this type of activity?
I use Adobe Illustrator.
good work here
Steve, I have “borrowed” your excellent map for my newsletter, Bobbing Around, and am including a link back.
Thank you, Bob!
I was surprised you didn’t use Disney for Florida. This was very interesting though
As a Minnesotan, I would have thought Minnesota would get 3M (or maybe Mayo Clinic). Minnesota is the first “M” in 3M! You’d be hard pressed to find a Minnesotan that would have said Pillsbury. While General Mills still has a plant in Northfield (you can smell the flavor of Malt-o-Meal they are making throughout town if the wind is right), there haven’t been any Pillsbury products made here in a very long time.
Maytag has not been in iowa for close to 15 years now. Sure it’s from iowa, but there is some bitter resentment towards the brand that sold out to whirlpool and then dumped its hometown to go be manufactured overseas costing hundreds of Iowans their jobs.
Huzzah, Steve! Thanks for the EXCELLENT choice for my home state, The Land of Enchantment, NEW MEXICO! Not to mention ROSWELL, home-away-from-home for aliens everywhere, and ALLSUP’S! Before the founding of Allsup’s, travelers had to rely on sketchy gas station bathrooms, and you couldn’t get a crispy-fried burrito anywhere (unless you had an adventurous abuela)!
Sadly, they are being pushed out of many a flashing-yellow-light community by Town & Country. But in my heart, Allsup’s will be fondly remembered–and always patronized whenever I visit!