The Corporate States of America

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, Zappos is based out of Henderson.
New Hampshire
Timberland The Timberland Company is headquartered in Stratham.
New Jersey
Campbell’s Campbell’s is based out of Camden.
New Mexico
Allsup’s Allsup’s was founded in Roswell in 1956.
New York
Verizon Today based out of Manhattan, Verizon is the descendant of several Baby Bells.
North Carolina
Bank of America Bank of America is currently based out of Charlotte.
North Dakota
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.
Rhode Island
Hasbro Hassenfeld Brothers was founded in Providence in 1923. Today, Hasbro is based in Pawtucket.
South Carolina
Denny’s Denny’s is based out of Spartanburg.
South Dakota
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.
West Virginia
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!

Steve Lovelace

Steve Lovelace is a writer and graphic artist. After graduating Michigan State University in 2004, he taught Spanish in Samoa before moving to Dallas, Texas. He blogs regularly at

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609 Responses

  1. Marnie Singer says:

    I found this on Facebook at

    Can you also list the companies by state? I can’t read what Delaware and Rhode Island are!


  2. Chase says:

    Wisconsin should be Miller or US Bank, not HD…. HD is pretty benign compared to the former two.

    • Michael says:

      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.

      • Denny Powers says:

        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!

        • Marina says:

          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.

      • Conor says:

        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.

        • A22DNAL says:

          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.

    • Scott says:

      My thoughts too

    • Suzan says:

      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!

  3. FunKyChick says:

    Kentucky = KFC

  4. Torsten Adair says:

    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?

    • Mike says:

      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.

    • Sandy Smith says:

      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.

  5. alexis says:

    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.

    • Raquel says:

      I think Massachusetts should be Dunkin Donuts!

    • Kurt says:

      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.

        • AJC says:

          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.

        • Carolyne says:

          Though Yuengling comes to mind for PA as opposed to chocolate. After all, it’s America’s oldest brewery.

      • Paige says:

        As a Kentuckian, UPS or Jim Beam (Beam Inc. owns Maker’s Mark & Jim Beam) would be more representative of Kentucky.

      • Rich says:

        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.

      • Katrina says:

        But Pratt & Whitney has better jet engines!

    • Robert says:

      I think Dunkin would be the better choice for Massachusetts. While Sam Adams is a nationally known company, it is still considered a Microbrew.

    • Patrick Ray says:

      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.”

  6. HJW says:

    Rhode Island – CVS!

  7. TARA says:

    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.

      • Mary says:

        SONIC is a great choice.

        • Sandy Smith says:

          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.

          • Misty says:

            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.

      • Jahn Ghalt says:

        This is the Corporate States of America – not of Texas, California, etc.

        Sonic is to Braum’s as Alaska Airlines is to Carrs.

      • Michael says:

        Sonic is the best. No better choice for OK thrn Sonic

    • Dustin says:

      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.

  8. MBL says:

    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.

      • Nathan says:

        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.

      • Victor says:

        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

      • Alena says:

        Orville Redenbacher popcorn would have been a great choice for Indiana!

      • Shelley says:

        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.

      • Pam P says:

        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

        • John S. says:

          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.

          • KNJ says:

            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!

      • Dan Garnitz says:

        And Elkhart is the RV capital …. Most major RV brands are produced there.

      • Katie says:

        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.

      • Michael Stamer says:

        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.

        • Craig says:

          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.

    • Ron says:

      The motor in every dodge diesel truck and semis

    • Craig says:

      Eli Lilly or Maybe Orville Reddenbacher. Indiana produces something like 90% of popcorn.

  9. TEFCON says:

    No Under Armour in Maryland? Come on…

    • charmcitygal says:

      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.”)

      • Tek says:

        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.

        • momcat says:

          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!

      • Sandy Smith says:

        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?

    • Just Some Guy says:


      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

      Pennsylvania –

      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.

    • WheelSee says:

      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.

      • David Larson says:

        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.

      • Jahn Ghalt says:

        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).

      • Doc_S says:

        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.

    • John S. says:

      Black & Decker / DeWalt

    • Chip says:

      UA is a great Maryland story but as far as “big corporations” in Maryland the first thing I think of is Marriott (in Bethesda).

  10. W says:

    Add the US territory of Puerto Rico. Brand: Bacardi.

  11. Conitha King says:

    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.

      • Charles says:

        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.

          • Lance says:

            Yes, goof, I’ve love in Alabama for 43 years and I was scratching my head on that one.

          • Pam P says:

            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?? 😉

          • Tim says:

            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.

      • Bill Blommer says:

        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.

  12. NJGuy says:

    I think Johnson & Johnson is the most well known NJ brand with the biggest global reach.

    • Will says:


      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.

      • dthree says:

        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.

    • Angela from NJ says:

      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.

  13. Justin O'Reilly says:

    @Torsten Adair actually GE is Connecticut and Verizon is New York.

  14. Andrew says:

    Would have thought NC would have been Pepsi…

  15. BReynolds says:

    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.

      • Sandy Smith says:

        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.

  16. Jerry says:

    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.

      • Brad says:

        How come Amazon didn’t make that short list?

      • Corey McQueen says:

        The Starbucks logo is one of the most visually interesting.

      • Daniel Marshall says:

        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.

        • Eric says:

          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

  17. Erin says:

    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.

      • Sandy Smith says:

        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)”.

  18. Vic Kolenc says:

    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.

      • Corey McQueen says:

        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.

      • Eric says:

        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.

          • Tennille Johnston says:

            What about Texas Instruments?

          • Simone says:

            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!

          • KNJ says:

            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.

      • Tom Herbertson says:

        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.

      • CK says:


      • iara says:

        No. No. NO. You totally nailed Texas. Do not fill yourself with self-doubt. That would be completely un-Texan of you.

  19. Big D mamma! says:

    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!

  20. Wade says:

    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.

  21. Wade says:

    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.

  22. Sarah Perba says:

    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.

      • Heather Kuhn says:

        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!

    • Jessica says:

      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.

        • JERRY says:


          • 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.

  23. Vanessa says:

    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.

    • Lisa says:

      Ya but Disney began in California, and still is a big presence there as well. That is a tough one.

    • Perry says:

      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”.

  24. J. Austin says:

    Krispy Kreme should represent NC, my home state. KK is headquartered in my hometown, Winston-Salem.

  25. Joel says:

    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.

    • Paige says:

      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!!!!)

      • kyle says:

        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.

    • Pauli says:

      Actually KFC stopped using Kentucky Fried Chicken because they wanted to get away from what some people thought was un-healthy, “Fried”.

  26. Nathan says:

    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!

  27. Chris says:

    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.

  28. John says:

    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.

  29. Bmckeever says:

    Maryland-old bay
    Nc- Pepsi

  30. Sam says:

    I would have suggested Monsanto for Missouri.

  31. 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!

  32. Justin says:

    What is Hawaii?

  33. K. L. Nicholson says:

    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.

    • Kathleen Hershner says:

      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.

    • NIck Jungman says:

      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.

    • jen says:

      Koch Industries owns the entire state of Kansas. Every other corporation here is pretty much child’s play..

    • KNJ says:

      Dillons is not a national brand, no one outside that region even knows who they are.

  34. J. Aduma says:

    I feel like Kansas should be Hallmark or Sprint as both their headquarters are based here and they are quite prominent companies

  35. Cindy says:

    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…

  36. Joe says:

    I think Berkshire Hathaway would be Nebraska?

  37. JC says:

    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!!!

  38. another john says:

    Hooters beat out Outback Steakhouse, Red Lobster, Olive Garden, Tropicana, Hard Rock Cafe, Home Shopping Network, Telemundo, and Wikipedia?

  39. Paige says:

    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.

  40. Mary says:

    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!

  41. Autumn Gieb says:

    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!

  42. Rob Erhardt says:

    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.

    • Thomas G says:

      Massachusetts is the headquarters for Dunkin’ Donuts, not Rhode Island- RI and Massachusetts just share the incredible saturation of the two.

  43. Jackson says:

    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.

  44. David Hunegnaw says:

    Seems that Limited Brands would be a better fit for Ohio than Wendy’s based on revenues.'s

    • Tennille Johnston says:

      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?

    • Jo says:

      Isn’t Proctor and Gamble in Cincinnati? Who hasn’t used Tide or Pampers or any other of their products?

  45. John says:

    Florida should definitely be Publix grocery store… Hooters is not from Florida nor is it headquartered there.

  46. Bobbie says:

    I really enjoyed seeing this. Do you have a list per state? Some of them are very difficult to read.
    Thank you!

  47. Bruce says:

    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.


  48. John says:

    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!

  49. tampaxwasnotthere says:

    maryland and virginia are wrong.

  50. Judy says:

    Love this map, thank you Steve for producing it. What are Vermont and New Hampshire? Cannot read them. Thanks

  51. latenac says:

    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.)

  52. Jon says:

    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.

  53. 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.

      • Scott Jarrell says:

        Tudor’s would’ve been a better choice, but as far as a nationally known brand I think Shoney’s would’ve worked.

      • Shane says:

        Fiesta dishes are based in WV.

      • Paul McNeely says:

        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.

      • Jessica says:

        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.

  54. Emma says:

    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

  55. Camsdad says:

    Confused about Illinois. McDonald’s is the 7th best-known brand in the world (according to Interbrand) — Cat is 61. Otherwise — fun exercise!

    • Cristi says:

      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.

    • Craig says:

      I am surprised nobody has mentioned State Farm for Illinois. They insure about 25% of the houses in the entire country.

  56. Sherri says:

    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.

  57. Todd J says:

    What about 3M instead of Pillsbury for Minnesota?

  58. Tom says:

    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.

  59. John says:

    For New Mexico I woud have gone with Lotta Burger

  60. thebin says:

    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?

  61. thebin says:

    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.

  62. Wilsonite says:

    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.

  63. Shayne says:

    What was put for the great state of Rhode Island? Can’t even see it.

  64. Phillip says:

    Target should be the one for MN not Pillsbury.

  65. thebin says:

    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.

    • Moose Speaks says:

      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.

  66. JZ says:

    What’s in DC? I can’t read it.

  67. thebin says:

    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.

  68. jrobinson says:

    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.

  69. REB says:

    Ohio … Sherwin-Williams, Proctor & Gamble, Nationwide, Rubbermaid, Progressive?

    • thebin says:

      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.

  70. Shoover says:

    My thoughts:
    NE – Kool Aid
    MN – SPAM
    HI – Dole

  71. margaret says:

    Rhode Island should be CVS, Dunkins, or Del’s Lemonande!

  72. John says:

    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.

  73. Frank says:

    Connecticut has Subway (Sandwiches), Pez candy and Schick razors to name a few 🙂

  74. Millie Wright says:

    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.

  75. jamcool says:

    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.

  76. Moshe says:

    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
    Ohio -Goodyear
    Indiana – Eli Lilly

    • vlad says:

      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.

  77. Julie says:

    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.

  78. Ray says:

    I think in Florida “Disney” would be more representative than “Hooters” but times have changed.

    • Tek says:

      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.

  79. Andrea says:

    I’d also like a listing by state. Has it been provided yet?



  80. Shelley says:

    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.

  81. Paige says:

    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.

  82. Kenny Betsill says:


    Home Depot
    United Parcel Service
    Delta Air Lines
    Southern Company
    Genuine Parts
    SunTrust Banks
    First Data
    HD Supply
    Coca-Cola Enterprises
    Newell Rubbermaid
    Mohawk Industries CNN

  83. Jeannie says:

    What about Macadamia Nuts for Hawaii?

  84. spindoc5 says:

    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.

  85. Aimee says:

    I think MN should be represented by Mayo Clinic!

  86. brad says:

    Verizon for NY? Not IBM?

  87. Gracy Roggio says:

    Why Saks in Alabama?

  88. Jill says:

    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.

  89. Dogwood says:

    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.

  90. Hunter says:

    Why isn’t John Deere up for Iowa? Tractors are the biggest export…

  91. Erik says:

    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

  92. JK says:

    ===My short list for Washington included Boeing====
    FYI. Boeing is now headquartered in Chicago

  93. Tek says:

    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.

  94. Chad n freude says:

    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.

  95. Yasmine says:

    Have you thought about doing one for Canada? Would be interested in seeing what my country has come up with outside of BC. 🙂

  96. Barry says:

    If Illinois is represented by a heavy-machine manufacturer, wouldn’t John Deere be the most appropriate?

    • GJR says:

      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.

      • thebin says:

        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.

  97. BH says:

    DuPont is a good one for Delaware, but perhaps Dogfish Head if you do an updated version!

  98. Alex says:

    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…

  99. Angela E says:

    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!

  100. Rosemary Fisher says:


    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,
    Rosemary Fisher

  101. Chantel Ennis says:

    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!

  102. Kate Canavan says:

    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.

  103. Emily Kitslaar says:

    Very cool! What made you pick pillsbury over Target for Minnesota?

  104. mle says:

    seen on FB today–hysterically true! And Washington DC doesn’t produce anything! 🙂

  105. Nikki Strandskov says:

    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.

  106. thebin says:

    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.

  107. Dolly Baroque says:

    With all the Proctor & Gamble products in Ohio you chose Wendy’s? Tide, Crest, Bounty, Charmin, Pampers, etc.

  108. Jayhawk Country says:

    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.

  109. Dana says:

    Maytag is no longer in business in Iowa, they pulled out… and wasn’t when you created this. Try Pioneer or John Deere.

  110. David says:

    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.

    • Rick says:

      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?

  111. Paulette says:

    What are Vermont and New Hampshire. I can’t figure out those at all.

  112. Denny says:

    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!

  113. Steve says:

    Iowa should definitely be John Deere. Maytag was sold to Whirlpool 3 or 4 years ago.

  114. Sandy Smith says:

    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.

    • Jahn Ghalt says:

      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.

  115. Peter says:

    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. would work if you want a fast-growing up-and-comer. And to be really quirky, there’s always World Wrestling Entertainment.

  116. Mike Reynolds says:

    What company for Maryland? Old Bay? McCormick?

  117. Scott says:

    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).

  118. melvin hobbs says:

    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 .

  119. Pat S says:

    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!

  120. Truth says:

    Dr. Pepper for Texas?

    How about:

    -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)
    -Whole Foods

  121. I made Japan version, being inspired by this.
    Thank you.

  122. Steve Smith says:

    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.

  123. Robert Greer says:

    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.

  124. Galen Andrews says:

    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.

  125. The Monk says:

    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?

  126. jayon says:

    WV should be Shoney’s, a much larger chain.

  127. Allison says:

    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!

  128. Chad says:

    You inspired me to make one! Let me know what you think…

  129. Wendy says:

    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?

  130. Vince says:

    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.

  131. Ed Zigweid says:

    The original / first JC Penney store still operates out of Kemmerer, Wyoming. Just a thought…..

  132. Judy Hatcher says:

    I would’ve thought Dole for Hawai’i, for sure.

    • Jenn says:

      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.

    • Jenn says:

      I concede…I see that Dole originated in Hawaii and only fairly recently headquartered in California…my bad!

  133. Donecia Downs says:

    Bank of america does NOT represent the best of NC, PEPSI does. Pepsi was born here,,, and is still going strong.

  134. dude says:

    I pledge allegiance to the flag of The Corporate States of America
    and to the plutocracy for which it stands.
    One nation under Currency
    With over consumption and credit debt for all;
    forever and ever

  135. Fred Greenlee says:

    I think that the author missed on Kansas. What about the aviation company’s? and the other large manufacturer’s.


  136. Allen says:

    Michigan is also known for Motown Records, Little Caesar’s Pizza, Domino’s Pizza, and Dow Chemical.

  137. vlad says:

    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.

  138. Laurie Constantino says:

    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.

  139. Eric says:

    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)

  140. Robaire says:

    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!

  141. Jenn says:

    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!

  142. James says:

    I have a question, what about Microsoft, if was founded in Washington and is worth far more than Starbucks?

    • Erik E says:

      Actually, it was founded in Albuquerque! New Mexico, but their headquarter is in Redmond, Washington.

  143. Jahn Ghalt says:

    This is a great effort – kudos to Mr. Lovelace.

    Monk said:

    “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.

    • thebin says:

      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.

      • thebin says:

        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.

      • Jahn Ghalt says:


        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?)

  144. Jimi says:

    Garmin Current US Revenue $2.78 Billion
    —Started in Lenexa, Kansas

    Koch Industries Current US Revenue $115 Billion
    —-Started in Wichita Kansas

  145. Jacob says:

    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.

  146. Jacqueline Burks says:

    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.

  147. Jerry says:

    Apple? eBay? Facebook? Google? HP? Intel? Tesla?

    Nope. Try Disney. And this is coming from someone from NorCal.

  148. Lindsey says:

    Procter & Gamble has been headquartered out of Cincinnati, OH for 175 years. Much longer and much, much LARGER than Wendy’s.

  149. David Raposa says:

    I think you did great Steve-smart.

  150. AJS says:

    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.

  151. Dave Dawson says:

    FLORIDA should be DISNEY

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  153. Michaelson says:

    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!

  154. Illinois Proud says:

    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.

  155. Julian says:

    Don’t forget Boeing, Ace Hardware, Gatorade, State Farm, Walgreens, are also based in Illinois.

  156. mike says:

    north carolina = Lowe’s

  157. John David Galt says:

    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.

  158. mike says:

    and tropicana for florida

  159. jpb says:

    Hasbro for Rhode Island? I would think CVS by far is more well known these days.

  160. jpb says:

    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.

  161. Luftmensch says:

    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.

  162. Palm90 says:

    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

  163. Carol Mason says:

    SAKS for Alabama? No, it should be Southern Living.

  164. Joseph Singer says:

    Actually, for North Carolina Bank of America was originally Nationsbank which acquired Bank of America and took its name.

  165. Kenny says:

    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

  166. MentalGopher says:

    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 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.

  167. jamie says:

    For North Carolina instead of BoA, how bout Cheerwine

  168. JohnE says:

    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.

  169. bellczar says:

    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.

  170. Sally says:

    I suggest Eli Lilly for Indiana.

  171. lgchrist says:

    Minnesota is a tough call. I first thought of 3M – Minnesota Minning and Manufacturing, but Pillsbury is just as well known.

  172. Shelly says:

    Indiana should have been Ball corp !!!!

  173. Dina Dee says:

    surprised that NH isn’t Dunkin Donuts. Maybe it’s a tie as to which is better known–Timberland or DD?

  174. Dina Dee says:

    ha ha! AND Exxon Mobil represents Texas WAY WAY WAY better than a mere sodapop brand. Oil is the essence of Texas.

  175. jeanne says:

    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!

  176. Lindsey says:

    I’m from Mississippi and I’ve never heard of Peavey before this map.

    • Dale says:

      Peavey is huge in the music industry.

      Back Yard Burgers was founded in Cleveland, MS

      Barq’s root beer was founded in Biloxi.

    • Dale says:

      Stein Mart was founded in Greenville, MS in 1902.

      And Barq’s root beer was founded in Biloxi in 1898.

  177. Marc says:

    When I think of Pennsylvania, I think Coal or Steel, and US Steel owns half the state….

  178. Robert says:

    I would have to say that Iowa would be Amana instead!

  179. Dave Simon says:

    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.

  180. jamie says:

    you mean pepsi isn’t more popular than bank of america for NC? hmm…

  181. Tom Fletcher says:

    Also, Delta Airlines for GA or JetBlue for NY (if you only want one Airline).

  182. Bonnie Hall says:

    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.

  183. JT says:

    Hillerich & Bradsby aka Louisville Slugger was started in Louisville,KY in the 1880’s surely that is higher up than Lexmark!

  184. Rudy Panucci says:

    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.

  185. Shalonda says:

    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.

  186. Steph says:

    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.

  187. Chuck Ackerman says:

    Henry Heinz called and said he’s got 57 good reasons why his company should be the representative for PA.

  188. R Cook says:

    I think Hawaii should be Dole.

  189. B Roseberry says:

    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?

  190. Charlie says:

    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.

  191. Alice B says:

    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.

    • Gordon says:

      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.

  192. Melenee says:

    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….

  193. BJ says:

    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.

  194. asdf says:

    Tabasco is not a corporation. They are a family owned business.

  195. ItsDaShues says:

    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

  196. big8dog88 says:

    I would like to ask for your permission to use your map in a Sporcle quiz (with proper acknowledgements, of course)

  197. Danny says:

    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.

  198. Rachael says:

    Kentucky should have been Jim Beam, maker’s Mark, or another well known bourbon-that’s kinda our thing. Well bourbon n horses.

  199. Ashley says:

    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!

  200. Beck says:

    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!

    Great map!

  201. JacquelineM says:

    Minnesota could be represented also by 3M, Target, Best Buy, or Spam. Those are all started and based out of Minnesota.

  202. Sarah H. says:

    Alabama should be Russell.
    Kansas should be Pizza Hut.
    Maryland should be McCormick.
    Oklahoma is spot on with Sonic.

  203. Kim says:

    CT should be subway or bic pen. Bic makes the 2 most stolen and most used things pens and lighters

  204. Andrew says:

    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.
    1. Whataburger
    2. Dell
    3. Oil
    4. Shiner
    5. Schlotzkys
    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.

  205. James says:

    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)
    Little Ceasars
    K Mart

  206. Kyle says:

    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.

  207. Jen says:

    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.

  208. Undefined says:

    Maryland should be Under Armor, it was founded by a UMD alum and is headquartered in Baltimore.

  209. Logan says:

    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?

  210. Rick says:

    The first company I think of in Hawaii is Dole (pineapples)

  211. Julie says:

    Heinz for Pennsylvania. Dole for Hawaii. In and Out Burger for California. Indy race cars or the movie Hoosier for Indiana.

  212. mandy says:

    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!

  213. James says:

    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.

  214. Kelly says:

    Fiesta Ware made in Hancock county, WV by the Homer Laughlin company. A better choice than Gino’s

  215. Chris says:

    JC Penney is out of Kemmerer, Wyoming. Definitely more famous than Taco Johns.

  216. Eric says:

    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.

  217. Lewis says:

    West Virginia’s most famous brand is actually Fiesta Ware. It’s made in Newell, WV by the Homer Laughlin China Company.

  218. Harley says:

    Florida is better represented by Carnival Cruise Lines or Burger King rather than Hooters.

  219. Jasna says:

    Pepsi should be North Carolinas biggest brand.

  220. Mary says:

    Washington State is so much more than Starbucks. It’s also the birthplace/HQ of Nordstrom, Costco, Amazon, Nintendo, Boeing, Microsoft…

  221. Phil says:

    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.

  222. Bruce says:

    Kansas should be represented by Pizza Hut . . . founded in Wichita.

  223. dablues7 says:

    Iowa should be represented by John Deere….its a company almost 100 years older than Maytag

  224. Charles Skiba says:

    I know Wal-Mart is big, but wouldn’t the Clinton Crime Syndicate be a good choice for Arkansas?

  225. Tammie says:

    Orville Redenbacher for Indiana…never heard of Cummins

  226. Tammy says:

    Florida should be Disney not hooters.

  227. Beau yo says:

    Gatorade……. Florida…….

  228. Chad Langohr says:

    Cummins is a good choice for Indiana, but I might have chosen Eli Lilly instead. This is a good list, though.

  229. Thad says:

    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.

  230. Lee says:

    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.

  231. Jason says:

    West Virginia should have been Musselman’s applesauce, easily. Never heard of Gino’s.

  232. Katherine says:

    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.

  233. Rick says:

    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?

  234. Michael says:

    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.

  235. Jon says:

    Speaking from across the water in the UK, the first thing I associate with Tennessee is Jack Daniels.

  236. Melissa says:

    For West Virginia, I’d go with Fiestaware.

  237. Danielle says:

    Pepsi for NC!!!! Based out of new bern!!!!

  238. Rich says:

    Maryland should be Under Armour. Geico HQ is in Virginia.

  239. Kimmie says:

    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!!!!

  240. Martha says:

    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

  241. Micheal says:

    Jack Daniels Tennessee

  242. Jim says:

    Indiana: Eli Lilly

  243. Kevin says:

    Gatorade is Florida, RCA is also Camden NJ

  244. Hillay says:

    Maryland should change to Under Armour. It may be already discussed in the 452 comments above but I thought I’d add my opinion 🙂

  245. Megan says:

    Dole for Hawaii

  246. Joe says:

    Marlboro should be Virginia’s brand.

  247. Colleen says:

    Just going to through this out there for KY: Louisville Slugger.

  248. SW10879 says:

    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.

  249. Bill Burelle says:

    MACYS for Ohio.

  250. Travis says:

    John Deere?

  251. Jimcat says:

    Connecticut will have to change soon. GE is moving to Massachusetts.

  252. Ron says:

    Where is Microsoft

  253. CWard says:

    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.

  254. Janet says:

    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!

  255. Jessica Hertsch says:

    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

  256. Andrea says:

    Pepsi in NC, forget the bank!

  257. Jaeah Fortune says:

    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!

  258. Bob says:

    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….

  259. John says:

    No Microsoft?

  260. Heather says:

    And what was the reason Pepsi wasn’t assigned to NC?

  261. Darrell says:


  262. Gianina says:

    I think that Ford should be Michigan’s (for personal reasons, I suppose) and Tiffany & Co. should 100% be above Verizon for New York.

  263. Sarah says:

    New Mexico should be Blakes Lota Burgers!!!! Many childhood memories of their restaurants!

  264. Mat says:

    Isnt Hobby Lobby a based out of Oklahoma. Also I know the QuickTrip Corporation is headquartered in Tulsa.

  265. Cyndi B. says:

    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.

  266. Sherman Johnson says:

    Taco John’s for Wyoming but really should have been J.C. Penney.

  267. Brian H says:

    I thought of Dole for Hawaii.

  268. Jim says:

    North Carolina – Bank of America
    South Caroliba – Denny’s

    Both of these companies began in California.

  269. Jim says:

    Hooters? Not Gatorade? …

  270. Margaret says:

    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).

  271. Tony says:

    I don’t see AOL representing Virginia. Probably not popular, but needs to be Philip Morris / Marlboro.

  272. Lulu says:

    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.

  273. Kristin says:

    Kodak for New York

  274. Diane says:

    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!

  275. Restay says:

    Adidas/ columbia sports wear / Nike / Intel are headquarters in oregon.

  276. Steven says:

    Bell Telephone started in Massachusetts. It is perhaps more important than Gillette.

  277. Andrew says:

    Even should be gabes not Gino’s

  278. Andrew says:

    I mean wv should be gabes not Gino’s sorry, autocorrect

  279. Claudia says:

    I’m from Baltimore Maryland and am Under Armour proud! I’m surprised that GEICO was the choice for MD and not Under Armour.

  280. Chris says:

    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.
    Fun idea.

  281. Rob says:

    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!

  282. John Petullo says:

    Bank of America was actually founded in San Francisco. It was originally the Bank of Italy. Georgia is an imposter owner. Just my opinion

  283. Dale says:

    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.

  284. Spiffdeb says:

    Johnson & Johnson for NJ

  285. Berenice Loreto says:

    loved the blog and your style

  286. Vermonter says:

    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).

  287. Peter Quady says:

    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.

  288. Joe says:

    Having lived in Peoria for years, I certainly understand assigning CAT to Illinois. But why not McDonald’s?

  289. Haven says:

    How is Publix not Florida’s representing Corp. There’s more of them in the state and are identified by more people.

  290. Chris says:

    Really? Geico for Maryland? I think under armor has over taken them.

  291. Natalie Hathaway says:

    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.

  292. Adrian says:

    Would have gone with Dole for Hawaii…although now HQ’d in CA it was founded in HI…very cool list / idea

  293. Adrian says:

    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

  294. Samara says:

    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.

  295. Tina says:

    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?

  296. jeiy says:

    kodak trendy…

  297. alistar says:

    good work here

  298. Bob Rich says:

    Steve, I have “borrowed” your excellent map for my newsletter, Bobbing Around, and am including a link back.

  299. Amy says:

    I was surprised you didn’t use Disney for Florida. This was very interesting though

  300. Dave says:

    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.

  301. Aaron says:

    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.

  302. GibsonGirl99 says:

    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!

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