Most Trusted Computer: Dell*
Dell was originally called PCs Limited when it launched in 1984. An early customer—a lawyer—convinced a young Michael Dell (then a student at the University of Texas at Austin) to incorporate as Dell Computer Corporation (doing business as PCs Limited) in exchange for an updated hard drive and $1,000. It wasn’t until 1988 that Dell officially changed the name to Dell Computer Corporation. With the company expanding internationally, having “limited” in the name didn’t make sense. *Statistical tie with another brand
Most Trusted Computer: Hewlett-Packard*
Before they became business partners in 1939, Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard were friends at Stanford University. They flipped a coin to decide who would appear first in the company’s name. The company incorporated in 1947 and went public 10 years later. HP is considered a symbolic founder of Silicon Valley. *Statistical tie with another brand
Most Trusted Home Entertainment Electronics: SONY
What do you get when you combine "sonus," the Latin for sound, with "sonny," a young boy? SONY was also chosen because it is pronounced the same in any language. Here, a sample of the company’s many innovations: Japan’s first transistor radio (1955); world's first direct-view portable TV (1960); the TPS-L2, the first stereo cassette player “Walkman” (1979); world's first CD player, the CDP-101 (1982); and “Digital Handycam,” first consumer-use digital video camcorder (1995). More than 102 million units of the PlayStation game console have been sold since the product’s launch in 1994.
Most Trusted Credit Card: Visa
Visa started as Bank of America’s credit card program, BankAmericard, back in 1958. It was the first consumer credit card program accessible to middle-class Americans. Almost 20 years later, it became the independent, global entity we know today. Visa reached over 50 billion total transactions in 2010. Founder Dee Hock’s original vision for the company still holds true today: the best way to pay and be paid, for everyone, everywhere.
Most Trusted Life Insurance Company: MetLife
MetLife is the largest life insurer in the United States and has about 100 million customers worldwide. In 1864, the National Union Life and Limb Insurance Company started insuring Civil War sailors and soldiers against wartime-related disabilities; after a difficult five years, the firm decided to focus solely on life insurance and re-branded itself as Metropolitan Life Insurance Company. Fun fact: Though the exact amount is not publicly available, MetLife likely pays around $12 million each year to use the Peanuts characters in advertisements.
Most Trusted Automotive Insurance: State Farm
When State Farm was founded in 1922 by retired farmer George J. Mecherle, it specialized in auto insurance for farmers. As of last year, the company was servicing 80 million policies across the United States and Canada. Fun fact: Remember the “Jake from State Farm” commercial? The actor, Jake Stone, was an actual State Farm agent. The famous khakis he wore in the commercial are autographed and framed in a bar called Pub II in Normal, Illinois.