Posted on June 14 2021
"NIKIN" stands for the up-and-coming Lenzburg start-up that plants a tree for every product – soon to be 1.5 million. But what is really behind the name "NIKIN"? We'll explain.
It all started in late autumn 2016, two guys met for a beer in the pub and developed an idea. The idea turned into a small regional side project and today, almost five years later, it has become a real company that is known far beyond the borders. From the tiny seed, on to the growing sapling and from there to the sturdy young tree that slowly continues to grow upwards – just like the approximately 1.2 million trees that have been planted around the world so far thanks to this extraordinary idea.
For almost five years now, the name "NIKIN" has been on everyone's lips, or rather the expression "those with the trees". It is often the case that when someone is asked about the name NIKIN, all that follows is a questioning shake of the head and a shrug of the shoulders. But when it is added that they are the ones who plant the trees, most of the people are enlightened and say "aaaha, yes, of course I've heard of them – I even have a TreeShirt and a pair of TreeSocks myself".
But in fact our name is "NIKIN", accompanied by our slogan "Tree by Tree". By the way, NIKIN is pronounced the way it is written, depending on the language and the accentuation, the "K" is pronounced a little more scratchy or softer. And by the way, the word NIKIN is a palindrome, which means that whether read forwards or backwards, it always means the same.
And what does NIKIN actually mean?
What is the literal meaning of "NIKIN"? Is the name derived from a Greek goddess like the sports giant "Nike"? No, of course not. For this explanation, we have to go back a few years. The name "NIKIN" has an older origin, dating back to around 2013.
Nicholas, one of the two founders, already founded a small project back then, which he called "NIKIT", derived from his name. What was a worldwide hit back then, but is now rather out of fashion again, were these gym bags, practical backpacks that offered enough space for smaller trips or for sports stuff. Nicholas refined the basic idea of such a bag with sophisticated integrated pockets. His specially developed logo represented the letter "N" on the one hand and two chain links attached to each other. The vision behind this was that Nicholas wanted to combine style and utility with his bags. As it turned out, he succeeded in doing just that. He had around 1'000 bags made in China and shipped them to Switzerland, from where he launched sales via his online shop. The bags sold quickly and soon not only in Lenzburg, Nicholas' home. But it wasn't long before the world-famous snowboard brand "NIKITA" from Iceland came knocking and insisted on its trademark protection rights, which prohibited Nicholas from any further production under the name "NIKIT". So this aspiring project was put on hold for the moment.
Nicholas, Robin and a beer become NIKIN
The story of NIKIN is one of those so infamous beer ideas that start with a simple idea and then one thing leads to another. In October 2016, childhood friends Nicholas and Robin met for a beer in Lenzburg. The two families are very good friends, Nicholas and Robin already played together in the sandbox, then they attended the scouts together, a little older they skated together in the streets of Lenzburg. And this love of nature is obviously still shared by Zazoo and Simba, as Nicholas and Robin are called in the scouts – today they are business partners and will soon have planted one and a half million trees.
But one question still remains: what does "NIKIN" mean? "NIKIN" is a word combination of the names of the two founders Nicholas and Robin. Funnily enough, they only noticed this coincidence months later. First and foremost, the brand was no longer allowed to be called "NIKIT" and so they agreed on "NIKIN" while still in the pub, because it looked aesthetically beautiful and sounded onomatopoeically cool. The logo has also changed in the meantime – the chain links gradually disappeared and the tree – the typical "NIKIN fir" with a narrow trunk – moved into focus and decorates all our products. And so we will probably always be " those with the trees", but we hope that people will also remember the name "NIKIN" in the future.
P.S. "NIKIN" is the only correct spelling. Media companies don't usually write brand names in capital letters, so "Nikin" is fine in these cases. But our name is neither "NICKIN" nor "NIKKIN" nor "NIKON". ;-)