Portland has a rich tradition of business that dates back to its founding. There are many brands that are based out of the Portland area that are known worldwide as some of the most iconic brands in their industry. Interestingly enough, some of these famous Portland brands aren’t always attributed to their Oregon home. For whatever reason, PDX seems to keep its famous brands more famous for their brand, and less for their location.
As we list some of the Portland area brands that have national and international recognition, we want to be sure you understand that they are in no particular order of greatness. As Portlanders, we are proud of all of the small, medium and large corporations that represent for our Metro area and would not try to rank any of them over another.
Instead, we are listing some of the top famous brands and famous companies that are currently based in the Portland area and/or famous companies that have their headquarters in Portland Metro, or at the very least have their US headquarters here in PDX.
Top Famous Brands In Portland Metro
Nike – Yes we are starting out with one of the most internationally recognized brands that many of you in Portland are fully aware is based here. Many around the world are not. With its international headquarters, just outside of Portland in Beaverton, Oregon, Nike is likely the most famous brand located in the Portland area.
Jantzen – Who would have thought that an iconic swimsuit brand would have started and thrived out of rainy Portland Oregon? Started in 1910, the company changed their name to Jantzen as demand grew for their highly desired swimwear.
Webtrends – On the growing tech side of famous brands in Portland, we have Webtrends. Founded in Portland in 1993, Webtrends provides enterprise brands with high-end web, social and mobile analytics technologies and other digital marketing related solutions.
Leatherman Tool Group – You know those really cool, multi-tool, knife, do everything pliers that are now common in every house, garage or outdoor gear? Yes, Leatherman started all that here in Portland in 1993. Copied en masse, but never matched, Leatherman now sells products in over 82 countries around the world.
Gerber Legendary Blades – Nearly legendary worldwide for their custom quality production knives, Gerber was founded in Portland in 1939, and is now headquartered in Tigard, just outside of Portland.
The Old Spaghetti Factory – If you love Italian food, you may have heard of the 45 location Italian restaurant chain The Old Spaghetti Factory. Based here in Portland, the company has restaurants in 14 states in the United States and also in Japan.
Precision Castparts – Precision Castparts is a reminder of the massive industrial component that was originally Portland. A custom manufacturer of aerospace and defense industry metal fabrication company, though not very well-known to the average person around the world, Precision Castparts does billions of dollars in revenue each year.
Freightliner Trucks – You know those big rigs that deliver products all across the country with the unmistakable logo? Freightliner is another iconic industrial giant that began making big haul diesel trucks in Portland in 1949.
Voodoo Doughnut – If you frequent the internet and social media sites, you have no doubt come across another small but famous Portland company. Voodoo Doughnut was started in the early 2000’s and has since become known worldwide for their wacky doughnut creations. Now with six stores in the US and one in Taipei believe it or not, the company is set to make it more than a Portland icon across the country.
Powell’s Books – Known more and more around the country, Powell’s Books is the largest independent new and used bookstore in the world. This Portland brand has over 4 million books in its inventory and buys some 3,000 used books a day. This world-renowned bookstore even beat Amazon to the online book space in 1994.
Widen & Kennedy – Outside of massive advertising agencies of New York, Chicago and other massive US cities, Widen & Kennedy is one of the most well-known and respected ad agencies that handle some of the worlds biggest brands. Based in Portland since 1992, Widen & Kennedy does high-profile ad campaigns for brands like Nike, Coca Cola and Dodge.
Columbia Sportswear – If you’re into outdoor living, you are likely familiar with Columbia Sportswear. Known around the world for their rain gear and attractive sportswear, Columbia Sportswear has established an international brand based out of the Portland area for almost 80 years!
FLIR Systems – If you’ve ever watched the news showing video taken from an aircraft, or seen battle footage from military helicopters, you are familiar with Flir. Based just outside of Portland in Wilsonville Oregon, Flir is the world’s largest company specializing in commercial thermal imaging cameras, components and imaging sensors.
Mentor Graphics – Also based out of Wilsonville Oregon, Mentor Graphics is a longtime tech giant founded in 1981 at the beginning of the technology boom in the US. With revenues around 1 billion dollars, the company specializes in electronic design automation (EDA) for electrical engineering and electronics. You may not have heard of the company, but it is a world leader in their space.
Digimarc – Another lesser known, yet famous tech brand in Portland is Digimarc. Founded in 1995, the company developes and markets digital watermarking technology that embeds information into content of all types, in the counter piracy, management and digital commerce space. Very cool technologies.
Leupold & Stevens, Inc. – If you are into hunting and rifles, you have no doubt heard of Leupold. This world-famous brand is located in Beaverton Oregon, just West of downtown Portland and is known internationally for their telescopic sights, red dot sights, spotting scopes, and binoculars.
Oil Can Henry’s – If you’re like most car owners in the country, you are familiar with getting your oil changed. Did you know that Oil Can Henry’s with 88 locations in Oregon, Washington, Idaho, California, Arizona, Colorado and Minnesota was founded and is based here in Portland?
Standard Insurance Company – As one of the most recognized insurance brands in the country, Standard Insurance got its start in 1906 and has grown to provide millions of people and thousands of employers with group and individual insurance, retirement plans and individual annuities. A true Portland giant brand!
Act-On – Based in Beaverton Oregon, Act-On is another Portland native software brands with international fame and global reach. Providing software-as-a-service applications for marketing automation to small to medium-sized businesses and departments of large enterprises, the company was started here in Portland and continues to house its headquarters in the area.
Though these are just a few of the more famous Portland based brands, we could go on with numerous additional companies that call their home in the Portland area. You may have already known some of these amazing companies, but we hope that a few of them surprised you. Portland continues to grow and attract many large brands, startups and new technology companies that keep putting our area on the business map worldwide.
Are there any famous Portland brands that you think we should add? Let us know below!