Jeff Random

musings and metatheory

BrandVerbs – Brands that become verbs.

During an online conversation I recently came up with the word Brandverb.

A brand becomes a brandverb when it becomes commonly used in place of a verb.

It used to be that brand managers were always concerned about having their brand fall into the public domain. The travails of Xerox and Kleenex were legendary as they tried to prevent genericide. Aspirin, linoleum, nylon, escalator, kerosene and zipper are all former brand names that have become generic.These days brandverbs seem to be the mark of success instead of the kiss of death, becoming useful when they carry a better meaning than the generic term they replace and spreading the brand awareness.

For example when someone says they will Skype you, it serves to reinforce using a particular VOIP service.

Without doing any due diligence, or even bothering to Google (look it’s a brandverb) for info, I notice a correlation to noun based brands becoming genericized when popularized, and brandverbs becoming stronger when popularized.*

It seems as though if a brand lends itself well to becoming a brandverb, then it is an advantage. Maybe it’s an edge in culting your brand, maybe it helps through WOMB (word of mouth branding), maybe it’s more.

These thoughts have lead some serious second thoughts about the brand for a project, including potentially scrapping a nice 5 letter domain for a project.

* Xerox seems to be somewhat of an exception as you can Xerox something, but perhaps their danger was based on people buying ‘Xerox Machines’ from HP and others?

Published by r8ndom, on December 15th, 2006 at 5:32 pm. Filled under: Integrated Marketing,Metatheory,PostsNo Comments