If your company could be known for a single thing, what would it be? These 15 brands seemed to have nailed it…
I originally considered my product association with vacuuming a personal habit; however after hearing so many people quote the same sentence it appeared to me that ’to hoover’ was synonymous with vacuuming or cleaning.
How could different households coin the same term?
Growing up we actually had an Electrolux vacuum cleaner, however I’d already inherited the term ‘Hoovering’ from my parents, whom I can only assume grew up with a Hoover in their homes. Long-term brand loyalty is where the association comes from; if you’ve used the brand for several years to solve a problem, whether that’s cleaning / cooking etc, you immediately associate the brand with the product.
In this post we’ve looked at 15 products that are popularly known by their brand names, take a look at each of the products and just like Catch Phrase “say what you see” 🙂 See how many ring true with you.
1. Hot Tub
Most people almost always refer to hot tubs as Jacuzzis.
2. Retractable Blade
A parcel has just arrived and to cut the tape you use your ‘Stanley’ blade not your retractable blade.
3. Adhesive Tape
Your wrapping Christmas presents and now you need to add the same stuff you were just cutting with the Stanley blade; you pickup the Sellotape?
4. Hook & Loop Fasteners
Did you say velcro? Most people would, because they are the most well known manufacturer of hook and loop fasteners.
5. Hex Key
So what do you call this? This is of course is a hex key, but it’s most commonly known as an Allen Key. The Allen name was registered as a trademark of the Allen manufacturing company in 1910, whom made hexagonal shaped keys.
6. Soap Pads
This brand was the first to produce this item, which is why so many people reference these ‘soap pads’ as Brillo Pads.
7. Tinned Meat
Any ham or pork meat in a tin if often referred to as Spam.
8. Washing Up Liquid
This might be only a selected few that may refer to washing up liquid this way, but recently a builder asked for some ‘Fairy Up Liquid’ to help put cables into conduit. I personally have always referred to washing up liquid as either Fairy liquid or Fairy Up Liquid. Any more takers on this one?
This is actually a big one as some bars train their staff to advise customers that they serve Pepsi in case of confusion as so many customers ask for Coke.
10. Glass Bowls
Ok, keeping kitchen and cooking themed, when referring to placing items into glass bowls, do you refer to them as Pyrex bowls or Pyrex dishes?
11. Plastic Food Containers
So maybe no one throws a party when buying food containers now, but many people still refer to plastic food containers as Tupperware. Do you?
12. Lip Balm
Growing up my mum always had her Lypsyl and although this one might be based on personal experience or brand loyalty, but my wife now uses alternate products although we
still refer to it as Lipsyl.
13. Sticky Notes
You’re working on a white board as want to add notes to the board, you simply use a Post It note?
14. Correction Fluid
So we might not really need this much any more, but in the typewriter days Tipp-Ex was our friend, and no matter if you purchased the cheap Woolworth’s alternative, you still called it Tipp-Ex.
15. Adhesive Putty
Still a staple for kids and students wanting to plaster their walls in posters. Need to stick something to a window or wall temporarily, you use Blu Tac.
16. Vacuum Cleaner
Save the crème de la crème until last, something I know so many people do and it’s the actionable task that I believe is referred to most, to Hoover the stairs or ‘whilst Hoovering’.
You’ve smiled because this is something you probably do too.
But what do all these brands have in common? And is there anything we can actually learn from reading this post?
Each of the brands above has achieved success through having focus on doing a single thing great. Whether they’ve diversified over time, but generally each of the brands mentioned above started by producing or doing one thing and are recognised for doing it well.
This product association can also work in a similar way, once again using word or image association people will immediately consider a brand name that is associated with the
product. For example on the next 3 images, try to think of the first brand name that produces the product or provides the service…
Did you say Starbucks or Costa?
Search The Internet
Google has become the global leader of search and the term ‘Google it’ is now a day-to-day phrase that people associate with finding the answer to a question.
Depending on what hotels you stay at, you might have said Hilton or something like Premier Inn?
If you’ve been using the same company for a particular service or product for many years, you generally associate that service or product with the company. Whether you had a great stay at a hotel, or enjoyed your dining experience at a restaurant; great experiences, whether product or service orientated lead to increased brand recognition.
So what do all these brands have in common?
Each of the companies mentioned above have been successful in developing a business around a single product or service. Whether they offer additional services / products now, people generally recognise them for their focus on doing that one thing extremely well, and it seems to be working for them all.
Greater focus = greater success.
What’s your calling, what is your brand focused on, what are you known for? If you could highlight one thing your business does well; well what would it be?
I’d love to hear how others know your business or how you see your business. I’d also love to hear if there’s any brands that we’ve missed off of our list or if you’ve had any interesting personal stories with long brand connections, that we might add to this post.
UX & Web Strategist, Coffee Lover & Ex-Flower Arranging Champ
James is passionate about UX and delivering better digital experiences. He provides insights on how to improve conversions, increase sales and deliver more engaging content.