When Brands Become a Noun

posted on 24th Oct 2018 by Xat Houatchanthara

We recently began a house renovation project and I was amazed at the number of times we were asked if we were doing a “Grand Design”? The channel four home design series has become so entrenched in our everyday culture that the programme name has now become a generic term for home renovations.

This is not a new phenomenon. The English language is forever evolving, acquiring new words from new business inventions and more recently new technology.

Brands spend millions trademarking their names and through usage and over time some manage to become the generic term for that product or service. Think of when you “Hoover” the stairs, how strange if we “Dysoned” the stairs. We use “Sellotape” to wrap our gifts and we use a “Band-Aid” to cover our cuts and grazes.

And how often do we now “Google” something when we don’t know the answer?

Very often the strength of a brand and its timing to market will determine its likelihood of becoming a generic term in a market that is dominated by world leading brands, brand recognition is the main aim of all companies. It’s the Holy Grail for most companies when customers instantly recognise your brand and start to use the brand name as the name for the generic product. People using your brand name in everyday conversation can be worth millions in free advertising for companies and creates a sense of familiarity and trust that no amount of paid advertising could equate to.

However, there can be a downside to this. If there were to be a negative association with the term this could greatly impact your business in ways that are out of your control and as a brand leader you want to protect your brand and all it stands for in order to maintain and protect its core values and all that it represents.

So, the big question remains, did we do a “grand designs” on our house… Mmm, now let me Google that…

Learn more about building a brand name here.

Xat Houatchanthara – Creative Director Visual Communications

Xat has specialised in building brands, from inception through to rollout to creating complex brand guidelines. In his role as Creative Director, Xat immerses himself in the complete branding process, acting as your brand guardian throughout each project, combining fresh, dynamic design concepts with sharp implementation.