Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Brand Names: The Hell of the Hype

Related to a discussion on the hype behind brand recognition that is going on here, is this gem from Random Rarebits:

How is communication important in branding? Perhaps...the following analogies will help us define the word...

You're at a party and see a handsome guy. You get up and straighten your dress. You walk up to him and pour him a drink. You say, "May I," and reach up to straighten his tie brushing your breast lightly against his arm, and then say, "By the way, I'm fantastic in bed." That's Public Relations.

You're at a party with a bunch of friends and see a handsome guy. One of your friends goes up to him and pointing at you says,"She's fantastic in bed." That's Advertising.

You see a handsome guy at a party. You go up to him and say, "I'm fantastic in bed." That's Direct Marketing.

You see a handsome guy at a party. You go up to him and get his telephone number. The next day you call and say, "Hi, I'm fantastic in bed." That's Telemarketing.

You're on your way to a party when you realize that there could be handsome men in all these houses you're passing. So you climb out the sunroof of the car and shout at the top of your lungs, "I'm fantastic in bed!" That's Spam.

You're at a party and see a handsome guy. He walks up to you and says, "I hear you're fantastic in bed." That's Brand Recognition.

Some brands have become so recognizable, that the brand becomes the commonly known substitute for the generic name for the product:

Brillo = steel wool soap pads.
Q-tips = cotton tipped swabs.
Cheez Whiz = processed cheese product
Kitty Litter = cat box filler
Band-Aid = plastic adhesive bandage
Velcro = hook & loop tape
Post-It Notes = sticky notes
Scotch Tape = clear cellophane tape
Duck Tape = duct tape
Minute Rice = instant rice
Oreos = chocolate sandwich cookies with white cream
Coke = carbonated 'cola' beverage
Saran Wrap = plastic wrap
Windex = ammonia based glass cleaner
Escalator = moving staircase
Allen wrench = hexagonal screwdriver
Crock-Pot = slow cooker
Granola = oat and fruit mixture
Hula Hoop - toy ring
Linoleum = vinyl floor covering
Touch-Tone = dual tone multi-frequency telephone signaling
Yo-Yo = toy
Lava lamp = decorative light
Spam = canned pork product
Ace bandage = cloth elastic bandage
Alka-Seltzer = multi-purpose effervescent tablet
Novocaine = local anesthetic
Tylenol = pain reliever
Advil = pain reliever
Aqua-Lung = Scuba equipment
Breathalyzer = breath alcohol analyzer
Bubble Wrap = air-filled plastic packing material
ChapStick = lip balm
Ethernet = IEEE 802.3 LAN protocol
Fig Newton = soft cake-like cookie filled with fig jam
Jaws of Life = a rescue tool
Jell-O = gelatin dessert
Kleenex = packaged folded facial tissue paper
Laundromat = self-service laundry
Magic Marker = Felt-tip marker
Phillips Screwdriver = screwdriver with a cross-pointed drive hole
Play-Doh = commercial plastic modeling compound, clay-like
Pop Tart = breakfast toaster pastry
Rollerblade = inline skates
Speedo = tight-fitting swimsuit
Swiss Army Knife = a clasp-knife with multi-functional blades
Thermos = vacuum flask
Vaseline = petroleum jelly
Windbreaker = light jacket
X-Acto knife = sharp precision craft knife with short replaceable blades
Zamboni = ice resurfacing machine

In the end, regardless of what brand of the actual product you use, you still call it by its most recognizable brand name.

Could that be considered a success by a company? or perhaps a bit of a failure at the same time, since you call the competitors product by their brand name and buy the other product any way.

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