Coke? Synonymous with soda.
BandAid? Interchangeable to bandage.
Chapstick? Lip balm.
What do these brands have in common?
They have made themselves such a household name that their brands are used in lieu of the name of the item itself.
When you ask for someone to get you a BandAid, you aren’t demanding a specific brand of bandage – you are just asking for a bandage. But your brain is using a brand to describe that item. The same applies for things like BubbleWrap, CrockPot, Dumpster, and more.
Why does this matter to marketers?
Anyone who markets a brand would dream of creating a household name. While people may not be demanding those specific brands when they ask for them by name, it shows a clear purchasing bias. When your brand is the pinnacle of its competition, that’s generally what people prefer. In fact, according to a recent study, “86% of respondents claim that there are certain products for they will only purchase the name brand option”. In general, people also prefer brand names over generic options.
How do we get there?
These brands have a reputation for being consistent in meeting customers’ expectations. Every single time you take a sip of Coca Cola, it tastes the same. You know what taste to expect when you crack one open.
These brands are also extremely accessible. There are very few restaurants or stores where you cannot buy a Coke. Going to a movie theater? You will see ads before the previews for an ice-cold Coke. Waiting for the birth of your first child? The hospital will surely have Coke in a vending machine. You will see the brand plastered on banners at sports games, on the sides of race cars, and on the sides of all their delivery vehicles. Coke is everywhere.
These brands have also created customer loyalty. During a time where the need for brands to become more inclusive, BandAid made a move to offer more skin tones, including darker brown options, while also donating over $10 million to organizations that fight racism. This was a move in effort to show their customer base that they hear them, and they care about the things their customers care about. This encourages customer loyalty through action.
So you represent a brand and want to be the next CrockPot of your product? Follow the steps of making your brand accessible, creating customer loyalty, and be consistent in your product’s message.