In today’s culture, brands can have a small but effective change on the environment around us. Ever heard someone say, “let me just Google that?”, when referring to searching the Internet or “run the Hoover over the floor?”, referring to the vacuum cleaner. Looking at the article ‘41 Brand Names People Use as Generic Terms‘ I was quite shocked to see how many I’ve actually heard, or even used myself. This can be viewed as a possibly a cleaver marketing strategy, but some companies have reported that they don’t like consumers using their brand name in an incorrect fashion as it derails the name from the product.
Take this example from Adobe’s guide for third parties.
‘Always use the correct spelling and format of Adobe trademarks with the appropriate trademark symbol(s). For a list of Adobe trademarks showing proper content, spelling, capitalization and marking, see http://www.adobe.com/misc/agreement.html. When referring to an Adobe product, use the full name of the product at its first and most prominent mention (for example,“Adobe Photoshop” is preferred over “Photoshop”). Never vary the spelling, add or delete hyphens (even for normal hyphenation at the end of a line of text), make one word two, or use a possessive or plural form of the trademark. Adobe trademarks must always be used as adjectives followed by a generic term (such as “software”), and never as nouns or verbs.’
It’s such a small thing that makes a huge difference to companies all over the world, and something that we don’t even consider in conversations or what we write online.
– Harrell, L., 2014. 41 Brand Names People Use as Generic Terms[online]. Mental Floss. Available From: http://mentalfloss.com/article/56667/41-brand-names-people-use-generic-terms [Accessed On: 4 December 2014].
– Adobe. 2014., Adobe Trademark Guidlines: For third parties who license, use or refer to Adobe trademarks [online]. P.2-3. Available From: http://www.adobe.com/misc/pdfs/TM_GuideforThirdPartiesFinalPrint.pdf [Accessed On: 6 December 2014].