Beware of the slide into “genericide”

When launching a new brand, it is a marketer’s dream to have that brand name on every consumer’s lips, no matter the consequences. However, sometimes this is ultimately to the detriment of the brand. Just ask the owners of the XEROX or BAND-AID brands, which both fell victim to their own success, and as a result, began being used as a generic product descriptor rather than a trade mark or badge of origin for the goods of the brand owners only in the marketplace.

Both of these brand owners can tell you the costs associated with arresting a slide into “genericide” can be significant, involving extensive corrective advertising and consumer re-education. However, the costs of doing nothing can be even greater, resulting in the brand losing all recognition as a trade mark and becoming merely descriptive or generic.

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