Verbs

“BBM me on Whatsapp.”

“Paint is good enough to photoshop this picture.”

“The automatic xeroxing capability of my new HP printer has saved me hours of manual labor.”

What’s wrong with these everyday conversational statements? These statements, it turns out, are blunders for Blackberry (BBM), Adobe (Photoshop) and Xerox respectively. People have relatively low brand affinity towards these brands while they are completely engraved in everyday vocabulary. In some cases, such brands even lose the brand awareness and start getting treated as verbs.

It it awesome when your brand becomes synonymous to the product you are selling. It signals clear market dominance and leadership in the category. But it takes no time to become dangerous when the brand becomes verbs with better and more economical alternatives substitute you in the product category.

The way to dodge it is by preventing your brand from becoming a generic verb. Keep the focus on the problem you are solving, whether its easy messaging, picture editing or photo copying. If you are too good and far ahead to avoid that from happening, just stay ahead of competition. Keep innovating. Keep getting better. Just don’t let anyone else become the brand to “verb” you in the category.

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