Thousands of companies are found every day. Each one of them is driven by an idea. An idea which is supposed to make people’s life easier or make things more useful and efficient. There are not many companies which survive economic struggles or other difficulties and still remain as successful. Numerous start-ups fail after a short period of time and others resist a lot of problems and build up quite nicely. But when it comes to a recession as it did in 2008 even the most successful entrepreneurs face a challenge. This is the moment when well-run companies are separated from those, which could survive in a flourishing economy but do not possess the ability to overcome a serious crisis. Mostly it’s because of a lack of liquidity or structurally. That’s the kind of problems what only surface during a hard time. It is comparable to evolution. When we think about the catchphrase “Survival of the fittest”, which means that only the ones who are best adapted to their environment will remain in existence. The matter is identical to companies. If a business cannot adjust the way it’s been run in, it cannot survive. And a recession is no more than big challenge, which only the fittest businesses can master. If you are not prepared for that scenario, you will be gone by the end of the recession. And a whole bunch of companies is gone now.
Once a company is successful it probably has well-known products. Examples are Apple iPods, Coca-Cola, Dyson and many more. I want to focus on Apple for a moment. Do you really know what an iPod is? It’s a thing that plays the music from iTunes and stuff, right? Apple succeeds in making its product names synonymous to the original device. A lot of people don’t know the difference between an iPod and a MP3-Player. And no matter how long they try to find out the difference, they don’t come up with something. And the reason is that there is no difference. iPods are one specific branded product of MP3-Players, no more, no less. But some would even say they bought and iPod kind of thing when it’s in fact just an MP3-Player. The same is now happening to smart-phones. Ever since Apple has introduced their iPhone it more and more becomes a synonym for a smart-phone. People even asked me what kind of iPhone I have there, when I only had another touch screen mobile phone. Apple does a great job there and every company that accomplishes what Apple has accomplished with their brand can be extremely proud of itself. It takes a lot to make your product name a synonym to the product itself. Think about others who could not achieve this so far. No one talks about Vaios, Pavillions, ThinkPads. It’s either you have a MacBook or something else.
Another example is Google. To google has became synonym to doing an internet search. It’s even noted in certain dictionaries. All you need is Google; it’s as if Google was the internet. There are lots of products which people only know the product name and can’t remember what the actual product is.
There is even a Wikipedia article about generised products. Which contains the following list:
* Aspirin, originally a trademark of Bayer AG
* Butterscotch, originally a trademark of Parkinsons
* Escalator, originally a trademark of Otis Elevator Company
* Heroin, originally a trademark of Bayer
* Kerosene, originally a trademark of Abraham Gesner
* Phillips-head screw, named after Henry F. Phillips
* Pogo for the toy Pogo stick
* Thermos, originally a trademark of Thermos GmbH
* Tipp-Ex, originally a trademark of German manufacturers Tipp-Ex GmbH & Co. KG
* Yo-yo, originally a trademark of Duncan Yo-Yo Company
* Zipper, originally a trademark of B.F. Goodrich
And here is another article about the same topic: