It’s the pinnacle of branding. Your brand’s name replaces the actual name of the product. Dare to dream.
Here are 10 companies that have reached this summit:
The actual name is front loader waste container or mobile garbage bin. The name dumpster was first used in 1936
, by the Dempster Brothers, who patented this style of trash container one year later.
It’s called lip balm. You probably knew that, but did you know it was invented in the 1880s
by a doctor and pharmacologist in Virginia? Dr. Charles Browne Fleet sold the rights to the lip balm for $5. Today, Pfizer owns the brand.
Humans have probably been using some form of the toy hoop—as it’s known generically—for centuries, maybe millennia. But the Hula Hoop came about in the 1950s, when Wham-O toy company introduced the plastic hoop
we know today and trademarked the term Hula Hoop. You know, for kids.
The adhesive bandage was invented in 1920 by Earle Dickinson
, an employee of Johnson & Johnson. He created it because his wife frequently cut and burned herself while cooking. What a progressive guy.
Facial tissue is the generic name, and legend has it that the product was created by Kimberly-Clarke Corp. for use in gas masks during World War I. Kimberly-Clarke invented the facial tissue
as it’s known today in 1924. Gesundheit.
It’s called an infant body suit
—sounds so ’80s—but the brand Onesies, owned by Gerber Chidrenswear, has become the common name for it. Awww.
The corporation 3M invented the Post-It note
in 1968, but the product’s generic name is sticky note, repositionable note, or repositional note. How’s that for jargon?
The generic name is correction fluid, and it was invented in the 1960s by insurance company clerk George Kloosterhouse
, who enlisted the help of his friend Edwin Johanknecht. They trademarked the term Wite-Out in 1974. Today, BIC owns Wite-Out.
This might have the most convoluted generic name—extruded polystyrene foam
. In 1941, researchers at Dow Chemical “rediscovered” a method used by a Swedish inventor to create foamed polystyrene. Dow Chemical owns the trademark today.
That flying object you’re dodging at the beach is actually called a flying disc
. Frisbee is a registered trademark of The Wham-O toy company—which you may remember from such popular toys as the Hula Hoop. Until 1958, Frisbie Baking Co. of Bridgeport, Conn., made pies, among other products. The pie tins—once relieved of crust and filling—proved aerodynamic, and New England college students began tossing and catching them. Many colleges have claimed to be the home of “he who was first to fling.”
Want to see more products known by their brand names? BuzzFeed
has a list of 32
This story first appeared on PR Daily in April 2011.