Wednesday, April 29, 2009

╠ Apple isn't a fruit ╣

I had a thought the other day and wondered, 'When was the last time I said Apple and meant the fruit?'

The potential of an individual brand seems almost limitless. Fruit is such a big thing and is something that is encouraged to be eaten on a daily basis with apples at the forefront of that.

Yet one brand can come in and overpower that. This makes me wonder whether unbranded names for products and possibly even their category may be fading until only those without positive connotations remain unbranded. It's not something that everyone does but there are a few examples of brands taking over their category. You grab a kleenex when you have a runny nose, you use glad wrap to cover food. it all makes me wonder if we're actually headed towards a purely branded world.

4 comments:

Lili said...

I learnt about this/looked at this concept in grade four, and again in English Language. O.o;

I had a huuuggge list of common words/objects/terms that were derived from brand names, somewhere. Don't know where it is, now...

Glad Wrap is definitely the classic example; Kleenex isn't quite as prominent. I hear tissues called Kleenex only about 3% of the time, as opposed to the 98% of the time I hear Glad Wrap instead of cling wrap.

I think it's also to do with the fact it's easier to say tissue, than Kleenex, and easier to say Glad Wrap, than to say cling wrap. To do with... vocal tool... positioning. (Urgh, I've forgotten all the technical terms for these things)

To say we're heading to a PURELY branded world might be an exaggeration, but it surely isn't impossible to come close. It all depends on how companies decide to name their products, and how prominent their products become in society.

By "how" they name their products, I mean naming their products so that it becomes easier to say the product name than the original product/category (i.e. in the case of Glad wrap vs Cling Wrap).

But yeah, it's interesting, isn't it? ^_^

By the way, the last time I heard you say, "apple" was actually in reference to the fruit. (Today, in reference to apple juice) =P

Jono said...

Hmm... interesting topic. Although as prominent as apple computers are in western society, I'm sure if you talk to someone in China or Africa Apple would still mean Apple. Its all to do with the culture.
And in terms of apple, iPods are currently used to refer to MP3 players, as you work at DSE I'm sure you get asked as often as me 'What is the difference between an iPod and an MP3 player?' generally when I get asked that I use the whole Kleenex as tissue statement.

Tannie said...

@Lili: I agree a purely branded world would be a bit far fetched...in fact brings me images of Wall-e with b&t where they take over everything.

I was more bringing up the idea that no word or name is safe unless it holds no positive correlation for anyone and even then I wouldn't call it completely safe.

@Jono: How did I forget iPod...must be the self brainwashing to clear away the memories. The amount of times I'm asked for iPod headphones in particular...

'But they say they're for mp3...'

Every time I hear that I die a little inside.

Lili said...

The amount of times I'm asked for iPod headphones in particular...

'But they say they're for mp3...'

Every time I hear that I die a little inside.
Oh, I would too. xD

To some extent, I bet Wall-E was somewhat scary to some children. A world like that IS scary.