Confession time guys! Don’t you ask for ‘Bisleri’ and not ‘Aquafina’ every time you need mineral water, ‘Good Knight’ and not ‘Mortein’ or for that matter ‘All Out’ for a mosquito repellent? If your answer is yes, you aren’t alone. These brands have earned such a recall value for themselves, that we have almost forgotten the general product name and have begun to associate the brand name as the product itself. This syndrome is called ‘genericide’ and India has a number of such popular brands falling in this category. Here are the top 12 of them…
‘Surf’ for detergent
Surf is one of of the most popular and expensive detergent brands in India. It won’t be exaggeration if we say that ‘Surf’ has become synonymous to ‘detergent’. Even if women want Ariel, Nirma, Wheel, Tide etc, what they ask for is surf, Ariel surf or Tide surf to be precise. That’s the rapport that the brand has earned for itself over the years!
‘Bisleri’ for Mineral Water
Have you experienced this? A waiter asks you confidently, “Sir, would you like to have normal water or Bisleri?” You give a nod for Bisleri and what you are served is Kinley. Another example where a brand over powered a product. This happened because there was a time when ‘Bisleri’ was the only mineral water brand available in India. But today there’s a flood of water brands in market like Aquafina, Kinley, Avian, Pure Life etc. But for a commoner mineral water still means Bisleri and Bisleri means mineral water.
‘Rin’ for washing soap!
My grandmom used Rin for washing clothes, my mom used it too and so do I wash my clothes with Rin. However, no matter how many detergent brands launched washing soaps in market like Active Wheel, Tide etc. Rin continues to enjoy the fruit of its recall value as no matter which brand of a washing soap a consumer wants – what he asks for is Rin.
‘Good Knight’ for mosquito repellant
Good Knight was one of the pioneer brands in mosquito repellents category in India and we don’t know, when the brand became the second name of mosquito repellents. Don’t you say – “Please, switch on Good Night,” irrespective of the fact that the mosquito repellent that you picked up this time was a Mortein, Baygone or All Out in any form – mat, liquid or coil.
‘Harpic’ for Toilet Bowl Cleaner
It seems as if no other brand ventured into the toilet cleaner category ever since Harpic took over the market. We know there are a number of toilet cleaners available including Mr.Kleen, Sani Fresh and Axil to name a few. But still, Harpic remains at the tip of our tongue, every time we need a toilet bowl cleaner.
‘Colgate’ for Toothpaste
Isn’t it shocking to know that more than 80% of India’s population uses Colgate! Well, this is not true but for a layman in India, Colgate has become synonymous to a toothpaste. Haven’t you heard women ask the shopkeeper for ‘Pepsodent Colgate’ and ‘Babool Colgate,’ when what they actually want is Pepsodent toothpaste. What a brand royalty!
‘Walkman’ for portable audio cassette player
It’s quite amusing, but in India every portable music device is referred to as ‘Walkman’. Wondering why? Well, that’s because Sony was the first company to launch a portable music player and they called it ‘Walkman’, 20 years back. Thanks to their powerful marketing, ever since then, any portable music player be it from Phillips or LG is called Walkman!
‘Xerox’ for Photocopier
You would be lying if you say that never ever you have asked your peon to get a document Xeroxed when you want to get it photocopied.That’s because the American Document Management Firm that brought the concept of Photocopying in India, was Xerox and thanks to their monopoly in the field, today we blindly refer photocopy as Xerox!
‘Cadbury’ for Chocolate
Another prominent example of genericide is when popular chocolate brand cadbury became the second name for chocolates. It’s a common sight o see people asking for Cadbury, when what they want actually is any chocolate. That’s the power of a brand name!
‘Vaseline’ for petroleum jelly
There are so many brands of petroleum jellies available in market today including Ayur, Nivea, Flamingo etc. but the first name that comes to mind when we want a petroleum jelly is Vaseline. The popularity of the brand name is so strong that a person might not know what petroleum jelly is, he/she will definitely understand what’s Vaseline.
‘Bad-aid’ for Bandage
This one is the king of genericide. Even the most well-aware and well-updated populace of our country refer to bandage of any brand as Band-Aid. Be it an adhesive bandage from Hansa-Plast, Dettol or Savlon, we prefer calling it it Band-Aid, which is a brand name of American pharmaceutical and medical devices giant Johnson & Johnson.
‘iPod’ for portable Media Player
The modern version of Walkman is also subjected to similar treatment in India. Any portable music device from any company is an iPod for us!