08 April 2011

Hoover v Vacuum Cleaner

We have just come across a very interesting article on brands and how they can become so generic that they get absorbed into our vocabulary.

I am particularly astounded to find out that the brand 'Hoover' has taken over our language for 'vacuum cleaner'. Do you refer to it as a Hoover or a vacuum cleaner? I flit between the two, and that is interesting seen at 'Hoover' is not what the product is collectively called, but rather what one type of the product is called. Confused?

Hoover, is a brand name of a vacuum cleaner, just like Dyson is. There is no difference. Yet, Hoover has become so well known and generic that over time, it has actually been adopted as the word to describe the product. In some instances, it has replaced 'vacuum cleaner'.

I wonder how far back the line goes, and how many people actually realise that Hoover is a brand of vacuum cleaner, and not just another name for the product (per se)?! And is this kind of absorption of a brand a good or bad thing?

So, for a spot of Friday afternoon reading (which may require a lie down afterwards, but hey, it is an excuse to put your feet up in the sun) check out this link:

Some parts are rather amusing - like the bit on 'SPAM' - yes, I do mean the canned meat. It explores how a brand can become affected by the terms in which it is used by others.

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