The Ultimate List of Eponyms Examples: Brands that OWN the Market

The Ultimate List of Eponyms Examples: Brands that OWN the Market

There are so many products where the name of it is what the market calls it. You know like when you say I want a Kleenex. You actually want a Tissue but Kimberly-Clark did a great job getting us to call it Kleenex instead. Here's a list of eponyms and examples of eponyms.

kleenex box
This list is incomplete. I want all of us to add to it. Leave comments and I will update.

  1. Band-Aid : Bandage : Owned by Johnson & Johnson
  2. Coke : Delicious soda : Owned by Coca-Cola
  3. Escalator : Escalator : Owned by Otis Corporation
  4. FedEx : Overnight Mail : Owned by FedEx
  5. Google : Search : Owned by Google
  6. Jeep : Truck : Owned by Chrysler
  7. Jell-o : Gelatin : Owned by Kraft Foods
  8. Kleenex : Tissues : Owned by Kimberly-Clark
  9. Lazyboy : Recliner : Owned by La-z-boy
  10. Legos : Plastic blocks : Owned by Lego Group
  11. Netflix : DVDs by Mail : Owned by Netflix
  12. Polaroid : Instant Photos: Owned by Polaroid
  13. Post-it Notes : Sticky Paper : Owned by 3M
  14. Q-Tip : Cotton Swab : Owned by Kimberly-Clark
  15. Rollerblade : Roller skates : Owned by Rollerblade
  16. Rolodex : Contact Organizer : Owned by Eldon
  17. Saltines : Crackers : Owned by Nabisco
  18. Scotch Tape : Tape : Owned by 3M
  19. Sharpie : Marker : Owned by Sanford
  20. Taser : Electronic Shock Device : Owned by Taser
  21. Tivo : Digital Recorder : Owned by Tivo
  22. The Club : Anti-Theft Device : Owned by Winner
  23. Tobasco : Hot Sauce : Owned by Heinz
  24. Tylenol : Headaches / Acetaminophen : Owned by Johnson & Johnson
  25. Walkman : Tape Player : Owned by Sony
  26. Windex : Window Cleaner : SC Johnson
  27. Vaseline : Petroleum Jelly : Owned by Chesebrough-Pond's
  28. Xerox : Copies : Owned by Xerox

Eponym and Brand Family

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55 responses to “The Ultimate List of Eponyms Examples: Brands that OWN the Market”

Troy
July 24, 2017 at 11:49 am

You forgot about Popsicle

Reply
Judy
May 27, 2017 at 12:24 pm

Vaseline crisco and Vicks

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Luke
March 21, 2017 at 6:32 pm

Crock pot
Vespa

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Heath
September 22, 2016 at 12:30 am

How did you all miss hook and loop fasteners? --- Velcro

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David Sica
August 4, 2014 at 6:55 pm

Frisbee, chap stick, frisbee

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Chad Rogez
November 1, 2013 at 6:24 am

Not sure who the manufacturer was but the refrigerator was referred to as the "Ice Box" prior to hydrochlorofluorocarbons for many years.

This article is a great "Marketing 101" reference thanks!

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Tom Bavington
March 5, 2013 at 5:12 am

Dude, don't leave out readers from across the pond; Hoover: Vacuum Cleaner: Invented by W.H. Hoover

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Portable DVD Player
August 23, 2009 at 10:43 am

Noah,

I think the most incredible brand co-opted into the venacular would have to be “Zipper” it origniated as an individual brand, and we don’t even have a description for what the product is, it has become the description.

As a counterexample for why having you brand as the name of the object is a bad thing, figure the following: If your brand name becomes a synonym for the actual product, it is not protectable. Once it is simply a description of the product, not the brand of product you have lost control of the usage of the name, hence your protection wanes and others can describe the product as your brand name, pretty much screwing you sideways.

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Brian Garbet
September 10, 2008 at 4:52 am

Its been years since it was suggested by iPod still hasn't been added to that list. Its definitely been branded & now common lingo.

iPod : MP3 player: owned by Apple

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Jason
January 24, 2008 at 10:42 am

Becoming top of mind is a marketer's dream but can quickly turn to a nightmare if the brand name becomes too generic and loses trademark status.

Initially, it's tremendous to be so dominant that the name is almost a generic term. For example, alot of people probably couldn't tell you another brand name for an Mp3 player so they are only going to look at IPod. IPod is smart for protecting the name though. It's alot like playing king of the hill - once you reach the top, you have to protect it.

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Dido Shaaban
January 21, 2008 at 7:05 am

I think "PAMPERS" brand should be in.
I don't c it in the 28 list.

Rgds;
D!do

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Dido Shaaban
January 21, 2008 at 6:36 am

Also "Jet-Ski" is most widely used for watercraft.

Rgds;
D!do

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sophie
October 25, 2007 at 4:13 pm

ipod=mp3 player

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Brie
December 1, 2006 at 9:58 am

What about Saran Wrap and White-Out? (sp: Wite-Out?)

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MsNadi
August 23, 2006 at 4:07 pm

Chapstik - Lip balm.

"hey, do you have any chapstik?"

:::I guess that was self explanatory:::

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Jesse Skinner
August 23, 2006 at 3:06 pm

Ziploc
Jacuzzi

I'd argue Asprin is as much a market-owner as Tylenol. I've heard people call tylenols asprins.

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Frank
August 23, 2006 at 12:25 am

hey... how about...

SPEEDOS.

hah.. no, but really.. thats strictly brand, rite? not a general term?..

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Nathan Waters
August 18, 2006 at 9:05 pm

Here is Australia another one is Panadol (i.e. paracetamol or what Americans call aspirin). We tend to say I need a Panadol which basically refers to any standard pain relief pill, but also happens to be a brand.

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Jewels
August 18, 2006 at 8:44 pm

Don't forget those necessities -- Tampax and Kotex!

And what about Palm for handheld devices?

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jc
August 17, 2006 at 11:25 pm

actually when i say "let's go get starbucks", i really mean starbucks. i don't think starbucks have completely lost its brand. People are still picky about their coffee so most mean starbucks coffee when they say starbucks.

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AdamD
August 17, 2006 at 10:06 pm

Polo : Collared shirt : Owned by Ralph Lauren

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trees420
August 17, 2006 at 3:12 pm

this might not be super common in everyday use, but it's HUGE in the business and finance world.. but have you ever heard these while buying a car?

we just need to run a TRW on you

or

your equifax came up clean

i have heard both being used to describe credit reports

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Peter Caputa
August 17, 2006 at 1:20 pm

Meetup

eVite

Reply
Susan Jones
August 17, 2006 at 1:10 pm

What a fab bunch of brillies you all are!
I'm impressed.
Supahstars!

Reply
Nick
August 17, 2006 at 7:02 am

Noah,

I think the most incredible brand co-opted into the venacular would have to be "Zipper" it origniated as an individual brand, and we don't even have a description for what the product is, it has become the description.

As a counterexample for why having you brand as the name of the object is a bad thing, figure the following: If your brand name becomes a synonym for the actual product, it is not protectable. Once it is simply a description of the product, not the brand of product you have lost control of the usage of the name, hence your protection wanes and others can describe the product as your brand name, pretty much screwing you sideways.

Reply
Susan Jones
August 17, 2006 at 7:00 am

I blog on blog.

Reply
Noah Kagan
August 16, 2006 at 11:18 pm

great find guys. i updated with your changes. some of those links have tons more.

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Sri
August 16, 2006 at 9:33 pm

Here is another: (in the year 2015)

Noah = Blog

Example of use:
I need to go home and update my Noah.

nah..doesnt sound rite. Sorry Noah.

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susan
August 16, 2006 at 8:28 pm

every morning i blackberry on the train

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udandi
August 16, 2006 at 6:58 pm

pogo stick comes to mind.

companies don't spend gazillions of dollars to create a trademarked product so that eventually becomes the generic term for all products similar to it.

another list http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_generic_and_genericized_trademarks

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Nedra Weinreich
August 16, 2006 at 6:11 pm

I'm spending entirely too much brain power on this, but they keep coming to me.

Walkman
Windex
Saltines
Fedex
Polaroid
Rolodex
Baggies

This definitely varies by country as Sergio notes. For example, in Israel, Nescafe is the generic term for instant coffee, while I don't think most people in the US even think of that brand anymore.

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Michael C. Habib
August 16, 2006 at 5:57 pm

Back to the iPod example. Sony did that with Walkmans and Discmans.

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Sérgio Rebelo
August 16, 2006 at 5:48 pm

Most of them are regional. Some of the brands you talk about don't even exist in Portugal or exist with a very low profile.
In some markets:
Evian
Tetra Pak
Ã?gua das Pedras (portuguese water)
Bic
...

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Sean Tierney
August 16, 2006 at 4:30 pm

aww dude, you left off JumpBox - oh well, it'll be a household name next year 😉

sean

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Cap
August 16, 2006 at 3:06 pm

found a pretty good article on trademark, naming products and the likes:

http://www.ccnmag.com/story.php?id=399

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Cap
August 16, 2006 at 3:03 pm

Rollerblade.

Gotta disagree here guys, having your brand name becoming a household name, like the many we've listed so far... can't always be a good thing.

It's a real marketing dilemma. on the one hand you want to the name to spread to the point where it becomes the household norm.. but on another hand, you want it to still represent only your product. You should want to protect your trademark so it won't lose its trademark status, like elevator or escalators.

the last thing Google would want is to loose the name Google. Sure Google can mean search, but there's way too much capital behind that name for them to not protect it insanely.

ISO is another example... it would be of the norm in the industry to use the word ISO to represent a standard of quality etc... but ISO is also careful about the usage of the word and its name.. they wouldn't want to dilute their brand.. where everyone can just tack on the word ISO.

anyway, there's more to it but I don't remember what I learned 😛

just thought of another:

Chap stick. That one, I believe, is in danger of becoming a household name.

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noah kagan
August 16, 2006 at 2:42 pm

great call. i have blockbuster and call it blockbusterflix or i just say I use netflix so i dont have to explain.

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Jonathan Shaw
August 16, 2006 at 2:37 pm

It seems that part of the criteria for this is when a brand name is used as a verb. I've heard "Netflix" used a verb numerous times, e.g. "I'll make sure and netflix that film."

So, my addition:

netflix - online dvd rental

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noah kagan
August 16, 2006 at 2:28 pm

i saw that list but it is not complete. thanks for linking to it. i think we have more than it now.

what else are we missing?

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Steven Ametjan
August 16, 2006 at 2:26 pm

Found this on Kottke's site.

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Nedra Weinreich
August 16, 2006 at 2:05 pm

Thanks for backing me up, Noah. 🙂

I've never heard of a J-John and here in L.A. it's generically called a Portapotty. It's probably a regional thing, depending on who the main company in your area is.

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Sean Tierney
August 16, 2006 at 2:00 pm

Sharpie - permanent marker
ACE bandage - elastic bandage
coke - cola beverage
jumpbox - hardware appliance platform for software applications
lazyboy - recliner chair
tivo - digital video recorder
J-John - portable toilet
Club - physical device for car theft protection
Taser - electric shock personal protection device

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noah kagan
August 16, 2006 at 1:53 pm

i guess the technical word is eponyms. i think i may have confused people. yes starbucks is what people think of for coffee but i am thinking of the words people use for the market. no one says at peets coffee please give me a starbucks. but when you go to the store you ask for bandaids.

great link mike. there are many more words i feel that website is missing. was hoping we could try to tackle the problem collaboratively.

i agree with nedra and feel that having your brand name be the term is only a good thing. you are the market & you own the mindshare.

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noah kagan
August 16, 2006 at 1:41 pm

Devin, I was wondering about this a few months ago. But if it makes you feel better you are my muse and everything I do is to impress you. Hugs.

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hollyster
August 16, 2006 at 1:38 pm

Forgot the most important one:

Coke - Cocoa Cola

In fact I heard in places where they sell Pepsi, if someone asks for a Coke the workers need to say, we have Pepsi not Coke.

I actually think that when your brand becomes lost with the name of the product itself is not a good thing. No one knows you are brand and that you have a position, and like Sri says wouldnt' it be horrible if your ipod was made by some other manufacturer with more than likely is worse quality than yours.

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Devin
August 16, 2006 at 1:34 pm

That's exactly why they're suing other MP3 player manufacturers with the term 'Pod' in the name. It detracts from the value of their brand. 😉

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Sri
August 16, 2006 at 1:18 pm

Imagine if IPOD became the generic label for mp3 players? Wouldnt that be horrible?

Person 1: What brand is your Ipod?
Person 2: Samsung

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Nedra Weinreich
August 16, 2006 at 1:15 pm

I think that having your brand become a generic word would only be a good thing. I've had a hard time understanding why Google would sue to keep its name from becoming the generic term for internet search engines. People don't have to pay more to get the "name brand" and if the word is at the top of their mind when they are about to do a search, they would likely plug in "google.com." I doubt someone would use the term to say "I googled him on Yahoo."

And I'll add "Scotch tape" to the list. I just found out from my British sister-in-law that they call that "cello tape" in England.

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mike oliver
August 16, 2006 at 1:08 pm

ps. I love that escalator is a registered trademark of the otis corporation... never would have known...

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mike oliver
August 16, 2006 at 1:07 pm

Hey noah,

This is probably the definitive list:

http://www.prairienet.org/~rkrause/brands.html

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qw
August 16, 2006 at 12:37 pm

Q-Tip - Cotton Swab
Band-Aid - Bandage

Maybe its a regional thing but in my area (Minnesota) I don't know anyone who refers to a truck as a Jeep unless its a Jeep. Nobody calls a Chevy Blazer or a Ford pickup a Jeep.

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Devin
August 16, 2006 at 12:36 pm

Some of these are extreme stretches... heh, who says "I need some heinz on my fries"? If you do I want to know!

Where'd you get your idea for a post about names, buddy? 😉

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Sri
August 16, 2006 at 12:34 pm

Here is another example:
Person 1: Can you buy me some pampers?
Person 2: Sure, what brand?

Person 1: Can you get me Luvs?
Person 2: Luvs diapers? Sure!

Having said above, let me add on to the list:

1) Colgate = toothpaste
2) Pampers = diapers
3) Tylenol = headache medicine
4)

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Sri
August 16, 2006 at 12:30 pm

I learned in Marketing (if memory serves me right) that this is not a good thing. The brand has lost its identity....because when someone says "buy me kleenex"....it does not really mean the brand Kleenex tissue paper! You get my drift? As you said, it can mean any tissue paper.

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Pat Phelan
August 16, 2006 at 12:17 pm

Heinz-ketchup/Mayo
starbucks-coffee
gillette-razors
Wrigleys-gum

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