Watering down the brand?

I just saw an ad in Advertising Age by Kimberly Clark. They were claiming that by using the term “Kleenex” as a generic term for tissues, we are erasing the brand they have worked so hard to establish? What do you think?

I personally take the view that if their brand has so dominated the marketplace, where we don’t usually even say “tissue” but rather, “Kleenex”, then they’ve won. It’s like down south. Walk into any store, and they’ll look at you funny if you order a “pop” or “soda”… it’s all “Coke”. Some may say that dilutes the brand, but if the first thing your brain identifies with is the brand name, then AWESOME.

So what do you think? Does using a brand name as a generic term lessen the strength of the brand, or reinforce it at the subconscious level?


Thoughts? Hit me up on Twitter at @robchristianson and let me know what you think.


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