In my last installment of the best in branding and PR, I noted that when a branding strategy is top notch, consumers are not only sold but they may even apply a willing suspension of disbelief for the product’s story.

This time, we’re taking it to the next level. While some companies have such top notch branding and marketing strategies that we might be willing to believe their little white product lies, the companies that have hit a real home run made us forget they even had competitors.

We refer to these products by brand name (even when they’re generic)—and, it’s that kind of brand visibility most PR specialists only dream of. Cheers to some brands we’d like to be…


…when’s the last time someone asked you for an “adhesive bandage”? 

2. Advil

…same as above! Half of the folks I’ve talked to don’t even know ibuprofen is the term for the generic for Advil. Advil truly owns the U.S. market for ibuprofen. 


…it’s the most popular gelatin dessert brand by far. JELL-O has been around since the 1900s and had a big spike in sales during the baby boom. They were on the decline until they hired Bill Cosby as their spokesperson, when the brand saw sales growth. 

4. Windbreaker

…this isn’t a generic term for a thin, water-resistant coat! The term “Windbreaker” was originally trademarked by the John Rissman company of Chicago for its gabardine jackets in the 1950s. 

5. ChapStick

…did you know that Charles Browne Fleet invented ChapStick in the early 1880s? The recipe was sold to John Morton for only $5 in the early 1900s. 

6. Q-tips

…invented in 1923, the product was originally called Baby Gays. In 1926, the labels were changed to read Q-tips Baby Gays. And, later, simply “Q-tips”— the “Q” stands for quality and the “tips” describes the cotton swab at the end of the stick. 

7. Crock-Pot

…personally, I never say “slow cooker.” Do you? The first version of the Crock-Pot came to market in the 1970’s—it was called the Naxon Beanery All-Purpose Cooker. 

8. Google

…our PR and digital marketing agency is always focusing on the changes in Google algorithms because it’s the search engine used by the most people. When’s the last time anybody “Yahooed” something in search anyway? 

And, of course, there’s many more brands that have truly conquered their niche. What’s another prime example? What products will you only use the brand name of? Tell me below. 

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