When brands become VERBS

29th Sep, 2013

| by writesolutions

Its far more exciting than when they are mere NOUNS


How many times have you heard someone say, “Can we Skype at 6 pm?” or

“What did you twitter about Neha, today?” or the more prophetic “Google and ye, shall find it!”

Another worthy example – if you want to crowdsource your dream project, just Kickstart it.

Yet another, “Can you Instagram me your latest shoot?”

Earlier top brands aspired to become nouns e.g. “Do you have an Apple?” and that transition established them as iconic brands. Fridge became so synonymous with all brands of refrigerators that people forgot it’s a brand not the appliance’s name.  Across the world, jeep is the name of any sports utility vehicle.

Too bad, Xerox became a noun only to discover that photocopying doesn’t have a bright future in the paperless office, so had to rebrand itself as a document manager, but it continuously (and erroneously) remains associated with the old technology.

Today, turning into a noun isn’t a badge of honour for a brand. It must be an action verb – “What are you doing, Facebooking?”

Smart Age demands that top brands must be action words and searchable, on Google that is. I read somewhere that in Germany brand consciousness is so well-pronounced that verbs get added to the German language from popular brand names, e.g. Googeln, flexen, skypen. Don’t ask me what they mean, cause I am no German language expert.

But I do recall the author of this piece branding this phenomenon as ‘linguistic economy.’  He mentioned that when multi-taskers have to go short, and can’t capture their brain waves in 60 characters or less (as in an SMS) they substitute the action phrase for the brand (How ingenious!).

So the next time you want to brandish your liking for a particular brand, just substitute it for an action verb, as in, “Let me Colgate,” and then I will shower, Axe and Provoge and finally, when I am done Kellogging with milk, I will Ford Icon with you to the office!

Utterly, butterly confusing!


Radhika Sachdev

Content Strategist

Leave a Reply