Manila, Philippines

Successful Generic Brand Names

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 I had a previous entry on successful business names, so successful that their names stuck as equivalent to the generic product, even if consumers are now buying the competing brands. I leave this up to you to decide whether you like this to happen to your products’ and company’s names (not to say that we actually have much of a choice).
In this post, I will dwell on seemingly generic business names that have succeeded in ingraining their names in the minds of consumers. Somewhat taking a different path from the previous entry, there are some products in the Philippine market that have used generic words as their proper brand names, and how the names have made a difference. I will dwell on two names here for brevity.

National Bookstore. If you are a foreigner first timer in the country, and you actually hear someone who will buy something from the National Bookstore, you might actually be amazed that the Philippines has a national bookstore, similar to having a national bird, national flower, national anthem etc. Then later on you find out that National Bookstore, is in fact a private company and not a bookstore declared as national by the government. Nonetheless, even if the bookstore is not a government-declared official national bookstore (I doubt if they will declare one anyway), the bookstore’s name connotes a certain “nationality” in it. In Filipino, “pambansa”, for the country, for every Filipino.

And the fact that National Bookstore is a run-away leader when it comes to book stores and school supplies store, many consumers have come to equate National Bookstore not just as the bookstore for all Filipinos, but as “the bookstore”. The default bookstore. Top of mind first option. No other bookstore compares. 

Standard Appliances. We all want appliances that meet the standard. If we can help it, we do not buy substandard products. So what is the best brand out there that has a high standard? What else but Standard appliances. The name they have chosen sets the bar high, sets the benchmark on how and what electric fans, rice cookers, flat irons should be. Especially during the time when Standard Appliances had the market leadership, I am sure that their name had a subconscious impact amongst consumers—that their appliances set the standard, and buying non-Standard appliances means you are buying non-standard products. Wise huh?

PS. In the recent years, we have seen the growth of specialty bookstores such as Fullybooked and Powerbooks. But these stores are for specialty books and items, but when it comes to generic book needs and school supplies, National Bookstore is still the top-of-mind brand for Filipinos. Besides, I think the three bookstores are sister-companies anyway. Correct me if I’m wrong.

PSS. So what will I name my business? The Business? TEC in Ayala actually stands for The Enterprise Center, and no doubt there are a lot of businesses offices in there.



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