- Companies’ reputations are crucial to their success, so they spend millions of dollars on marketing.
- Many companies achieve success when their names become synonymous with the product or service they provide.
- If you’ve ever Googled something or Ubered to work, you know exactly what we mean.
- Here are 17 companies with such good marketing that their names have become verbs.
When you’re in business, reputation is everything. Many brands spend a fortune on marketing, trying to become a household name. But you know a brand has really arrived when its name actually becomes synonymous with the product or service it provides.
Odds are, you’ve Ubered from time to time when you didn’t feel like driving. You’ve probably FaceTimed a friend or Skyped with a colleague in a remote workspace at some point. And honestly, who doesn’t Google something on a daily basis?
Here are 17 brands that are so well-marketed, they have actually become verbs:
This app-based car service hit the streets in 2009. The name means “topmost” or “above” in German. Since then, people have been Ubering all over the place – in 633 cities, to be exact, as of January 2018.
2. FaceTime and Skype
When a phone call won’t quite cut it but you can’t be there in person, just Skype or FaceTime – and actually see the person you’re talking to from across town or across the world.
Want to touch up a photo or change it entirely? It’s simple – just Photoshop it. The first version of this popular photo-editing software was released in 1990, rendering “airbrushing” obsolete.
GPS has changed the world in plenty of ways. It lets us navigate without using maps and can even help solve crimes. And of course, it has facilitated hookups the world over. Thanks to one famous location-based dating app, Tindering is officially a thing.
This insanely popular photo-sharing app was launched in 2010. The social network is home to a whopping one billion monthly active users, who are pointing, shooting, filtering, and Instagramming their photos with the app regularly.
6. Venmo or Paypal
No cash? No problem. Just pay your debts digitally. It’s beyond easy to just PayPal or Venmo money to the person or business in seconds flat.
Can you believe there was once a time when you needed to crack open an encyclopedia – or just deal with not knowing the answer to your question? Now there’s no need to wonder about anything, really. Just Google it.
What started as a popular kids’ toy has become a verb synonymous for what it’s designed to do – go up and down, usually figuratively. A turbulent relationship might make you “yo-yo emotionally,” for example, or fad dieting could make your weight “yo-yo.”
9. Jet Ski
If you’re a fan of watersports or DJ Khaled, then you know that jet-skiing is the only word to describe the act of zipping through a body of water while standing or sitting on a personal watercraft.
In the ’90s, Rollerblade rearranged the wheels of classic roller skates and became one of the fastest-growing sports in the world. Ever since, skating with inline skates has been known as rollerblading.
When shaving is too harsh and waxing is out of the question, some people turn to depilatories, or hair-removal creams – and there’s one brand that’s so ubiquitous, it’s become a verb. In other words, if you want hair-free legs, just Nair them.
Anyone who’s in construction knows that to build a wall, you need to Sheetrock it. But what you’re really doing is drywalling using a brand so popular, the names are interchangeable.
When it “absolutely, positively has to be there overnight,” as the old company slogan goes, than you must FedEx it. Ah, the power of marketing.
14. Super Glue and Krazy Glue
Before the days of at-home scanning and printing, Xeroxing was the way to make copies.
16. Bubble Wrap
Forget Styrofoam peanuts. When you’re packing something fragile, nothing quite compares to the much tidier act of bubble wrapping. Just try to resist the inexplicably satisfying act of popping all those little bubbles.
When something needs to fasten and unfasten, you can zipper it, you can button it, or you can go for a third, noisier option: velcro it!
“Household Name” is the new podcast about brands you know and the stories you don’t. Subscribe for free now and don’t miss an episode: like how TGI Fridays started as a wild singles bar, or how Donald Trump saved stuffed-crust pizza, or how Blockbuster survived in Alaska.
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.