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When You Have to Put 'Brand' in Your Name
By: Cindy Wendland
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It makes us pause when we hear a Band-Aid commercial. The tunes are catchy, and the messaging is good. The commercials take us back to our childhood and our scrapes and scratches. They also bring us back to the present as we lovingly care for our children through their tears and bloody knees. Placing a band-aid on their cut is a sign of our love. The name has become so common that the commercial has to remind us it is a brand and states so throughout the messaging.

When does a product have to include "brand" in their name? Kleenex had that problem, but our children call them facial tissues. Kleenex could call them Kleenex brand. When competitors started making adhesive bandages and private-label versions were born, all these products were called band-aids. That posed a problem for J&J Band-Aids, who then started calling them Band-Aid Brand. It just seems odd, but it also seems necessary.

When we talk about buying our next car, do we call it the Lexus sedan or just refer to it as the Lexus? We don’t confuse a VW with a Lexus, yet somehow all adhesive bandages were called band-aids. Is the problem due to a product owning the category and delivering such strong marketing that consumers don’t notice the other brands? Is it the price paid for being the category leader and innovator? Or is it only for products that have a lower price point, and comparative products can easily take some market share?

For all the effort that J&J puts into reaffirming band-aids as Band-Aid brand, does the consumer care or even notice? It’s not a tongue twister, so it is easy to say. When the purchase is made in-store, if children are involved, the important criteria is most often the design on the adhesive bandage. If adults are making the purchase, chances are Band-Aids win out. So, Band-Aid brand is really a call out to aging consumers to nurture the loyalty of the brand. It’s a good effort, but hard to make headway with younger consumers.

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About the Author
Cindy Wendland has a background in marketing and finance. She is the creative director for an online men's health magazine, BrainBrawnBody.com, and she gets to write their leisure/travel blog. She is also a web designer helping her clients with online community engagement, websitesbywendland.com. Prior to her web years, she worked in pharmacy consulting.
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