You know a company has become an industry leader when the name of the company or product becomes a noun or verb people use to describe a good or service. In other cases, companies have created and trademarked products that we use as the common term for a good even if a substitute is made by another company. Can you think of any others?
When you blow your nose, what do you reach for? Chances are you reach for a "Kleenex" and not a facial tissue. Kleenex is the trade-marked name for Kimberly-Clark's facial tissue.
If you want to relax in a hot tub, chances are you call the hot tub a "Jacuzzi". There are many manufacturers of hot tubs, but Jacuzzi is the market leader.
Would you call this a slow cooker or a "Crock-Pot"? Many companies manufacture slow cookers, but the name Crock-Pot is trademarked by Rival Industries.
If your lips are chapped, do you ask for lip balm or "Chap Stick"? Chap Stick is the market leader for lip balms and is manufactured by Pfizer.
Some people would not copy a piece of paper, they would "Xerox" it. I have also heard people reference copied paper as "Xeroxes".
When you have a cut do you grab a bandage or a Band-Aid? Band-Aids are trademarked by Johnson and Johnson.
What game are these people playing? "Ping Pong" or table tennis? Ping-Pong was copyrighted by an English firm J. Jacques and Son, Ltd in 1901. The trademark was later sold to Parker Brothers.
When we have a teleconference with our good friends in London, we don't teleconference them, we "Skype" with them.
I had some friends in college from Atlanta. They referred to all soft drinks as a "Coke". When I asked them about an orange soda, they called it an "orange Coke"!
What is this boy playing with? You probably call it a yo-yo, and not a toy on a string. Duncan trademarked the name in 1929.
If you want to search the web for lessons in economics, you "Google" it!
*All images are from iStock